Last interactions with Casey's summer wildlife

Casey's wildlife departs

As the station enters its third week of the 75th ANARE winter season, the recent exodus of our summering expeditioners is soon to be followed by Casey’s wildlife. We have already noticed significant decreases in penguin numbers around our station limits, with Browning Peninsula field trips providing our expeditioners the last chance (for a while) to see southern elephant seals basking in their smelly wallows. The gradual departure of our local inhabitants has been triggered by the moulting of both feathers and fur, alongside decreases in daylight hours and gradual drops in temperature – both of which continue to encourage the sea ice to form and take hold around our coastline.

Unlike our wintering expeditioners who accumulate an abundance of sustenance via annual station resupplies, Casey’s penguins, seals, skuas and other birds have decided to start chasing their food by heading north. Having said that, not all of our wildlife will migrate to more northern waters. An example being the elegant (but elusive) snow petrel, which nests in ice-free rock crevices – especially around Casey’s Reeve Hill.

It’ll be good to have some locals stay around for company over winter!

Dave Buller, Station Leader