A Travellerspoint blog

Day 8: The most beautiful place in the world


snow 28 °F

Today, the Coral Princess completed her final approach to the outer Antarctic Islands. I was out birding around 9am, and like most days, found that there was a decent turnover in the pelagic species. Most of the Giant Petrels had left, and in their place were dozens of CAPE PETRELS:

And my life bird LIGHT-MANTLED ALBATROSS gave absolutely stunning views. These can be separated from the similar Sooty Albatross by their contrasting pale coloration on the back:

Icebergs are becoming more and more numerous as we continue to plug south, closer to the heart of Antarctica! But wait...what are those dots on the berg? Hmm...

Why, of course CHIN-STRAPPED & GENTOO PENGUINS! Classic example of Antarctica’s birdlife! The Chin-strapped were lifers for me!

They “porpoise” through the water, swimming underwater and then diving out in short spurts that are fickle for photographers trying to capture their playful character.

And oh, the scenery. Like NOTHING I’ve ever seen before. Possibly the most beautiful in the world:

Lifer #3 was the SOUTHERN FULMAR, many of these were seen today:

And #4 was the ANTARCTIC TERN:

One amazing sighting today was of my life bird SNOWY SHEATHBILL, a pigeon-like bird that I saw through one of the other birder’s scopes on the far cliffs. I was SO happy to see this bird nevertheless — it was one of my goals for this trip! Unfortunately, no photos of that beauty!

Bird-of-the-day to the Light-mantled Albatross with runner-up to the Snowy Sheathbill: some amazing Antarctic specialties!!!

Warning: during the next few days, wifi may be extremely patchy due to limited satellite coverage, so you may or may not be hearing me during the next few days. (that is also why I included so few photos)

Good birding,
World Life List: 1046 Species (5 life birds today)

Posted by skwclar 15:15 Archived in Antarctica

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Nice light with those landscapes. I am trying , just off hand to remember the name of the bird that the New Zealanders nicknames " Mutton " bird; an important food for them back in the day !

by steve fluett

Unbelievable shots! Unbelievable scenery.
Trip of a lifetime, you lucky Penguin!

by Kim

So many birds, so little time! How many bird books do you have with you Henry, or are you using phone apps? Beautiful scenery too, perhaps you could do a slide show when you’re in Sun Valley next fall.

by Poo

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