Prion Island and Salisbury Plain
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 08 Mar 2022

Prion Island and Salisbury Plain, 3/8/2022, National Geographic Explorer

  • Aboard the National Geographic Explorer
  • Antarctica

This morning, we began our day’s activities with a Zodiac ride around Prion Island. Prion Island is in the Bay of Isles, most of which were named after local seabirds by naturalist Robert Cushman Murphy in 1912. Prion Island itself is of special significance since it is home to a few dozen pairs of nesting wandering albatrosses – the bird with the largest wingspan in the world! In addition, Prion Island has been a refuge for the endemic South Georgia pipit.

 

Our afternoon was spent at the spectacular Salisbury Plain king penguin colony. This colony is South Georgia’s second largest with up to 100,000 breeding pairs. We saw adults incubating eggs or protecting recently hatched chicks on their feet, “oakum boys” (the young penguins with brown down), and many moulting adults. The collective noun that comes to mind is a “chaos” of penguins! The cacophony of sounds, the pungent smell, and the visual overload assault the senses.

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