This week at Macquarie Island: 22 November 2019

Moments in time, captured at Macca.

Out and about

One of the many highlights when living and working on Macquarie Island or any of the continental stations is the opportunity to get out and explore the local environment.

Here at Macca everything changes rapidly, so you have to make the most of any opportunity that may arise, especially those of the photographic nature.

A couple of weeks ago the beaches were littered with Elephant seals having their pups, now most of the cows have gone back to sea to feed and the weaners are scattered everywhere preparing themselves to take on the open sea. Sub-adults are turning up to moult and laze around in the wallows amongst the tussock grass.

The Gentoo penguin chicks, so tiny and vulnerable when first hatched, are wandering about and starting to crèche, and the Royal penguin colonies are now full of birds sitting on eggs. On the beaches, King Penguin numbers have grown enormously as they arrive to moult and start the breeding cycle again.

At times the surf rages, then its flat, the wind howls then calms down and when it snows it never stays for long, the face of Macca is constantly changing.

The weather pretty much dictates everything that goes on down here, and calm, cloudless days are few and far between, so when all the conditions are right, it’s time to get out and take in all the Island has to offer.

One thing I do know is that the time passes very quickly when you are down south, and just like a photograph is a frozen moment in time, so too is our time here, so get up off your aperture, get focused and get out there.

Here are some of those moments.


Pete (Building Services Supervisor)

a pair of gentoo chicks sit on a nest, one with beak open
A pair of gentoo chicks
(Photo: Pete Layt)
Snowy landscape with a hiker walking knee deep in snow.
Heaviest snowfall of the year, all but gone 24 hours later.Green Gorge.
(Photo: Pete Layt)
two sooty albatross fly side by side in the air
Synchronised sooty albatross
(Photo: Pete Layt)
a long nose fur seal lays on a rock
Long nose fur seal
(Photo: Pete Layt)
a wave pushes up behind a rocky outcrop with a Cormorant on it
Macquarie Island Cormorant colony near Waterfall Bay
(Photo: Pete Layt)
5 royal penguins are porpoising in the water
Porpoising royal penguins
(Photo: Pete Layt)
a wide Blue water, blue sky and a beach has many royal penguins and elephant seals
Crowded beach at Green Gorge
(Photo: Pete Layt)
a royal penguin shakes its crest with water droplets coming off it
Royal penguin shakedown
(Photo: Pete Layt)