Gentoo chicks. / by Jerry

With a few days or nice, sunny weather on Bird Island we've been trying to cram in as much outdoor work as possible. In particular plotting all the Brown Skua nests. This has involved trekking backward and forward over every patch of the island, marking nest sites with a GPS. The skuas look very much like Scottish Bonxies, but in general they don't dive bomb you so much. Instead they will sit tight on the nest shrieking.

Like the searching for shag colonies, this has been a good excuse to explore more bits of the island. Yesterday I volunteered to walk the high level route up near where the grass becomes moss banks then scree. There were a few snow patches but it was too soft to sledge down properly. Today has been sunny enough I've been out for the first time in shorts with no salapets over the top.

The season seems well underway, with Wanderers joining the other albatrosses on eggs, Gentoo chicks getting big enough to run around in pursuit of their parents and Fur Seal puppies being left on the beach to form little gangs as their mothers go off to sea to feed.

As someone who generally dislikes the run-up to Christmas it's been great having so much work on and such great weather to concentrate on, but I did help decorate our tree (or decorate one small patch of it with all the baubles I could find).

Jen with our Christmas tree.

 Gentoo Penguin feeding chick.

 Fat, self-satisfied Gentoo chick.

Smart King Penguin that had wandered up the wrong beach.


more photos at

Apologies to anyone annoyed at how many times I posted the last blog. It's a fault with using blogger on very little internet.