Photo Gallery: King Penguins of South Georgia

During my three week exploration of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica I often felt like I was participating in a wildlife documentary.  When we landed at Salisbury Plain, the second largest King Penguin Colony in South Georgia, the scene in front of me resembled the penguin version of a Where’s Wally picture and the only thing missing was the narration of David Attenborough.  There were only 35 breeding pairs in this colony a century ago and the increase to 60,000 pairs today is quite extraordinary.

The colony stretched as far as the eye could see and followed a pattern that was only obvious to me when I look at my photographs – the chicks create a snake-line pattern throughout the group.  Newborn chicks are guarded by one parent whilst the other heads off in search of food, travelling up to 400km away.  When the young are old enough they are left with other juveniles so both parents can search for food and in winter months are left alone, rarely feed, as both parents return to the sea.

There were moments on this trip that I wanted to bottle and take home with me, and this was one of them.  It was a magical stage upon which schoolyard antics were performed, chicks and parents called out to each other creating a chirping symphony and the colony stretched across the land like a fluffy carpet.

Below are some of my favourite shots of the awkward looking chicks and juveniles that look weighed down by their light brown exterior and their majestic parents who possess a dignified persona as they strut around with their chests out.

 

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Kellie is a traveller and photographer who is most at home when exploring the world beyond it. Through the intersection of her travel, writing and photography passions, she shares her experiences to inspire others to create there own. The desire to live life instead of existing through it has introduced Kellie to inspirational locations throughout seven continents and from this a passion for landscape and wildlife photography has evolved. She feels a particular connection to the polar regions and Africa. You can see more of her photography at www.kellienetherwoodphotography.com

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