Sunday, December 18, 2005

More photos from the first three weeks...

Grant searching for banded birds in a sea of penguins (can you find him?); iceberg citadel in the background and the long sliver of B15-J's edge (the giant iceberg) just below the horizon.

A banded Adelie penguin (center). We have spent countless hours band searching in this colony of 250,000 breeding birds. The bands are all on the left flipper, so we get look at thousands of left flippers hoping to catch that stainless steel glimpse. The birds were all banded as chicks, so we know how old they are based on the number on the band. Once found, we monitor their nests to see if they breed successfully.

Grant catching an Adelie penguin in order to remove its GLS tag.

An Adelie penguin with a GLS tag (on its left leg) flirting with his mate. We deployed these tags last January, and they have been on the birds all winter. We have to remove them to download the data, which tell us approximately where the birds have been (in latitude and longitude) during their winter migrations. During the past three weeks we have also spent countelss hours trying to catch glimpses of the left legs of incubating birds, though we have a smaller pool to look at (20 tags in a small cluster of subcolonies, rather than searching the whole colony).

A South Polar skua flying by.

Skua landing on the snow field above the west colony, with iceberg citadel and some open water in the background.

Emperor penguins on the sea ice.

Vijay leaning into the wind and falling forward during a storm. The wind was blowing 40-50 mph.

Grant climbing over a snow cornice on the way to East Rookery.

Adelies descending the snow field above the cornice, looking for a way down.

Three Adelies on the sea ice.

Our Kiwi neighbors, Nick, Calum, and Jess, on the big rock in front of our hut. Their camp is 1.2 km away above East Rookery.


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