After all the cargo work was finished yesterday, we finally got a chance to go ashore on Bird Island. This was the only base I didn't make it to on the journey down in 2004, so I was particularly looking forward to stopping here.
We had a quick cup of tea and catch up with the people wintering on the base, and then were taken up the hill behind the base to see the wandering albatrosses and their chicks.
It's an amazing place, covered with tussock grass and fur seals lurking behind every clump – some were a little feisty, which made the walk all the more interesting!
As we got towards the top of the hill, we saw the first albatross nests with chicks. I've seen lots of pictures of them, but until you are up close you don't realise quite how big they are! All of the nests are marked so the progress of the chicks can be checked periodically, but it was sad to hear the scientists say that the future looks very bleak for these birds.