Pictures that shouldn't be missed!
Updated: Nov 9, 2018
Photo descriptions by Kate Lawrence.
Photo: courtesy of Jaimie Cleeland
Photo: courtesy of Kate Lawrence
Photo: courtesy of Jaimie Cleeland
Photo: courtesy of Jaimie Cleeland - Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross incubating
Photo: courtesy of Jaimie Cleeland - Hidden in the phyllica is an incubating Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross
We refer to these guys as Mollies, as they belong to the group of smaller albatrosses known as Mollymawks, and because it’s less of a mouthful than Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross. The first Molly egg was laid during takeover in September and the first egg hatched on November 26.
Photo: courtesy of Kate Lawrence - Jaimie preparing to ring a Tristan Albatross
Ringing birds in our study colonies is important for the continued monitoring of breeding, survival and other demographic trends. A number of species on Gough Island are routinely ringed prior to fledging, including the Tristan Albatross.
Photo: courtesy of Jaimie Cleeland - Juvenile Gough Island Bunting helping to unpack
Photo: courtesy of Jaimie Cleeland - Bunting provides helpful advice to Fabrice and Em on packing tote bins
Photo: courtesy of Kate Lawrence - Critically endangered Gough Bunting
The Gough Bunting is one of the species threatened by mice on Gough Island. With fewer than 500 pairs believed to remain, the upcoming mouse eradication is critical for the survival of this species.
Photo: courtesy of Jaimie Cleeland - an incubating Southern Giant Petrel
Photo: courtesy of Jaimie Cleeland - New hatched Southern Giant Petrel
Photo: courtesy of Jaimie Cleeland - Kate ringing a Southern Giant Petrel
Photo: courtesy of Jaimie Cleeland - Male & females allopreening
Photo: courtesy of Jaimie Cleeland - ‘View of Saddle Island from Low Hump’
Southern Giant Petrels look a bit like dinosaurs but the Gough Island birds are surprisingly relaxed compared to the SGPs we have worked with elsewhere. Our study colony near Low Hump is about 3.5 hours walk from base and on a clear day has great views of Saddle Island.
Photo: courtesy of Kate Lawrence - Kerguelen Petrel at Gonydale camp
Gonydale is our main camping base for multi-day field work trips. On our first night there this Kerguelen Petrel literally flew into our weather service colleague. We took the opportunity to measure its tarsus to inform what size ring we needed to attach geolocators to this species.
Photo: courtesy of Jaimie Cleeland - up close with a Rockhopper
Photo: courtesy of Jaimie Cleeland - Rockhopper preening
Northern Rockhopper Penguins are the only penguin species to breed on Gough Island. The chicks have now hatched – baby penguin photos to come after we go and count them!
Photo: courtesy of Jaimie Cleeland -Fabrice ascending rope after Sagina check
Photo: courtesy of Jaimie Cleeland - SubAntartic fur seal juveniles at Admirals Beach
Photo: courtesy of Jaimie Cleeland - View of Admirals Beach
Continuing the eradication of Sagina procumbens is an important part of our work here, including checking the edges of the known range.
Admiral’s beach, to the north of the known extent of Sagina is only accessible by abseiling. Fortunately we have not found any Sagina during our checks here. The area is also home to Sub-antarctic Fur Seals and Northern Rockhopper Penguins.
Photo: courtesy of Jaimie Cleeland -Great Skua at Gonydale
Photo: courtesy of Jaimie Cleeland -Kate conversing with a Skua
The Great Skuas are charismatic creatures: curious, bold and aggressively protective of their nests. We have seen a number of chicks around the place now – photos to come!
Photo: courtesy of Kate Lawrence - Thousands of years of prions exiting a cave created these grooves in the rock
Outside Prion Cave, where we monitor Macgillivray’s Prions, these grooves in the rock have been formed from countless prions scrambling to gain height before taking to the air. There are similar grooves on rocks inside the cave, and elsewhere around the island.
Photo: courtesy of Kate Lawrence - A Moorhen and chick outside our lab
Photo: courtesy of Kate Lawrence - Moorhen feeding its chick
Moorhens and their chicks are often well hidden in the dense vegetation. We were lucky to observe this one with its chick just outside our lab recently.
The Gough Island Restoration Programme is being carried out by the RSPB in partnership with Tristan da Cunha, BirdLife South Africa and the Department of Environmental Affairs in South Africa.
The programme is part-funded by the RSPB, the UK government, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and other generous individuals and organisations.