Sunday, 17 February 2013

Antarctica highlights.

I have recently made a visit to the Antarctic peninsula on board the Academic Sergey Vavilov. It was stunning and no words and certainly my photos cannot do the white continent justice.
 One highlight was a group of 4 Strap- toothed beaked whales in the south of the Drake passage, where we had the joy of having to' heave to' into a storm and spent an extra day fighting our way to the South Shetlands.
 We had 4 Penguin species including these porpoising Gentoos.
 Five Leopard seals were seen aswell as Crabeater and Weddell.
 I also managed to find two beautiful Snow Petrels amongst the icebergs of the Gerlache strait and the Lemaire channel.

 One undoubted treat was spending a night on the continent. A one man bivy and sleeping bag being the only comfort as we attempted to keep warm to the sound of calving glaciers and avalanches.
A morning in Tierra del Fuego N.P. produced a family of Magellenic Woodpeckers as well as 4 Andean Condors.
 A pod of 3 Peale's dolphins charged in to bow ride.
 A resting Leopard seal.
 At least 40 Humpbacks were seen over the course of the trip.
I am now definitely a fan of Icebergs!

Saturday, 16 February 2013


A sleeping female Pintail. Easy to over look.
Dave Wright did very well to spot this female Pintail that was quietly resting with a pair of Mallard today. This species is not often recorded away from the larger reservoirs such as Rutland and Eyebrook so a good find. Other recent additions to the local patch list have included a female Brambling coming to next doors feeder and a Water Rail near the wooden bridge. A pair of Kingfishers and a pair of Little Owl are indications that the breeding cycle is commencing.