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Bird Island, South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands
I work as a Zoological Field Assistant, and am the 2009 Winter Base Commander, at Bird Island Research Station, one of the British Antarctic Survey's five research bases in Antarctica. The main remit of my job is seal fieldwork as part of BAS' Long Term Monitoring and Survey programme. Science has been carried out on Bird Island since 1958. I work with Antarctic fur seals and leopard seals, as well as assisting with the seabird fieldwork programme. Contact me on: ewanedwards at gmail dot com

Thursday, 6 November 2008

06.11.2008 - The jetty bog

Dunny, outhouse, cludgie, bog, john... whatever your name for it, the lavatory is an important facility in anyones home. Although we have indoor toilets on Bird Island these days, a relic remains from the days when running water was a rare commodity in the hut...

The jetty bog in winter

The 'jetty bog', as it is known, is the only toilet on Bird Island with a window. As the name suggests, is located at the end of the scaffolding jetty, and the convenience of indoor WCs means that it doesn't get as much use these days as in the past. During peak seal season, getting to the end of the jetty is requires considerable effort and concentration, as the fur seals congregate, pup and viciously defend territories on the walkway itself.

Seal in the surf by the jetty

But it is worth it. Going to the loo becomes a real accomplishment, and you are treated to the incredible sights, sounds and smells of the wildlife as you go about your business...!

View from the loo, looking right...

...and looking left

And then, now and again, the effort is rewarded by the kind of experience that no one would ever believe if you told them...

A young male elephant seal comes to have a look
at what is going on above his head!

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