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Wednesday, June 10

Looking Back (again) - Isbjorn Biology

YE Diaries by Mark Kittle

Mark on Diabasodden with the bay and Hatton behind. Photo M. Kittle

The first day we had incredible weather – glass like sea, loads of pack ice and glorious sunshine. We had a recce day to work out projects for the rest of the week and to see what birds were on the cliffs. That’s when we had our first wildlife encounter, a walrus, not 10 metres away, feeding in the shallows. It swiftly disappeared under the ice after we disturbed it. We carried on our walk and had lunch sat on a headland in the sun, watching for more wildlife. Other than birds we were let down though. However we did find a good place to watch the geese from for one of our studies. We walked back over the tops of the cliffs to camp.

Adrian and I packed our rucksacks and went to set the hide up about 2km from camp. The next few days were spent rotating people in the hide counting geese, setting up personal projects and keeping an eye out for interesting creatures.

On the second day we were rewarded with a sighting of the elusive beluga whale. The days of sitting and counting were taking their toll on some of the group’s less sedentary members but everybody came up with their own project. I’m looking at bird counting techniques, Sarah and James are looking at the melting of the river, Adrian is studying goose behaviour and Herpreet is looking at the effect skidoos have on vegetation. We also have the group projects of the goose counting and snow pack analysis.

Sarah and James working on their project Photo M. Kittle

Our last day doing biology was spent on a trip to Janusfjellet to look for fossils. We got there about lunchtime and spent a few hours fossil hunting and came away with examples of prehistoric creatures.

Amonite (left) and Aucella (right). Photo H. Bhamra

That was our biology week. We had an early morning the next day and left Base Camp 3 to meet up with Isbjørn Adventure

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