Since 2011, I have been spending November to April each year working for the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) on Signy Island in the South Orkney Islands, Antarctica. I work as a Zoological Field Assistant on the penguin and seal long-term monitoring programme. Before this, I spent 2.5 years on the sub-Antarctic island of Bird Island, South Georgia, in the South Atlantic.

This blog gives readers an insight into my day-to-day life in the Antarctic, from my first trip south in 2008 to the present day.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

and a couple more....

Macaroni penguins coming out of the sea.

Swimming Macaroni's.

Brown Skua chick.

Gentoo penguin feeding its chick.

Random pictures....

A nice summers sunset.

Bird Island, looking over to Mainland South Georgia, on a summers day.

Bottom Meadows... Doesn't look much like the Antarctic on a day like this!!!

Antarctic Fur seal and pup on the beach.

More fur seals.

It's been a hectic month, so i've not yet got round to writing anything on here. However, here are a few random summertime pictures to keep people happy and a little bit of writing that i shall do til it stops raining enough for me to go out.

Summer is progressing nicely. We had a nice Christmas and New year, with a bit of time off work, then continued working. It is always very busy here in summer- not only do we have our usual long-term monitoring work to do, but we also help out any visiting summer scientists with their work. This year we had a penguin scientist in, who kept me busy with deploying little GPS devices onto the gentoos to track where they are foraging. We also did some tracking of the South Georgia shags. 3 of our summer staff left last weekend, dropping numbers down to 7 on base. Time is going fast- only 10 weeks til the last ship of the season comes, taking away all of our extra staff and we are back down to just the 4 of us for the winter!!!

All the young wildlife is growing quickly. The seal pups are getting very fat, and the penguin chicks are growing well. The Wandering albatrosses are incubating their eggs- it takes around 75 days for the egg to develop and hatch, so they will be sitting patiently for a while longer yet. The smaller albatrosses (black-browed, grey-headed and light-mantled sooties) all have cute little chicks now.

The days are long, and on sunny days the island looks lovely. Unfortunately, the warmer weather (sometimes up to +5 degrees) means we get a lot of fog and rain, and not many clear days. It certainly makes you appreciate the island much more on the days when the sun does decide to shine!!!

Anyway, the rain has stopped, so i shall head up over the hill and across the meadows to the field hut at Little Mac to weigh some Macaroni penguins. It is Saturday, which means 3 course dinner night, so i'd better head on out, else i shall be late home!

Monday, 18 January 2010

Penguin chicks a couple of weeks later....

Gentoo chicks-there is a lot of krill in the oceans this year, so the chicks are growing rapidly and all looking very fat and healthy.

The Macaroni Penguin chicks are getting massive too!

Penguin chicks...

Newly hatched gentoo penguin chicks at Christmas time.

Newly hatched Macaroni chicks- also at Christmas time.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Christmas Day

Christmas Day breakfast (photo by Mick Mackey).

(From left to right, Mick, Stacey, Ewan, Claudia, Norman, Encarna, Richard, Sam, Joe, Derren).