Posts Tagged ‘Wilson’s storm petrel’

Hello, Macaroni Penguins at Cape Lookout

February 19th, 2010 at 2:15 pm (AST) by Krystyana Richter

Well, the day started with a landing at what would have been the preferred site for Shackleton and his men, Cape Lookout. They attempted to land at Cape Valentine, but the real place where they stayed and Shackleton sailed from to South Georgia, is Point Wild.

Cape Lookout is mostly rock and barely any beach, but the rock is very interesting due to the layers and layers that are each about an inch thick on average. We separated into groups and took a zodiac cruise, with a 15 minute stop on a small beach. The main penguin species were chinstrap but a few macaroni penguins were hopping among them.

chinstrap penguin

chinstrap penguin

two macaroni penguins

two macaroni penguins

The macaroni’s interesting features are an orange crest that connects in the middle, red eyes, and an orange beak. The macaroni penguin comes by its name from the nickname given to the hats with a feather on them, think of the song Yankee Doodle “he stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni” like the macaroni penguins’ crest.

Macaroni penguin shaking off water

Macaroni penguin shaking off water

macaroni penguin with rock in beak

macaroni penguin with rock in beak

This was the first day we saw elephant seals (by the way, that’s why the island is called Elephant Island, because that is what the discoverer of the island saw…elephant seals and incidentally, if you look at a map of the island, it sort of looks like the head of an elephant).

Elephant seal male pup winking

Elephant seal male pup winking

Pintado petrels were in the hundreds and the small Wilson’s storm petrels were hopping above the water in among the crowds of petrels as they flew from one section of ocean to another. To add to the excitement, a penguin had died (or was killed) and all the petrels were scrambling to get piece of it, as well as other species of petrel. The Pintado petrels were like piranhas and they were loud.

Pintada petrels eating penguin remains

Pintada petrels eating penguin remains

Wilson's storm petrel

Wilson's storm petrel

Pintada petrel taking off

Pintada petrel taking off

Wilson's storm petrel hopping on water

Wilson's storm petrel hopping on water

Pintada petrels taking off

Pintada petrels taking off

The hotel department provided hot chocolate on our zodiac cruise by sending out a zodiac with hot chocolate and alcoholic fixings. The zodiac they used had a flag waving above that said “Hot Choco” in red.

The Hot Choco Pirates

The Hot Choco Pirates

The funny thing today was that many of the penguins seemed to be very clumsy. First we saw a chinstrap slip and fall on a cliff face, another chinstrap kept on slipping into the ocean because of the waves, and a macaroni penguin slid off a steep rock face after desperately trying to stay up right, and splashed into the ocean. My mom was putting into the little virtual speech bubbles above their heads “I meant to do that”.

 

Drake Passage, Feb 12, 2010

February 13th, 2010 at 9:16 pm (AST) by Krystyana Richter

I have not recently posted anything for the blog, but I thought had gotten some great shots of birds and killer whales and my dad is trying very hard not use many of my photos, so I might as well show them. This for the showing of some great photos but also for birds we actually saw, identified and got photos of on our first full day on the boat.

Southern Giant-Petrel

Southern Giant-Petrel

My mom, Bas, and I were sitting in the lounge of the National Geographic Explorer and listening to a lecture about the different species of sea birds we would be seeing as we head to Antarctica (not including penguins), which was given by Tom Ritchie. We got as far as the Cormorant, after hearing about the Petrels and the Albatross along with photos, when we heard the announcement over the speakers…”We have just spotted killer whales off the starboard bow” I immediately grabbed my bag and took my camera out. Bas and I headed to the bow of the ship with mom close behind. I heard yells and saw pointing fingers in the direction of the killer whales, and so, I immediately started snapping photos of the killer whales with my camera, zoomed in as far as it could go. The ship started turning into the direction of the killer whales to get closer to them.

Killer whale with mist from their spray hovering above

Killer whale with mist from their spray hovering above

Whoops…had to go for a few minutes. My mom and I just saw Humpback Whales off the back of the ship! Bas and my dad did not see it but I got a few photos of the whales. It’s actually Feb 13 as I write this.

So, continuing…When the killer whales were submerged, it gave me enough time to get some shots of birds. My mom had offered to get my parka and gloves so I could keep on shooting and so she had left to get it. By the time she came back with the warm clothing, my hands were stiff and cold, but I sure did appreciate the parka and gloves when they came. The killer whales were not really cooperating when my parka arrived and they kept appearing for pictures, so I kept on taking photos while my brother helped me put on my parka.

Wandering Albatross butt

Wandering Albatross butt

I managed to get photos of: Wandering albatross, Wilson’s storm petrel, Southern Giant-Petrel, Black browed albatross, and of course, the killer whales.

Black-browed Albatross

Black-browed Albatross

Wilson's storm-petrel

Wilson's storm-petrel

Of the killer whales, one of the adults had a mangled dorsal fin and 2/3 of its fin was bent over. There were two calves and two adults.

Three Killer Whales with One having a Mangled Dorsal fin

Three Killer Whales with One having a Mangled Dorsal fin

The lecture did not continue after the interruption and we were told that we new enough of the basic information.

Feb. 13
This morning, we saw Chinstrap penguins and Southern bottle-nosed whales (I did not actually see the whales). I did get some photos of the penguins as they were porpoising, or basically jumping in out of the water while heading towards wherever they are going and they were sort of zigzagging. And the Humpback whales…

Humpback Whales off the stern of the ship

Humpback Whales off the stern of the ship

Chinstrap penguins

Chinstrap penguins

Other pictures can be seen on Flickr at a later date when we actually have a strong internet to upload them.