Ardery Island flying seabird research
The seabird researchers took time out from studying Adélie penguins for a trip to Ardery Island for research on flying seabirds. The island is a small rocky island with a diverse range of flying seabirds nesting mostly on the steep cliffs including southern fulmars, cape, Antarctic, snow and Wilson’s storm petrels and south polar skuas. The team mapped the boundaries of the southern fulmar and cape petrel populations, searched for banded birds, collected seabird scats, checked and maintained the seabird cameras and found tissue samples for genetics studies. Some of the banded southern fulmars that they resighted were at least 30 years old.
The weather was close to perfect and the wildlife abundant. In the late evening sun, the team had close views of a pod of orcas and some minke whales. All the while the space was filled with persistent calls from the seabirds flying overhead and nesting in the most precarious places. The aerial display certainly helped with the collection of fresh seabird scats! The curious Adélie penguins breeding on a neighbouring island came to visit and looked surprised to find a camp with scientists but no other penguins.
Setting up camp on Ardery Island is a big task and the team are very grateful for the enormous help they received to make the two trips so very successful. Thank you all.