This week at the station

This week at Macquarie Island: 1 April 2011

Happenings on station

On Saturday night, along with the other stations, we participated in Earth Hour by switching off the lights for our 'formal' Saturday night dinner, enjoying a candlelit table setting while toasting the health of planet Earth. We also marked World Meteorological Day last week by enjoying Friday afternoon drinks in the Bureau of Meteorology office.

the whole crew at a candle -lit dinner table.
Macca expeditioners toast the health of planet earth at our 'lights out'...

(Photo: Greg Stone)

Man explaining exquipment to a group in an office.
BOM senior observer Will explains the equipment at the Bureau of Meteorology...

(Photo: Ivor Harris)

Fur seal fieldwork finishing up

As the close of our summer season on Macca rapidly approaches, fur seal researchers Dean and Rob have successfully completed their fieldwork on North Head this week. Several other expeditioners assisted in helping them catch and tag the last remaining untagged animals, in order to complete the allowable number of animals to be tagged on their wildlife research permit. 

 

fur seal on bright green vegetation.
Fur seal on North Head

(Photo: Greg Stone)

This unusual pale furred seal pup nicknamed “Blondie”
This unusual pale furred seal pup nicknamed 'Blondie' has become a favourite...

(Photo: Greg Stone)

Young fur seal on North Head, station in the distance.
Young fur seal on North Head, station in the distance.

(Photo: Greg Stone)

Station chef Kelly returning from a day spent on North Head assisting the fur seal researchers.
Station chef Kelly returning from a day spent on North Head assisting...

(Photo: Greg Stone)

Successful rabbit eradication

We are continuing to see further excellent results from the distribution of rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus last month, as an initial step in the Macquarie Island Pest Eradication Program (MIPEP). Following from the initial release of the virus at 15 mostly-coastal sites of higher rabbit density, the virus spread rapidly killing many rabbits around the coast. We are now also seeing many more dead rabbits in the rabbit-dense inland grassy areas on the lower plateau. The skuas and giant petrels are having a field day. The Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease or RHD-killed rabbit carcasses are harmless to other wildlife. MIPEP is planned to recommence this coming winter with aerial baiting for rabbits, rats and mice over the whole island.

Sub-antarctic skua dines on a rabbit carcass, almost certainly a RHD virus victim.
Sub-antarctic skua dines on a rabbit carcass, almost certainly a RHD virus...

(Photo: Chris Hill)

Northern giant petrel also dining on a RHD virus rabbit carcass.
Northern giant petrel also dining on a RHD virus rabbit carcass.

(Photo: Drew Lee)

Snowy landscape

TASPARKS wildlife ranger Drew was in the field during our heavy snowfall last week, and got some nice pictures of the snowy landscape off-station.

Bauer Bay hut during last week’s snowfall.
Bauer Bay hut during last week’s snowfall.

(Photo: Drew Lee)

Elephant seals on the beach during last week’s snowfall.
Elephant seals on the beach during last week’s snowfall.

(Photo: Drew Lee)

Ready for resupply

Our resupply voyages V6 (L’Astrolabe) and V5 (Aurora Australis) are getting very close now, with V6 planned to be here for 8-17 April and V5 for 20-28 April. V6 will be the main station resupply, while V5 will be the station refuelling, MIPEP resupply and bring the incoming MIPEP personnel and station crew for changeover. Expeditioners are getting very busy now with resupply preparations.

 

Mechanic tending to a LARK amphibious vehicle.
Doc Jamie and TASPARKS ranger Justin servicing our station LARC amphibious vehicle...

(Photo: Greg Stone)

Diesel mechanic Robby inspecting equipment for the station refuelling operation
Senior diesel mechanic Robby inspecting equipment for the station refuelling operation, scheduled...

(Photo: Chris Hill)

Kelly cuts Jamie's hair.
Chef Kelly provides doc Jamie with a long overdue haircut.

(Photo: Greg Stone)

View of the new viewing platform.
TASPARKS builder Peter has almost finished construction of the new stairs, walkway...

(Photo: Ivor Harris)

Wildlife photo gallery

Our selection of wildlife photos this week are courtesy of Drew, Chris and Greg.

 

King penguin
King penguin

(Photo: Chris Hill)

King penguin and chick
King penguin and chick

(Photo: Drew Lee)

An unusual visitor to Macca: white faced heron
An unusual visitor to Macca: white faced heron

(Photo: Greg Stone)

Light mantled sooty albatross in flight
Light mantled sooty albatross in flight

(Photo: Drew Lee)

moulting male elephant seals can’t resist the urge to square off for a play spar.
With nothing at all to fight about at this time of year,...

(Photo: Ivor Harris)

This page was last modified on 16 December 2010.