Near the end of summer we had angry seas off Davis. Crashing waves threw great quantities of debris onto the beach in front of station. Debris consisted mostly of heaps of dark red seaweed mixed with white shelled bivalves and other various invertebrate species from amphipods to a variety of echinoderms including starfish, holothurians and small sea urchins that live in the waters of Prydz Bay.
This unexpected spread of delicacies was too much for local nesting skuas who usually focus on Adélie penguin colonies on offshore islands for their food. They must have felt like a change because for several weeks we had flocks of twenty or more skuas foraging through seaweed at the water’s edge.
Now that the sea has frozen and remains of the storm have been covered with snow and ice, most of the skuas have disappeared, likely heading out to the edge of pack ice for winter. I say most, but not all. There is still one solitary skua that makes a daily appearance down by the elephant seals, hoping they will unearth something delicious on their way to and from the water to take their daily (or weekly) dip.