Summer penguin program preparations at Bèchervaise Island

Spring cleaning

So much to do and so few weather windows to do it in. It has been a particularly windy start to October, so when weather permits it's out to the field to tick off some jobs. Tuesday opened up an opportunity for Trevor, Gemma, Danielle and myself (Kezza) to head to Bèchervaise Island for the day. Gemma and myself to do a clean-up and stock take of the food and field supplies, and Trevor and Danielle to get ready for the arrival of the Adèlie penguins whom could turn up to start their breeding season any time now.

Gemma and I had fun digging around the huts checking stoves, lanterns, emergency survival gear and doing a rotation of food and supplies. It’s always a bit like cleaning out granny’s cupboards, you never know what you will find. Lucky for us nothing too bad was lurking at the bottom.

Meanwhile Trevor and Danielle were outside cleaning and calibrating penguin weigh bridges and tag readers. This is so that, when the Adèlie penguins arrive, they are channelled via the fences, over the weigh bridges and tag scanners, where they are weighed and counted. The information is then gathered, data collected and automatically sent back to Hobart to be analysed.

Two remote penguin cameras were also serviced and checked over in preparation for the breeding season. The images are collected via SD cards and uploaded to Kingston to be analysed.

Now we sit and wait for the birds to arrive, which should be soon as there are seals popping up out of the ice ready to pup and snow petrels have been spotted at station.