They're sooooooo cute!

After a few days on base to rest after the "watchman session" and when I got to see a beautiful aurora australis, I was back in Pointe Suzanne, in great company (with Tiphaine, known as Suzanne and Pascal, known as the "ideal guy") to meet our nice little pups again.The goal of the field session was to do regular rounds (2-3 times a day) to find as many marked pups as possible, weigh and measure them. Out of the forty pups that had been marked at the beginning of the season, we could find only 25 of them. At this time of the year, it is indeed hard to find them all because they become to be emancipated and to spend more time in the water when their mother go to sea to rebuild their body reserves. Moreover, some might lose their marks and some might have died. But anyway, at this age, they are really cute and charming and it's a piece of work to catch them... Here are some photos so you can judge by yourselves! We also took advantage of this field session to equip some females with devices that record the duration of daylight allowing us to determine in which zones they forage during the winter (GLS for Goelocation Sensors). They'll be caught and their devices will be retrieved when they come back on land, in eight months. Once again, it was a piece of work to catch them and bring them back to the cabin. They were then weighed and anesthetized so we can clip a GLS on their fins. After the process, they were monitored until they'd recovered from the anaesthesia and we let them go. The "Colgate commando unit" also visited us (why Colgate? because their crucial mission was to bring back the toothbrush I'd forgotten on base!! not everybody can say they had five overtrained guys bringing one's toothbrush back... isn't?)! They also brought with them very important items: Nutella (we have a sweet teeth...!) and apple cider for Tiphaine!! They were part of a group of about ten guys from the army who came to Kerguelen for training. They wanted to visit Pointe Suzanne to see a new site and learn about local animals. We thus went on a walk around the cabin and Tiphaine did the talk on marine mammals and I explained the bird stuff! Aside from that, there still were the gentoos, next to the hut, to add more fun to the field session, and the shags. Well, once again, a nice field session (except for the transits when I got blisters again; but the wind we were facing was blowing at 60 knots so it's not very surprising!).


Fur seal pup and Kerguelen cabbage


Antarctic fur seals and pup being fed


Another pup

Pointe Suzanne fur seals pups

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