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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

Sunday, 3 May 2009

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.

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