This week at Mawson: 4 October 2019

Mawson Station looks back on the month that was September 2019.

September Station Update

Welcome back to our regular Mawson research station monthly update, as we say goodbye to September and prepare for the arrival of the summer team in only five weeks time!

To that end, all Mawson station work areas have been busy completing key winter projects, annual stocktake, and responding to preparatory work tasks to ensure station infrastructure is ready for the summer teams to hit the ground running.

September also saw a large volume of important science program support work completed. In support of the seabird science research program, members of our winter infrastructure team spent several days at Béchervaise and Verner Islands completing infrastructure removal and general clean-up tasks. In addition, our Station Communications Technical Officer Dave spent many days in the field completing final maintenance visits and downloads of seabird remote monitoring cameras at 17 sites across Mawson. With two Seabirds Field Biologists arriving for summer, completion of the infrastructure and camera works will ensure their summer season gets off to a flying start.

On the weather front, September saw continuance of this season’s blizz barrage, with another seven blizzard days during the month. As we reach the end of the first week of October, the season blizz tally now stands at 43 which is 6 more than the annual average and thus far the 7th highest blizzard season on record. With 4.5 months of the season still to go, bets are on that we’ll crack 50…

In between the blizz days and work, the team has continued to enjoy recreational visits to the Auster Emperor Penguin Rookery. All of us continue to be amazed by the cycle of penguin life in real-time, as we watch the new Emperor chicks steadily grow and mature from week to week. Trips to Auster are now even more enjoyable thanks to some timely infrastructure upgrades at nearby Macey Hut. Thanks to Scottish, Glenn, Waz, Terry, and Dave, Macey Hut now boasts a brand new deck, new flooring, and improved radio comms.

Kyle (Station Leader)

 

Emperor Penguins and chicks - Auster Rookery, Mawson Station.
Emperor Penguins and chicks - Auster Rookery, Mawson Station.
(Photo: K. De Laive)
Macey Hut's upgraded deck for season 2019 - Mawson Station.
Macey Hut's upgraded deck for season 2019 - Mawson Station.
(Photo: K. Williams)
A young Emperor Penguin chick at Auster Rookery, Mawson Station.
A young Emperor Penguin chick at Auster Rookery, Mawson Station.
(Photo: K. De Laive)
The occupational realities of 'blizz life' at Mawson - Mawson expeditioners preparing to dig their way into Macey Hut.
The occupational realities of 'blizz life' at Mawson - Mawson expeditioners preparing…
(Photo: K. Williams)