A myriad of birds on a calm Antarctic evening

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This week at Davis: 24 February 2012

One of the highlights for the Davis folk is the pleasure of going boating on a calm afternoon to check out the nearby icebergs. But for me, the best thing about the trip was the feathered folk of Antarctica going about their daily lives. First we came across two giant petrels and several Wilson storm petrels in a feeding frenzy – but in harmony. Wilson storm petrels are a difficult bird to photograph but we were lucky enough to see them hovering with the illusion of walking on water. Then one of the giant petrels sluggishly ran across the water to become air borne and then fly around us. We also marvelled at the athletic prowess of the ice mountaineering adelie penguins perched high on huge icebergs – including a magnificent marine evolved jade coloured iceberg. These little penguins would have scored the perfect ten at any Olympic games with their incredible diving performance from height. Numerous ice flows meandered aimlessly in the ocean currents and subtle breeze with clever hitchhiking adelie’s catching the last rays of sunshine and preening coats prior to their porpoise imitation swim back to the island rookery retreat. Not to be out done an Antarctic fulmar glided by the IRB’s as the generous boating crew with hand on the tiller headed to Davis with ecstatic passengers and thousands of digital images. What a pleasure – and the icebergs were fantastic too.

Giant petrel and Wilsons storm petrels feeding.
Giant petrel and Wilsons storm petrels feeding

(Photo: Ray Morris)

Wilson storm petrel walking on the water.
Wilson storm petrel walking on the water

(Photo: Ray Morris)

Giant petrel becoming airbourne.
Giant petrel becoming airbourne

(Photo: Ray Morris)

Adelie penguins on a jade coloured iceberg.
Adelie penguins on jade berg

(Photo: Ray Morris)

Boats out at Davis
IRB tour of Antarctica

(Photo: Ray Morris)

Adelie penguins diving off an iceberg.
Adelie penguin diving off an iceberg

(Photo: Ray Morris)

Adelie penguins drifting on and ice raft.
Adelie penguins drifting on and ice raft

(Photo: Ray Morris)

Antarctic fulmar flying low.
Antarctic fulmar flying low

(Photo: Ray Morris)

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This page was last modified on 24 February 2012.