At Macca, baby birds and seals begin to appear and there is the usual array of stunning photos to peruse.

Macquarie Island Pest Eradication Program

Another month has past for the hunters as they arrive back on station this weekend for a five day break. We are looking forward to hearing what they have been up to whilst tramping over every inch of the island. There’s always a few good interesting stories circulating around the dinner table of a night at the end of each month.

We’ll try and capture some of these stories for next week’s ‘This Week at Macquarie Island’ providing the ‘What happens on the Island stays on the Island’ card isn’t played.

In the meantime, enjoy some of the stunning photos taken by the hunters whilst in the field during the month.

Ranger In Charge

Ranger in charge

After a long winter slowly growing in burrows around the island, grey petrel chicks are starting to take to the skies for the first time. Being winter breeders, eggs were laid four months ago and chicks are just now starting to lose down, grow adult feathers and fledge burrows. Similar the grey petrels, the six wandering albatross chicks are also starting to grow flight feathers. All six chicks appear to be growing well and look like they should fledge in November.

Other ground nesting birds are rapidly taking up residence around the island and they can often be seen at night whilst spotlighting. Hunters are reporting more and more dug out burrows around the coast as the spring breeding season starts. Many burrows such as those for diving petrels or blue petrels are very small so it makes it very difficult to determine the species living in the burrows. With the lack of predation by mice and rats and impact the impact of rabbits, we are keenly interested on the changes in numbers of threatened bird species on the island.


So what have the station-based team been up to during the week?

  • Monthly fire alarm testing, new door seal to combo ovens
  • UPS load testing in surgery
  • Repairs to emergency lighting
  • Renew floor tiles to floors of bathroom, toilets and passage way of Garden Cove living quarters
  • Service circulating pump and replace seal in pump house
  • Fix in position new waste management stickers throughout station, A-46 Genset 2 service 500 hr, H-29 Service, JCB, S-17
  • Service compressor, fuel farm maintenance, workshop equipment checks, lathe, miller
  • Finished the installation of the new Cisco Wireless access points
  • Repairs to Mt Waite repeater site
  • Fixing Sophos Antivirus software problems
  • Weather obs and daily balloon release
  • Heritage survey trip to Hurd Point and Caroline Cove
  • Rearrange Clothing Store and general clean up
  • Daily work in hydroponics
  • Lot of activity in the kitchen in preparation for a busy weekend

Just to name a few of the tasks completed during the week…


It was a relatively quiet week on station for the nine to 11 on base (maybe it was quiet because we know it’s going to be a rowdy weekend) however there was time for a few games of cards and the obvious big event of the week, the Brownlow!

Moments in Time

Extracts from old station logs

Saturday September 29, 1984: One seal cow has got inside the compound to give birth and is now occupying the areas near the glasshouse with her pup.

Monday 1st Oct, 1984: A bull elephant seal forced his way into the area in front of the mess, presumably attracted by the cow, but he took a wrong turn on his way out and finished up between the plumbing workshop and the field store. So he just pushed over the fence between those two huts and went straight down to the beach. As a result, spent half the day prepairing that piece of fence — however that won’t stop a full grown bull seal if he is determined to get in.

4th October, 1975: Finished the living quarters and moved people back in. Seal survey continued, lined old boiler room — finished tiling the power house floor, boiler fully installed and capped. Good evening for the official opening of the living quarters and put on extra wine as it’s my wife’s birthday and my son got his Sergeant stripes , everyone in good spirits…Nella on route to Australia ETA 10.11.75.

5th October, 1975: The sun SUN shone to day for the first time in weeks people out taking photos few seedy beasts about this morning. Seals broke down the drums at Garden Cove so we have them in Living Quarters tonight. Will try and repair same first light.


Meet the locals, those who share their island with us.