About 20km from the base was an Emperor Penguin colony consisting of thousands of birds. This was a popular destination for day trips and weekends. They are really quite amazing animals. You could lie down on the sea ice and they would actually walk up to you to have a look. This is probably down to their short sightedness and the fact that they seem to think that anything that isn't white must be an Emperor penguin. They shuffle over for a look, eventually decide that you are not a penguin and then shuffle off. With several thousands birds there, another one soon shuffles over for alook. I could sit there all day long, quite content just to watch them do their penguiny things.
The adults regurgitate squid for the chicks. When there is a lot of sea ice, the next meal can take quite a while to turn up.
This one is just trying to figure out whether I am a penguin. I was actually trying to photograph a chick being fed behind it, when it shuffled up to block my view.
This is a very young chick. They sit on the adult's feet, nestling into an area of bare skin to keep warm. This would have been September, when it was still very cold.
Sit a suitable distance away and they crane their necks to get a better view.
These penguins are not in love, they're just looking at each other (there are two chicks, each couple has one).
This will give an idea of how many penguins there were. As it was quite late in the season (The chicks are pretty big here) the colony had spread out into the distance. In winter they shuffle together in one big clump. They then take turns on the outside of the clump. You could see condensed vapour rising off the clump when it was -40C.
This is not a penguin. It is a Snow Petrel. They would fly over the base on the way to/from their breeding grounds and usually you would see them only once as they zoom straight past. I saw this one at the coast while watching penguins and it had the decency to circle around me until I had taken this photo