Thursday, 18 December 2014

Landing at Brown Bluff

Next afternoon we had a zodiac landing at Brown Bluff, the site of an Adelie and Gentoo Penguin colony.   Here a Gentoo carries a stone to its "nest" site.   I used to think that some penguins used stones to construct nests because that is all there is for them to use, but the stones allow drainage of melting snow and so help to keep the egg viable.

These Adelie Penguins were contemplating the dive to the water.  It would have to be carefully judged as the water was shallow and there were a lot of stones to avoid just under the overhang. 

Here you can see the first one taking the plunge!

As you can see, he landed safely.    The other two checked it out further and turned back!

A different Adelie calling. 

Porpoising Gentoos - speed was important as some members of our group saw a Leopard Seal patrolling the area looking for dinner!

A larger group came in shortly afterwards.  It must take a lot of energy to porpoise when they are full of krill etc and coming in to feed their young.

That bill adds an appealing touch of colour.

They're quite vocal too.   Penguin colonies are noisy places!