The cycle of life returns to Casey
As reported in Icy News a couple of weeks ago, Casey has had some intermittent weather lately, consisting of strong winds and blizzards which have blown out the sea ice. Not a good thing if you want to actually partake in sea ice travel, but great for spotting the wildlife that open waters attract. A fortnight ago we reported on what was thought to be a local leopard seal frequenting the area. This week we are more energised by the prospects of Weddell Seal pupping.
Weddell pupping normally occurs in September and October, but the breaks in sea ice have resulted in some expectant mothers beaching themselves ‘early’ around Shirley Island. This weekend, one lucky team of expeditioners discovered what was thought to be a Weddell’s haul out site. On closer inspection, they witnessed what was probably the first pup to be born near Casey for 2011. It is fair to say that once word got around station, Mum and Bub got an influx of human visitors (from a distance of course). Another Weddell was subsequently spotted in a cove not far away.
Of note is that the second ‘mum-to-be’ has what seems to be a green tag on its rear flippers. A bit hard to see in the photo, but one for our scientists to get excited about!