Peninsula Antarctica continued...

by Anonymous (not verified) on

Ben and Tom continue their journey along the Antarctic Peninsula, encountering frenetic penguins, and have the experience of a lifetime with two humpback whales…

For the second half of our trip, we move north through the peninsula islands of Danco and Cuverville, with continent landings at Neko and Orne Harbours.  The weather continues to hold and we are fortunate to have bright sunshine and very little wind. It makes for easy work setting out the rest of our camera array (it’s all so much easier when the wind isn’t blowing at 40 knots), and great views of the penguins (mostly gentoo and chinstrap towards this end of the peninsula).

Many of this season’s penguin chicks are getting ready to fledge, so are quite big by this stage.  The parents are making daily trips to sea catching krill, and returning to feed hungry chicks.  Having identified their offspring, a food chase ensues; penguin pandemonium as the chick hurtles down the beach after the parent. A packet of krill, held in the crop while the parent swims back to the colony, is the regurgitated reward for the persistent chick.

On our last day on the peninsula before we take the journey across the Drake Passage back port in Ushuaia, we encounter what turn out to be two extremely curious humpback whales.  They approach us, and spend a good couple of hours just checking out the strange looking people in the zodiacs, spy-hopping, diving under the boats, and at one stage even nudging the boats along.  We spend the time drifting with the engine cut, completely spell-bound at the size and control of these extremely graceful marine mammals.  It’s a fitting end to our trip, and we head back to Ushuaia, where Ben heads back to the UK. Gemma, an MSc student from the University of Southampton will join Tom for the final trip of the season.

 

Select a blog

Careers at ZSL

Our people are our greatest asset and we realise our vision for a world where wildlife thrives through their ideas, skills and passion. An inspired, informed and empowered community of people work, study and volunteer together at ZSL.

Nature at the heart of global decision making

At ZSL, a key area of our work is the employment of Nature-based Solutions – an approach which both adapt to and mitigates the impacts of climate change. These Solutions, which include habitat protection and restoration, are low-cost yet high-impact, and provide multiple benefits to people and wildlife. We ensure that biodiversity recovery is at the heart of nature-based solutions. 

ZSL London Zoo

A blog for lovers of ZSL London Zoo, bringing you extraordinary animal facts and exclusive access to the world's oldest scientific zoo.

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Do you love wildlife? Discover more about our amazing animals at the UK's biggest zoo!

Conservation

We're working around the world to conserve animals and their habitats, find out more about our latest achievements.

Science

From the field to the lab, catch up with the scientists on the cutting edge of conservation biology at ZSL’s Institute of Zoology.

Education

A day in Discovery and Learning at ZSL is never dull! The team tell us all about the exciting sessions for school children, as well as work further afield.

Artefact of the month

Every month, one of the pieces held in ZSL’s Library and at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo will feature here as Artefact of the Month.

Wild About

Read testimonials from our Members and extracts from ZSL's award winning members' magazine, Wild About.

Chagos Expedition

The Chagos archipelago is a rare haven for marine biodiversity. Hear from the team about our projects to protect the environments in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT).

Asia Conservation Programme

ZSL works across Asia, from the famous national parks of Nepal to marine protected areas in the Philippines. Read the latest updates on our conservation.

Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation

An Open Access journal for research at the interface of remote sensing, ecology and conservation.