About Me

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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

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

06.05.09 - Snow on the beaches

Gentoo penguins in the snow on Landing Beach

A gentoo penguin rests on Landing Beach

A female fur seal on Landing Beach melts the snow around her

Juvenile Southern elephant seal in the kelp - notice how the snow has settled on it

Here are some photos of wintery-looking animals seen around the beaches on the afternoon on May 5th.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

03.05.2009 - HONK!

03.05.2009 - Early winter photos

Dusting off the sledges

A tiny unguarded wandering albatross chick

Wandering albatross adults on Wanderer Ridge

Moulting macaroni penguins in Mac Cwm

South Georgia pipit above the base

Dave on a sledge

A male fur seal practices at holding territory in the snow

Evermann Cove and stormy evening skies over South Georgia and La Roche

A grey-headed albatross feeds its chick, Colony A

Grey headed albatross chick on its nest, Colony A

With the departure of the BAS ship, RRS James Clark Ross after resupplying our food stores on April 13th, we go into another long winter on Bird Island. At present, we do not expect another ship visit for six months. There are five on base: myself, Derren and Stacey (the three Zoological Field Assistants), David (technician) and Jose (a squid and predator biologist).

The weather has turned a little wintery in recent days, with some snow showers - and although we don't really expect enough snow for winter sports until June or July, Dave and I have already managed a bit of tobogganing up on the lower slopes of La Roche.

The black-browed albatross chicks have been leaving the island, and the grey-headed chicks won't be far behind. Wandering albatross parents are returning every few days to feed their chicks which have recently been left unguarded, and will remain on the nest throughout the winter.

29.04.2009 - Return of the leopard seals

After an absence since the beginning of November, on April 29th we saw the first returning leopard seal of the winter.

The seal, a large adult female that was seen 20 times last winter, was hauled out on Main Bay beach, three weeks earlier than the first hauled-out seal was seen last year.

Seal #2008001, known as Rhian, seen on April 29th 2009 returning to the water at Main Bay

The database ID photograph from last year with which I matched the seal

The leopard seals come here in the winter to eat penguins and seal pups. They love to lie on ice and snow to rest, and clearly this seal was drawn out of the water onto the beach with the recent snowfall.