This week at Davis we’ve been exploring the icebergs under dark snow clouds. The moody grey skies provide some of the best light to view the bergs in, as the ice shows its true colour: a pastel baby blue. Any cracks also reveal colours you don’t see anywhere else: a florescent violet blue and intense turquoise, which saturate your eyes and make other colours pale in comparison.
Out amongst the icebergs we’re also starting to encounter some Adélie penguins. These are the males returning to their nest sites from last summer. They are here to rebuild their nest before the females arrive in a week or so, which is when things will get noisy and raucous in the colonies, with birds fighting over pebbles and partners. The flying birds are also slowly arriving. The first Antarctic petrels were spotted on the weekend, majestically gliding around the towering icebergs.
The heavily pregnant Weddell seals are also starting to give birth. The first pups were seen midweek out in Long Fjord. One was delivered in front of our eyes, which was quite an experience to see! The brand new pup was all floppy and a loose bag of skin, trying to suckle but a bit snagged by the umbilical cord which was still attached. Eventually things got worked out and the pup took its first drink of the very rich milk which will fatten it up in no time.
Work-wise we’ve started our hut maintenance program. Seven of us went out to the huts lining Long Fjord: Brookes Hut, Platcha Hut, Ace Lake apple and Rookery Lake apple. During the visit each hut had its electrical, gas and communication systems checked. Huts were also cleaned (even vacuumed) and replenished. They now look better than ever and ready for summer. Later this week the huts along the Ellis Fjord area will also be visited and serviced.
Finally, Lötter has been finishing off his remote seabird camera servicing. Just in time with the Adélie’s now arriving to start their breeding season.
Kirsten (Station Leader)