Antarctic Fox
The log of Rachel and Kevin Fox's trip to the Antarctic Peninsula in the Summer of 2008-9
Day 10: Hannah Point Part 1: The Birds
January 4 - Hannah Point, Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands, the Antarctic Peninsula

After our amazing experience with the whales we zipped over to Livingston Island, which had been our destination when we had been getting dressed just 40 minutes ago. Livingston Island hadn't been on our original agenda but our weather had been so incredible that Tim and Rob and Captain Martin had been able to show us more than most visitors got to see in the time we were spending there, so the night before when they asked what we still wanted to see, I (Rachel) said "Elephant seals!", and so we diverted a bit and now here we were. However Livingston Island has more than just Elephant seals. We got to see three species of penguin all nesting together, including one species we hadn't yet seen. And we got to see the amazing Giant Petrels!!

Livingston Island, as part of the South Shetland Islands, is more north than the Antarctic peninsula. It has more rocky land with less snow and ice cover, and generally has (comparatively) milder climates, and so plays host to a greater variety of wildlife. One thing you don't normally think about, but in several of the pictures you'll notice red or green lichen and mosses in small patches on the rocks. Further south there's no moss and very, very little lichen (it can take a century to grow an inch), so even going north this small distance, you can see the effects it has on the local ecology.

We got so many good shots on this excursion that we've split it in to two parts. The first one details the various penguins and chicks, and the second is all about the Elephant seals, so check it out, and stay tuned!

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Here We Come

Here We Come - This penguin parent is leading it's chicks on a feeding chase. When the chicks get to be this size both parents have to go to sea to get enough food to feed them. The chicks huddle up on the shore and wait for their parents to come home with food. In order to know which chicks belong to it, the parent will call out and the chicks will similarly call back when they recognize the parents call. That however is not enough, the parent also leads it's chicks on a bit of a chase to make sure that these chicks are commited to it. Now, if you want to believe that everything is always good for natures' babies, stop reading right here. The second reason for the chase is because two adult penguins are really only capable of rearing one chick to full maturity, but generally have two chicks to hedge their bets. Often one chick will fall to some preditor, but the chase also insure that the stronger faster chick (the one most likely to survive the harsh whether they live in), is always fed first. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Larry, Curely & Fuzzbucket

Larry, Curely & Fuzzbucket - But you know, his friends call him Moe! Baby Gentoo Penguins. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Now Don't Be Obvious, But There Is This Odd Thing Behind You... I SAID DON'T LOOK!!

Now Don't Be Obvious, But There Is This Odd Thing Behind You... I SAID DON'T LOOK!! - Two adolecent penguin chicks hanging out on Elephant Island. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Yum Yum

Yum Yum - A good view of the slightly digested krill that the adult penguin is feeding to its chick. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Two cute

Two cute - even as baby chicks, those beaks look like they've got some serious history. Also: AWWW. - Photo by Kevin Fox
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Me first! Me first!

Me first! Me first! - Two chicks (nearly) tie in the race for food. See how eager the right chick is? Just look at his happy feet. - Photo by Kevin Fox
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The Emissary

The Emissary - Welcome martian, I bring greetings from my people! One gentoo penguin bravely approaching me to figure out what I am. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Rookery With A View

Rookery With A View - View atop a hill of Elephant Island in the South Shetlands. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Castle In The Clouds

Castle In The Clouds - Gentoo and chinstrap penguins raising their chicks on a hill on Elephant Island. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Traffic

Traffic - "Don't Stare Gert." "But their plumage is all Red! How do they hide from the seals?" "All I know is they are using our road, and I don't like it." Gentoo penguins heading for the ocean. - Photo by Rachel Lea Fox
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Read the next chapter: Day 10: Hannah Point Part 2: Elephant Seals


Table of Contents:

Introduction: Telling the Story posted Jan 10, 2009

Day 0: Positioning posted Jan 12, 2009

Leaving, on a jet plane posted Jan 12, 2009

Day 1: The Herc posted Jan 15, 2009

Day 1: Penguino posted Jan 16, 2009

Day 2: Chicken posted Jan 17, 2009

Day 2: Leopard posted Jan 19, 2009

Day 2: Snow Day posted Jan 22, 2009

Day 2: Shipwreck posted Jan 26, 2009

Day 2: Totally Tabular posted Jan 27, 2009

Day 3: Gentoo Cute posted Jan 29, 2009

Day 3: Lichen Shag Glacier posted Feb 3, 2009

Day 3: Palmer Station Visit posted Feb 9, 2009

Day 4: Icy Penguins posted Feb 11, 2009

Day 4: Adelie Awesome posted Feb 15, 2009

Day 4: Leopard Seal Attack posted Feb 17, 2009

Day 4: Kayak posted Feb 19, 2009

Day 4: Vernadsky Station Visit posted Feb 23, 2009

Day 4: Vernadsky Sunset posted Feb 25, 2009

Day 5: Antarctic Circle posted Feb 27, 2009

Day 5: Polar Plunge posted Mar 5, 2009

Day 5: Mouth of The Gullet posted Mar 13, 2009

Day 5: Ice Camping posted Mar 18, 2009

Day 6: Flamingos on Ice posted Mar 20, 2009

Day 6: Mountain Climbing posted Mar 24, 2009

Day 6: Ice Textures posted Mar 26, 2009

Day 6: Antarctic New Years posted Apr 2, 2009

Day 7: Crystal Sound Icebreaker posted Apr 9, 2009

Day 7: Abandoned Antarctica: Base W - Part 1 posted Apr 17, 2009

Day 7: Abandoned Antarctica: Base W - Part 2 posted Apr 21, 2009

Day 8: Bird Watching in the Fish Islands posted Apr 23, 2009

Day 8: Icee Day - Part 1 posted May 5, 2009

Day 8: Icee Day - Part 2 posted May 11, 2009

Day 9: Port Lockroy - Base A posted May 20, 2009

Bonus Chapter: Baby Penguins! posted May 21, 2009

Day 9: Antarctic Humpback Whales posted June 3, 2009

Day 9: Dallmann Butt Sliding posted June 11, 2009

Day 10: Birthday Whales posted June 23, 2009

» Day 10: Hannah Point Part 1: The Birds posted July 15, 2009

Day 10: Hannah Point Part 2: Elephant Seals posted July 22, 2009

Day 10: Deception Island - Part 1: Walking on the Moon posted Dec 11, 2009

Day 10: Deception Island - Part 2: The Martian Chronicles of Oz posted Dec 15, 2009

Day 11: Emperor Penguins posted Jan 8, 2010

Day 12: Black and White and Pink All Over posted Aug 4, 2011

More chapters posted every few days...



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