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Svalbard-The Arctic June 2009

I returned from the Arctic at the end of June 2009 having spent eleven days on the Russian ship, Vavilov, travelling the archipelago of Svalbard.  The journey was mainly to try and photograph wildlife-polar bears, walruses, seals and birdlife which included King Eider, Kittiwakes, Guillemots, Little Auks, Northern Fulmer, Puffins, Purple Sandpipers and more.  The scenery was stunning with vast glaciers, frozen pack ice and blue sky.  The twenty-four hour daylight also puts a very different slant on things!  During my time in the frozen north we travelled in zodiacs (dinghies) from the ship amongst broken sea ice and at times were able to land on shore.  We trekked a little way over the enormous glaciers and standing still were able to hear the constant 'groaning' of these enourmous mountains of ice, watching as parts of them slid into the icy sea.  Polar bears came into view one morning!  Firstly a mother and her cub-she was hunting the ice for seals-and then we were lucky enough to see a huge male hunting.  Although the sightings from the ship were a considerable distance away due to the frozen sea, it was wonderful to see them in their own backyard against snowy peaks and glaciers.  A small number of my images can be seen by following this "Link" to the 'Picture Gallery' section of "tigersintheforest".