Bird Island
       
     
Clouds rolling in
       
     
Ice on the jetty
       
     
View from the top
       
     
Bird Island
       
     
Bird Island

This is my favourite view on Bird Island. It's from the peak of Stejneger Peak, better known as Tonk. It's only 209m and about 30 minutes from base but climbing it requires a steep ascent up a rocky slope followed by a walk along a narrow ledge, one side of which drops down almost straight to sea level. It's not one to be attempted on windy or icy days.

At the peak there is a VHF repeater station that transmits our radio calls around the island so we can maintain contact when lone working. Looking back you get great views over to the northern mountains of the South Georgia mainland across Bird Sound. At 356m La Roche, the tallest peak on Bird Island, stands high out and looking down it you follow Wanderer Ridge, where the bulk of teh wandering albatross studies take place, down to the station, hidden at the top of the beach above Freshwater Bay. Across Jordan Cove you come to Main Bay, a favourite haul-out spot for leopard seals, and then at the bottom right of the picture is Square Pond, which in summer is full of gentoo penguins.

 

Location: Bird Island, South Georgia. Date: 5th September 2014. Camera: Canon 7D with 11-16mm Tokina lens @ 11mm. 1/400 sec, f/9.0, ISO 100.

Clouds rolling in
       
     
Clouds rolling in

From the top of Bird Islands highest peak, the 356m La Roche, looking down toward Jordan Cove where the British Antarctic Survey's research station is located.

Taken in December, when the island is generally free of ice and snow. The tussack grass and moss is at its greenest and dotted with white where the wandering albatrosses are building their nests.

In the distance are the nearby Willis Islands, the most northerly part of South Georgia, and beyond that nothing but the Atlantic Ocean.

 

Location: Bird Island, South Georgia. Date: 8th December 2015. Camera: Canon 7D with 17-70mm Sigma lens @ 17mm and ND4 grad filter. 1/250sec, f/10, ISO 200.

Ice on the jetty
       
     
Ice on the jetty

After a windy night at the start of winter we awoke to find our bay full of ice from a broken up iceberg. The jetty had taken a fair battering with big bergy bits bashing up against it, bending the scaffold frame and dislodging planks. It was also covered, in places knee deep, in smaller chunks of ice.

 

Location: Bird Island, South Georgia, South Atlantic Ocean. Date: 19th April 2016. Camera: GoPro Hero4, 3mm. 1/120 sec, f/2.8, ISO 122.

View from the top
       
     
View from the top

From the peak of the island's highest point, the 356m La Roche, the west side of the island feels remarkably small and compact.

The twin bays of Jordan Cove hold the research station (centre bottom of the pic) along with beaches full of penguins and fur seals during summer but largely empty at this time of year. The sheer cliffs up to Tonk and beyond it Molly Hill mark the centre ridge of Bird Island while hidden behind these peaks are the meadows and beaches where many more albatross, petrels, penguins and seals breed.

 

Location: Bird Island, South Georgia. Date: 19th May 2013. Camera: Canon 7D with 50mm Canon lens. 1/200 sec, f/5.0, ISO 100.