Sunday, 19 August 2012

Blue winged teal

Just back off holiday (pictures currently being processed), and Sarah Lurcock left a message to say she’d seen my duck flying towards Grytviken. So I headed out with my big lens, and went for a look. Sure enough, within about 250m of leaving base there it was, feeding with a group of South Georgia Pintails in the edge of the water.


Most of the wildlife around here takes little notice of people, the ducks tend to be a little twitchy, although if you stand still and quiet they will still come to within 10m.


Every now and again it would fly 20 or so metres along the shore to catch up with the moving group of pintails, I managed to get a photo, which although not perfectly sharp, does show the blue wing patch very well.


Sunday, 12 August 2012

Odd duck

While we were out filming for the Antarctic 48hr Film festival I spotted a different duck. I managed to get this photo, not great as it was distant and on my compact. But good enough for i.d. My thought of Blue winged teal, was confirmed by a couple of birders in the Falklands, so rather pleased. This could be the second sighting on the island so a good spot. Unfortunately I’ve not seen it again, and I’ve been dragging my 500mm lens and tripod around with me in the hope of a better photo ever since!

Blue winged teal and South Georgia Pintail

While I had my beast of a lens out I took a few other photos. The South Georgia pintail can look a bit ‘boring brown duck’ from a distance, but up close they are quite pretty. They have a lovely little call too, a gently whistle, with an even quieter ‘ziiip’ in it too.

South Georgia Pintail

South Georgia Pintail

Spring must be on it’s way. The Pintail seem to be getting a bit frisky, and the Terns are too. I caught this pair courting with a nice little fish one had caught. I was quite pleased with the snowy background isolating them, and letting the contrast in their plumage show up better.

Antarctic Terns courtship feeding in the snow

Fingers crossed the Blue winged teal will appear again, and until then I’ll carry on hulking my big lens around, even if it doesn’t appear it’s a worthwhile effort.