This week, we catch-up on a busy few weeks at Macca featuring wild winter weather, lots of field work, and the birth of the season’s first elephant seal!

Macca news wrap-up

Welcome to the latest wrap-up of news from Macquarie Island – as usual, it’s been a busy a few weeks!

Winter weather persists

Even with the technical change in weather seasons, winter conditions always persist on Macca! In particularly on 26th August we experienced one of our heaviest snowfalls of the year across the island. Whilst making for some spectacular pictures on station, these snowfalls continue to challenge the leg strength of our expeditions working in the field!

Wildlife influx

We are drawing steadily closer to the main breeding season for our beloved seals, birds, and penguins. As a result, the station isthmus is seeing a large influx of wildlife on a daily basis. All across station, the gentoo penguins and elephant seals are taking over! And on Sunday 3rd September we were fortunate to observe the birth of our first elephant seal of the season!

Field operations

The last month has seen a lot of field work including many scientific, operational, and recreational trips.

Our station communications technical officer, Tom completed his fourth trip across the island for maintenance and repairs to our VHF radio repeater huts (his boots are now officially worn out!)

Our Rangers and Albatross & Giant Petrel Research Team have been busy over the last two weeks conducting the annual northern giant petrel census. With assistance from many of the station community, this massive task involved painstaking daily searches through the challenging northwestern featherbed full of thick tussock grass and seal wallows! 

Once this census is complete, our rangers and albatross researchers will have little rest, as they commence an island wide elephant seal census and monthly wandering albatross observations respectively.

Birthdays and functions

On 12th August, we celebrated our awesome chef/resident cockney slang expert Nick Baker’s birthday. Nick enjoyed a Saturday night off from the kitchen and was treated to a delicious gourmet feast cooked up by our resident ‘Iron Chef’ Jan Wallace. The night was capped off with Nick’s (not) favourite entertainment: An impromptu ‘Morris Dancing’ performance!

On Saturday 2nd September, the station enjoyed a progressive workplace drinks event. Featuring visits to the workplaces of Tasmania Parks and Wildlife, the Albatross & Giant Petrel Research Program, Bureau of Meteorology, and our plumber’s workshop, a memorable evening of great food, made-to-order drinks, and fun ensued.