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, 17 January 2015

Adelie Penguins

Our Christmas and New Year Celebrations already seem a long time ago.  January is probably my busiest month and despite my best intentions it has been a few weeks since I wrote anything on here.  Everything seems to be growing at a very rapid rate.  Already my Adelie penguins that were just hatching as I arrived, are only a couple of weeks from leaving the colonies and jumping into the sea for the first time in their life. 

Below are a few photos taken of one of the big Adelie colonies at Gourlay, at various stages througout the breeding season.  Note how the colony turns slowly pink with the penguin poo over the season.  This is due to the enormous quantities of pink krill eaten.

Patiently waiting for the eggs to hatch.


Caring for their small chicks.


Large chicks form loose creches for protection/warmth while their parents are out fishing.

And below are the birds themselves:
Incubating eggs.


Young chicks being guarded by their parents.


Half-grown chick still being guarded by its parent.


Large chicks, moulting their fluffy down to reveal the slaty grey and white adult feathers underneath.  You can see they are still a bit smaller than the more strikingly black and white adults at this stage. 

1 comment:

Linda said...

Beautiful photos! :)