Today we flew in the Basler (a converted DC-3) to Cape Colbeck to do an aerial survey of the emperor penguin colony there. The colony is huge! We are guestimating a population of 8000 to 10,000 chicks. This is a photo of only one section of the colony below.
On the way back, we also surveyed Beaufort Island, which is much smaller. (<2000 individuals). Here is part of the Beaufort colony below.
There will be another day in the Basler to survey the remaining emperor colonies, but if the Polies (i.e., the people that work in the South Pole Station) can leave tomorrow, we probably won’t be able to finish our survey until Friday.
Cass and Jessica on the Basler.