Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Further south in Argentina -- with Penguins

Calm crossing, Cape Horn (Camp 2009)
One of the lasting memories of our trip around the Horn on the Norwegian Sun, was a stop at Punto Tombo, a small peninsula very nearly at the tip of Argentina, where a large colony of Magellanic Penguins make their home.

We took a day trip to Punto Tombo with strict admonitions to stay on the path. To our delight, the birds paid no attention to the signs! 

Stay on the Path! (Camp 2009)
These beautiful penguins burrowed in the dirt and near scrub brush to protect themselves from the incessant wind.

Is this my best side? (Camp 2009)

Momma Penguin with lighter chick (Camp 2009)

At home near the ocean (Camp 2009)

Que vista, baby! (Camp 2009)
What a treat to see them in their natural habitat -- during molting season. The wind was fierce; some of the birds stood, their wings oustretched so that the wind would blow away the feathers. Close to the ocean, these penguins dive right in for their supper -- fish!

Moulting in the wind (Camp 2009)
According to Wikipedia, the birds come here by the thousands in the spring to nest on this rocky beach.

Ponto Tombo (Camp 2009)

When we visited, the birds were calm, seemingly oblivious to the tourists passing by. What do you think?

At the end of the day, we returned to our ship, full of amazement we had been able to see with our own eyes this penguin colony.

Click on any image to see a larger version.
More about Punto Tombo on Wikipedia HERE.
More about Magellanic Penguins HERE.

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