antarctica

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A promontary on West Point Island in the western Falklands is setting for a surprisingly tolerant mixed nesting colony of rockhopper penguins and black-browed albatrosses
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A black-browed albatross, one bird among more than 2,000 pairs which nest, along with rockhopper penguins, in a natural shoreside bowl on West Point Island in the Falklands
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A pair of rockhopper penguins finds peace among the chaos of nesting albatrosses and penguins at West Point
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Carcass Island in the Western Falklands hosts a wide range of southern ocean birds yet also has landscapes that seem to echo the Scottish highlands
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Houses in the Falkland Islands capital, Stanley, have the suburban air of many an English town. Those daffodils, though, are blooming in November
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A welcome committee of king penguins is there to greet us as we first land in the impressive island of South Georgia
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On a quiet beach on South Georgia island a small group of king penguins ignores somnolent elephant seals
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From 1904 to 1965 Grytviken was a massively murderous whaling station. Now it is better known as the site of explorer Ernest Shackleton's grave
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Elephant seals doze among the relics of Grytviken's whaling station where once they were slaughtered for their rich oil in the hundreds of thousands
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The restored Whalers' Church at Grytviken contains memorials to the whaling station's Norwegian founder and to Ernest Shackleton
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Snow-covered mountains are the dominant feature of South Georgia, extending over the length of the island
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Penguins mass in large numbers in the safety of a South Georgia ocean shore river
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Adding to the huge penguin population already ashore another group of kings arrives from the sea
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Dazzling the eye are both the huge number of penguins and the South Georgia mountains that shelter them
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Sunrise on South Georgia reveals an astonishing vista--literally hundreds of thousands of king penguins
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King penguin chicks at six weeks old wear a fluffy woollen coat that precedes adults' elegant black and white with orange ear patches; they live in a communal crèche
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Still dependent on parental care, "fluffies" need to identify their own mums or dads
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'Hey, mum, it's me,' is what might be inferred from the chick's approach to an apparently indifferent adult
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At least one family unit among the huge horde of penguins has come together: a fortunate chick is fed
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The striking colours and patterns of a king penguin's costume suggest a cunning designer has been at work
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Human visitors to South Georgia not only don't strike fear among the penguins but arouse instead a friendly curiosity
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An orgasmic moment occurs as a male elephant seal, denoted by a jumbo-sized proboscis, clasps a much smaller female in his harem with a mighty flipper
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The pup born to elephant seal parents, fed on its mother's rich milk, becomes a plump and engaging weaner--when it is abandoned to seek its own independence
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Viewed from the sea South Georgia is daunting--yet, in a renowned exploit, Ernest Shackleton and two of his men crossed mountains and glaciers to get help for their stranded shipmates
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The Russian research ship, Akademik Sergey Vavilov, operated by One Ocean Expeditions, was the supremely comfortable base for our Antarctica voyage
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A fine sunset over South Georgia provided a fitting farewell as the ship continued south towards the 'white continent'
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Prion Island, on the way south, is a bird breeding ground; fur seals. not in the least friendly. are present too
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A splendid 7-month-old albatross chick was still in its nest, the parents away, on Prion Island
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How easily different penguin species tolerate each other is clear when three king penguins wander through a gentoo nesting site
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A hilltop in the Antarctic peninsula is a dramatically set 'rookery' to a small colony of gentoo penguins
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It's a long walk home for a gentoo to its own social group way up the hill--a challenge penguins face all the time
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Gentoos have a striking glacier as backdrop to their chosen refuge
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The ocean is rarely far away; it only takes a hop and a skip for a penguin to move from land to water
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Penguins and people are equally minuscule in the context of the Antarctic
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A gentoo penguin makes its way across the snow: a short little creature, wide and perhaps a little unbalanced. Why am I reminded of me?
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A lenticular cloud hangs like a pink zeppelin over South Georgia in the Southern Ocean
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An Antarctic shag poses on an Antarctic iceberg in the Southern Ocean
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Chinstrap penguins in a small Antarctic colony
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Ship passengers in a zodiac are glimpsed through an iceberg's arch in Antarctic waters
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Ice castles, two blue icebergs, rise high in the Antarctic's Southern Ocean
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