Taken a wrong turn, guys? Precarious Penguins look for a more suitable place to breed after leaping onto jagged iceberg

By Simon Tomlinson

About turn! Perched precariously on the dazzling blue ice, these penguins decide to jump back into the ocean to look for a better area to gather for breeding season

These penguins look like they're having a whale of a time as they leap onto this dazzlingly beautiful ice before diving back into the water.

But it seems they've taken a slightly wrong turn in their haste to gather for breeding season after thrusting themselves onto a jagged iceberg that is clearly far too difficult to navigate.

The flightless birds can build up a terrific amount of speed as they surge out of the ocean, launching themselves several feet into the air.

March of the penguins: Hundreds of Adelies make their way across Paulet Island in Antarctica to set up camp for the next few months

At this time of year, hundreds of Adelie penguins set up camp on Paulet Island in Antarctica and make regular trips back into the water to catch food for their young - making sure to avoid predators in the process.

Wildlife photographer Steve Bloom, from Ashford, Kent, snapped the incredible scenes during a trip to the island.

He said: 'Adilies build up speed underwater as they approach the edge of the ice shelf and propel themselves out of the water, literally ‘flying’ onto the ice.

'We think of penguins as flightless birds, but their ability to soar underwater is astounding. They are powerful swimmers and travel great distances on feeding trips which can last for days.'

Flat's better: The penguins find a better place to land. They can leap several feet into the air thanks to their powerful propulsion under water

On the hunt: Adelies dive back into the water in search of food for themselves and their young when they have hatched

He added: 'Out at sea they can rest on ice floes or icebergs. They can also travel at high speed across the surface of the water by ‘porpoising’, where they launch themselves out in regular arcs.

'There is always danger from leopard seals which may be lurking below.'

In a hilarious scene, a male Adelie was recently filmed stealing stones from its unaware neighbour’s nest.

The footage, from BBC show Frozen Planet, was a huge hit online.

In a flap: The flightless birds rest on ice floes as they make their way to more solid terrain on the island

Daunting outlook: Four Adelies on an ice floe in front of B-15, the world's biggest iceberg, which is currently 170 miles long by 25 miles wide

During December and January, female Adelies lay up to two eggs and the parents take it in turns to incubate them.

Steve added: 'Most people who visit Antarctica find it life affirming, It gives them a sense of perspective and a heightened awareness of both the fragility and the awe-inspiring splendour of the world.

'It was an incredible experience as it’s a very different, white world which stretches to the horizon.

'We’re small and vulnerable out there, and it is a humbling place to visit.'



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