web analytics

Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Antarctic Recap

ND4_7463

Southern fur seals and King penguin in snow at Cooper Bay, South Georgia

It has been a few years that I made a trip to Antarctica and South Georgia in December.  This time I noticed the amount of snowfalls we had during the two trips the end of November and in December.  Taking to scientists Dr. Roger Hewitt and Professor Chuck Kennicutt the weather pattern have changed.  With the warming of Antarctica and the Sub-Antarctic islands, the air can hold more moisture and more snow is falling.  As a result of more snow, penguins are not able to built their nets and lay the eggs as early as they used to do.  In the 1970’s and through the early 1990’s I saw Adelie penguins hatching the beginning of December – now they hatch much later.  The question is how this will effect the penguins in the long run….

ND4_0735

Adelie penguins in snowfall at Hope Bay on November 27

ND4_0918

Gentoo penguins on Cuverville Island with their nest site still covered with snow on November 29th.  In the past they would incubate their eggs or have small chicks at this time.

ND4_1169

A few Gentoo penguins are incubating on November 30th on a snow free patch at Yankee Harbour.

ND4_8323 

Elephant seals in snow at Grytviken, South Georgia

ND4_8326

The remains of the whaling station at Grytviken, South Georgia in heavy snow fall

 

ND4_8517ND4_8524

King penguins at Salisbury Plain, South Georgia in snow fall

Posted on January 4th, 2014 by Wolfgang Kaehler  |  No Comments »

Dec. 31 At Sea with the Wandering Albatrosses

ND4_9563

Since my first trip to Antarctica in 1977, I was always fascinated by the albatrosses flying behind the ship when crossing the waters between South America and Antarctica, the Falklands or South Georgia.  There were dozens of them and it was easy to photograph them because of their high numbers.  Since 1977 I have made the crossing 54 times and this year it was different: we almost saw no albatrosses.  There were a few Black-browed albatrosses, two or three Grey-headed albatrosses and finally on our way back from South Georgia to Montevideo the ship was followed by 2, sometimes 3 Wandering albatrosses.

ND4_9512

I love when a Wandering albatross comes close to the ship and you get an idea how big they are.  Adults can have a wingspan of almost 12 feet.

ND4_9424

I can watch them for hours.  A Wandering albatross is gliding over the water without flapping the wings, just using the wind to fly.

Upcoming Photo tours:  Iguassu Falls March 2014, Botswana June 2014, Pantanal September 2014, Alaska 2015, Svalbard (Spitsbergen Polar bears) 2015; in planning Antarctica

Posted on January 2nd, 2014 by Wolfgang Kaehler  |  No Comments »

Dec. 30: Salisbury Plain, South Georgia

ND4_8469

I was surprised seeing the King penguin colony at Salisbury Plain in South Georgia.  The colony expanded dramatically and almost reached the beach (photo above).  My last visit was in 2006 and we were able to walk around on the sides of the colony in order to climb the hill to get overviews of the original colony.  Now the way was blocked with birds incubating their eggs.  It is estimated that there are now about 60,000+ penguins.

SOUTH GEORGIA, KING PENGUIN COLONY WITH MOUNTAINS IN THE BACKGROUND KING PENGUINS INCUBATING EGGS

The King penguin colony on the hillside in 1978.  The flats below was not covered with breeding penguins.

SOUTH GEORGIA, SALISBURY PLAIN, KING PENGUIN COLONY, OVERVIEW WITH TUSSOCK GRASS AND MOUNTAINS

In 1993 you can see that the King penguins are starting to spread onto the flats below the hillside.  There is still empty space of about 1/3 mile between the colony and the beach.

SOUTH GEORGIA ISLAND, SALISBURY PLAIN, KING PENGUIN COLONY, VIEW OF BIRDS INCUBATING EGG

A view down onto incubating King penguins.

Upcoming Photo tours:  Iguassu Falls March 2014, Botswana June 2014, Pantanal September 2014, Alaska 2015, Svalbard (Spitsbergen Polar bears) 2015

Posted on January 1st, 2014 by Wolfgang Kaehler  |  No Comments »

Dec. 29, Grytviken–Wildlife and Rust

ND4_7892

We woke up to a beautiful morning: not a cloud in the sky and a great view of the old whaling station of Grytviken, which stopped operation in December of 1964

ND4_8011ND4_8295

The weather changed from sun to snow.  Young Elephant seals practicing the sparing; and a Antarctic fur seal is protecting his territory in the snowfall .

ND4_8029ND4_8162ND4_8441

Whale catchers are rusting away as the whaling station

ND4_8331

ND4_8325

ND4_8403ND4_8422

ND4_8430ND4_8192

The church from 1913 and its library

Upcoming Photo tours:  Iguassu Falls March 2014, Botswana June 2014, Pantanal September 2014, Alaska 2015, Svalbard(Spitsbergen Polar bears) 2015

Posted on December 29th, 2013 by Wolfgang Kaehler  |  No Comments »

Dec. 28: Cooper Bay & Drygalski Fjord, South Georgia

ND4_7491

Cooper Bay

ND4_7472

Macaroni penguins on rocks in Cooper Bay

ND4_7463

Antarctic Fur seals in heavy snow fall in Cooper Bay

ND4_7576

Antarctic Fur seals on beach in Cooper Bay

ND4_7818

Seabourn Quest in Drygalski Fjord

Posted on December 28th, 2013 by Wolfgang Kaehler  |  No Comments »

Dec. 26 and 27: At Sea in the Scotia Sea

Cornwallis Island is an island 1 mile (1.6 km) long, which lies 5 miles (8 km) northeast of the east end of Elephant Island, in the South Shetland Islands

After two days without the internet, it started this evening to work again.  Yesterday on our way to South Georgia, we passed Cornwallis Island, a island 1 mile (1.6 km) long, which lies 5 miles (8 km) northeast of the east end of Elephant Island, in the South Shetland Islands 

ND4_7382

A Cape petrel is gliding through the evening sky

ND4_7411

Sunset over the Scotia Sea

Posted on December 27th, 2013 by Wolfgang Kaehler  |  No Comments »

Dec. 25: Cuverville Island, Antarctica

ND4_7029

We arrived at Cuverville Island and to our surprise Santa Claus was greeting the Seabourn Quest and wished all of us a Merry Christmas

ND4_7051ND4_7042

Cuverville Island is home to a Gentoo penguin colony

ND4_7054ND4_7063

It was warm on Cuverville Island and I took my fur hat off which I bought in Buenos Aires before my first trip to Antarctica in 1977.  A skua came and inspected it: it looks furry – maybe I can eat it.  I quickly grabbed it and my hat was safe.

ND4_7072

Skua with Gentoo penguins in background

Posted on December 25th, 2013 by Wolfgang Kaehler  |  No Comments »

Dec. 24: Gonzales Videla, Paradise Bay, Antarctica

ND4_6470

Christmas decorations on the Seabourn Quest

ND4_6509

Gentoo penguin colony at the Chilean station Gonzales Videla, Paradise Bay, Antarctica

Leucism (occasionally spelled leukism) is a general term for the phenotype resulting from defects in pigment cell differentiation and/or migration from the neural crest to skin, hair, or feathers during development. This results in either the entire surface (if all pigment cells fail to develop) or patches of body surface (if only a subset are defective) having a lack of cells capable of making pigment.

Lucistic Gentoo penguin (a defect in pigment cell differentiation)

ND4_6816

Algae and ice

Posted on December 25th, 2013 by Wolfgang Kaehler  |  No Comments »

Dec. 23: Antarctic Sound & Hope Bay

ND4_5785

Antarctic Sound at 4 am

ND4_5989

Zodiac excursion at Hope Bay with Adelie Penguins on ice floe

ND4_6012

Adelie Penguin

ND4_6080

Adelie Penguins

ND4_6179

Adelie Penguins

ND4_6296

Adelie Penguins

ND4_6372

Adelie Penguins going to sea

Posted on December 23rd, 2013 by Wolfgang Kaehler  |  No Comments »

Dec. 22, Yankee Harbour, Greenwich Island

ND4_4898

Early morning view from Yankee Harbour towards Livingston Island

Nikon D4, 200-400mm lens, 1/800s F 5.6

ND4_5521

Gentoo penguin colony at Yankee Harbour

Nikon D4, 70-200mm lens, 1/640s F 6.3

ND4_5074ND4_5326ND4_5479

Gentoo penguins at Yankee Harbour

Nikon D4, 200-400mm lens

Posted on December 23rd, 2013 by Wolfgang Kaehler  |  No Comments »