Prion Island is a spec of land in the Bay of Isles, South Georgia (54.0270° S, 37.2567° W). It is a nesting site for a small group of Wandering Albatrosses. We spent an hour or so observing chicks exercising their still fluffy wings while sitting in rudimentary nests sculpted from the Tussock grass.
Suddenly, a rush of air signaled the arrival of a parent, returning from one of its foraging trips and making a low pass over the nesting area. This bird is a male in breeding plumage (the small tuft of apricot colored plumage on the neck).
Adult Wandering Albatrosses fly on long foraging trips – averaging 6000 km (3700 miles) over 13 days. These long flights are facilitated by a technique called dynamic soaring which involves exploiting wind gradients so that wingbeats are rarely needed.