Sunday, January 30, 2011

Emperor Penguins!

Up until today, I had never been closer than a half mile to
an Emporer Penguin. Today, I was much closer than that!
There are 13 Emperors just off the Pegasus Field road that
have been hanging out there for the past ten days or so.
Our friend and co-worker, Gid from Scott Base offered the
Air Services team a sort of end of season thank you trip to
go out and see the penguins. Lynn got to go as well so the
trip was that much better.

I was amazed at how they had no fear of us at all. Of course
we couldn't get too close because of regulations but they
really just saw us as big red penguins.

I learned something about their...well, let's just say
Number 2 habits. I know this sounds gross, but when it is
pink, they are eating krill and other small sea animals.
When it is green (like it was in the area surrounding all
13 of them) that means they are living off their own internal
fat. I believe that, because they were miles from any open
water at all and have been at this very spot for a while now,
not heading back to the sea.

This guy looks like he/she is wearing a shawl, but it's really
just it's feathers from being a youngster. It will look like
the others after the rest of these feathers moult.

I loved zooming in with my camera on this guy. He was so
uncaring or maybe oblivious to my presence he just ignored
me while I was giving him his shot at greatness! "I'm ready
for my closeup, Mr. De Mille".

We had a great time and it was fun to get everyone together
one last time before things start winding down for the season.
Add that to the fact that we had the opportunity to see such
a magnificent group of birds made it extra special!

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