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.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Signy Webcam

We have had a webcam running at Signy this year, and had been hoping to get it connected to the BAS website for everyone to see.  Unfortunately this is out of our hands, and has not yet happened so we have come up with an alternative from here.  The images from the webcam can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/keqdquv3zqa3zmz/AABE0o_5tCJXq3ZJbBNskgS6a?dl=0  There is a new image every 30 minutes.  It is worth noting this links to a large number of images so can take a while to load up.  The view is from the front of the station looking towards the generator shed and jetty.   

After a lot more mild wet weather, we finally had a nice sunny day earlier in the week and managed a trip to the west coast to do some maintenance work on the hut there.  There are some lovely icebergs grounded in the shallower waters along the west coast.  The smaller bits are often used by leopard seals as places to haul out for a snooze.

All of the Adelie penguins have now gone.  They will head south to the ice edge where the adults will moult and regrow a new set of feathers.  The chinstrap chicks are enormous.  The youngest look like this:

Those that are a bit older look like this:

And the ones that are only a week or so from fledging look like this:

One day this Macaroni penguin showed up.  In the past, a few of these have been known to breed at Signy, but I have never seen any breeding in my time here.  However, a few are seen each year, looking for a nesting site or a mate. 

The last few days I've noticed it is starting to get dark much earlier here now, and its still not fully light at 6am any longer.  Although this means winter is on its way here, it also means the opposite must be happening in the UK and it will therefore be spring when I get home in a couple of months.

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