Adelie penguins by the icy sea – Antarctica, 2020

Adelie penguins by the icy sea.In the cool evening light we landed on Torgensen Island having pushed our way through the ice to get ashore. Adelie penguins were scattered around the beach. Some were heading out to fish whilst others arrived leaping from the sea and heading to the colony. The cloud formations were lovely as was the sound of the gentle lapping of waves on the stoney beach.

Adelie penguins are perhaps everyone’s idea of the archetypal penguin with its black and white plumage and conspicuous white eye ring. Adelie penguins stand up to 70cm tall and weigh up to 8kg. Along with the Emperor Penguin it is the most southerly distributed of all the penguins and is found along the entire coast of Antarctica. They lay two eggs which are incubated for 32-37 days and the chicks fledge after 41-64 days. Both adults incubate and feed the chicks which after 2-3 weeks join creches which allows both parents to to feed.

Torgersen Island is a small rocky island lying just east of Litchfield Island. It is at the entrance to Arthur Harbor, off the south-west coast of Anvers Island in the Palmer archipelago of Antarctica. It was surveyed by the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey in 1955 and named for Torstein Torgersen, first mate of the Harbor in late February 1955.