Sunday 29 June 2014

Heading for Greenland

Well, we are just back in Longyearbyen for the day, so a chance to quickly check email and update this blog.  We had a great trip over the last week, with about 8 Polar bears seen, although it was tough work.  The bears have been really hard to find this season, with some trips on other ships apparently not seeing any.  So tough times for them.  We finished the trip yesterday with a really nice relaxed and close bear on land, and then fin and humpback whales feeding at sea in the afternoon, so a really great way to finish the trip.

I don't have a lot of time ashore, so just going to upload a couple of my favourite images from the trip.  I'm spending a bit more time with Lightroom to edit the images and make them really pop, so hopefully they look better here, although I haven't had a chance to work on all of them.  I also spent quite a bit of time again with the Canon 200-400 lens, and really enjoyed using it.  But I have to say the price really is a little out there at the moment, and it is a tough lens to carry in the field when guiding ashore and driving zodiacs (both of which I stuck to using my Canon 400DO).  A big thanks to Susan Seubert for teaching me so much about workflow and Lightroom, and for letting me use the 200-400!

So the next trip with Lindblad Expeditions starting today heads for a few days around Svalbard, then to the East coast of Greenland and then on to Iceland.  Looking forward to exploring more of Greenland as I have not done a lot there, and then getting back to the beautiful Iceland.  More photos to follow!

Black-legged kittiwakes and Northern fulmars feeding in front of a glacier

Purple saxifrage in full flower on the Arctic tundra

Stunning scenery in Hornsund, Svalbard

Shed reindeer antler on the Arctic tundra

Fin whale surfacing with the white right side to the jaw just visible

Stunning light on a Northern fulmar in flight

A group ashore look up the hill to an Arctic fox running beneath bird cliffs

Walking shore on the Arctic tundra with one of the naturalist staff

Inside one of the trappers cabins on Svalbard

Red phalarope taking off from the surface of the water

Reindeer on the Arctic tundra with a group in the background

Reindeer drinking from a small pond on the Arctic tundra

Reflections in a small pool, with hikers and mountains.

Stunning breeding plumage Parasitic jaeger preening

Breeding plumage Parasitic jaeger having a flap

Mother and calf reindeer crossing a stream on the Arctic tundra

Several walrus at a haul out in Svalbard

A polar bear searches for seals in the loose Arctic pack ice

A polar bear lifts itself up to get a better view over a piece of pack ice whilst hunting for seals

Polar bear tracks across the pack ice as the ship breaks through creating a crack

Black-legged kittiwake in flight over a blue sea

Black-legged kittiwake looking up to the sky as it glides past the ship

Black-legged kittiwake plunges into the water to grab a small crustacean from the surface

Arctic pack ice with a piece of blue glacial ice amongst it against a dramatic sky

A small group of Brunnich's guillemots flying over the loose pack ice

A black-legged kittiwake lifts from the surface of the water with a polar cod in its bill

A guest leans on the bow as we pass close by the Austfonna icecap

Male barnacle goose peering down from beside its nest hidden on the cliff

A barnacle goose flies past coming in to land on a nearby nesting cliff

A massive fin whale surfaces pushing water from its mouth as it filters food through its baleen

Our close polar bear walking slowly along the shore

Beautiful ice behind a polar bear walking along a beach in Svalbard

Female (left) and male common eiders feed along the shore in Longyearbyen

A beluga surfaces near to the ship, one amongst a large pod seen just off Longyearbyen

Stunning cliffs in evening light near Longyearbyen

Arctic scenes near Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Northern fulmar in flight against the sky

Northern fulmar in flight against the sea

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