Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands

all photos by Brian Patteson; no use w/o permission

Adelie Penguins are one of three species of Pygoscelids also known as brush-tailed penguins.

Adelie Penguins are adapted to cold conditions, with a feathering at the base of the bill for less heat loss.

This Adelie Penguin chick was photographed at Petermann Island, where there is a small colony.

Older chicks sport a mohawk.  Evidence of a krill rich diet can be seen here.

The Antarctic Shag or Cormorant was previously considered a subspecies of Blue-eyed Shag.

Brown Skuas nest along the Peninsula, but farther south there are only South Polar Skuas.

The nesting distribution of Brown Skua is closely tied to penguin colonies.

Chinstrap Penguins are often found nesting on volcanic islands, like Deception Island here.

Chinstrap Penguin chicks are lighter colored than Adelies; this could make them less visible to skuas.

The Kelp Gull is the only gull nesting in Antarctica.

There are some large colonies of Gentoo Penguins on the Peninsula, and with large numbers there is a chance to see variants like this leucistic bird.

Heat rises up from underfoot at the old whaling station ruins at Deception Island.

Chinstrap Penguins keep a sharp eye out for the egg stealing Sheathbill, the only bird in Antarctica without webbed feet.

At Petermann Island, a Brown Skua stands among South Polars for an ID comparison.  Because of their size and strength, Brown Skuas are more efficient penguin predators than South Polars, which feed more at sea.

One of the iconic Antarctic seabirds is the lovely Snow Petrel.

The predatory Southern Giant Petrel seems anything but lovely.

Skuas have a sexual size dimorphism like hawks.  Here the female South Polar incubates the eggs.

Killer Whales are found in many areas where there are lots of seals and larger whales.

Humpback Whales can sometimes be seen "bubble-netting."

One of the commonest whales is the Antarctic Minke Whale, but photo ops like this are not frequent.

Weddell Seals, which feed on fish can sometimes be seen resting ashore.

Here are two seals, a Crabeater on the right, which actually feeds on krill, and a Leopard, which feeds on krill, penguins, and other seals.

The scenery in places like the Lemaire Channel is breathtaking.

And no matter how many times, you visit, there is always something different;  icebergs flip over from time to time and reveal interesting shapes.  Also in the Lemaire.