Friday, February 09, 2007
While waiting to watch the American Tern leave the
Ice Pier, we noticed penguins off of Hut Point. Not
only were they penguins, they were Emperor Penguins!
I'd never seen Emperors down here so I bundled up
and off I walked to the point. It was darn cold. Our
friend Antz, who takes great photographs, was there
clicking away and it was really windy. But there
they were. About a 1/4 mile away, 13 Emperors
just hanging out on the ice. I took my binoculars
so I could see them fairly close up. I was amazed
how yellow they looked.
Just this side of the penguins, a Minke Whale was
patrolling the waters. I'd never been this close to a
whale of any kind in the wild so it was a big thrill.
It kept diving, surfacing and blowing water through
it's vent, all the time keeping pretty close to the
ice edge. Although the Minkes don't eat Penguins,
I'm guessing the Penguins weren't in any hurry to
leave their safe spot on the ice while this guy was in
Lastly, I saw a couple of Weddell Seals playing
and hanging around the Point. I've seen hundreds
of seals here but never any swimming. They seemed
to be pretty shy, as they would come out once they
thought I was gone. After a while, they got used to
human company and continued swimming around.
The water is super clear and the blueness of the Ice
was really evident in the very cold water.
I felt like I was on a mini-safari tonight. One that
many people would pay tens of thousands of
dollars to see. I just had to walk to Hut Point.
The only animal left to see this year would be an
Orca. Still plenty of time left in the season...
Posted by Tom Hamann at 3:16 PM