27 March 2011

Giants of the Shetlands...South Shetlands (15 March)

Moving north from the Antarctic Peninsula, that had been our mesmerizing home over the previous days, we transferred to the South Shetland Isles where a combination of the threat of strong weather and exposed landings left us apprehensive as to whether we would actually get to experience them at all. However, a short time after dawn the sun beamed down on Bailey Head, revealing cliffs with nesting Southern Giant Petrels, and beaches lined with more Chinstrap Penguins.

We actually ended up landing in three different places. At one of these, Deception Point, I busied myself with the Southern Giant Petrels, that were nesting on the rocky outcrops, resting on the beaches, and soaring overhead...

I even got to get up close to a fluffy chick revealing its large tubenose in the process, that they use to track down food, when at sea and scavenging all they can in penguin and seal colonies.

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