This week at Macquarie Island
24 December 2010 – All on one page
In the lead up to Christmas we've seen the initial startup of the new generators, welcomed some new arrivals at the station, and the Albatross Program is in full swing.
17 December 2010 – All on one page
Stunning rock pool photos, unusually strong winds, the arrival of the tourist ship Orion and the nearly completed installation of new generators have made for an interesting week at Macca.
10 December 2010 – All on one page
Tourist season, circumnavigation of Macquarie Island in IRBs, other work (maintenance, seal biology, bait pods, hairdressing), weather stuff (anemometers and balloons) and an extreme sports party night.
19 November 2010 – All on one page
Macquarie Island received the first of some 10 tourist ship visits scheduled for this summer. The female Antarctic, Sub-Antarctic, and New Zealand fur seals are coming ashore to give birth to their pups. Work continues on the new main power house.
12 November 2010
No need to get into the wilderness to experience the wildlife here. The elephant seals both young and old are still all around us, although the sight of fighting bulls is less common as the cows wean their pups and return to sea to feed, leaving the little weaners to take care of themselves before they too will soon take to the sea. 12 November 2010
5 November 2010
Six new expeditioners arrived on station on the Sunday before last on the French Antarctic research vessel L’Astrolabe. We had a good three-day trip down and were delighted to arrive here to a warm reception. However we were to be greatly saddened by the tragic news a few days later of the death of four of the ship’s French expeditioners in the helicopter crash near Dumont D’Urville. Our sympathies go to our French colleagues and the families of the victims of the accident. The Australian flag and the tricolour which had been both flying on the station flagpoles for the ship’s arrival on Sunday were sadly flying again at half mast just a few days later. 5 November 2010
29 October 2010
Last Friday we held a barbeque at the Ham Shack, a comfortable hut with a veranda overlooking the sea and good views into nearby Garden Cove. Best of all, a light-mantled sooty albatross had started making a nest beside a rock quite close to the veranda and was calling up to potential mates. To our delight another albatross did fly in for a few moments of courtship, getting the cameras clicking. With luck we will be able to watch at close quarters the raising of an albatross chick there through summer. 29 October 2010
20 October 2010
It’s freezing outside once again, and snow covers the ground. Here it is not so much temperature that defines seasons, as day length, presumably what the wildlife responds to, providing the cue to trigger the breeding urge in this island zoo. The gentoo penguins nest in the tussocks near the beaches, the closest only a few metres from buildings with some right beside roads and paths, where vehicles and people pass only centimetres from them. Their eggs are now hatching, and small, black faces can sometimes be seen protruding from beneath white parental tummies. 20 October 2010