There is always somebody who has to shout about something!
Post-fishing penguin party at the Yellow-eyed penguin colony. The winter hiatus is over and more and more penguins return now in the evening to hang out on the foreshore. They don't go far, just say hello to everyone and then find a good spot and go to sleep. In the morning they are all gone before sunrise.
They are all beautifully fat and in excellent condition - so good to see! This is true holiday time for them. Life will be serious again soon enough with courting starting soon.
"Are you hitting on my girl?"
Notice the right penguin has his crest up and is leaning in....there is going to be trouble!!
"Hello there - back to you" says the middle penguin.
"And what do you want over here with us?" says the right penguin.
"Eh, just saying hello - that's all!" says the friendly penguin on the left.
One of the more colourful character we had in our Penguin Rescue rehabilitation this season was an Erect-crested penguin who had lost his way before the moult and was too skinny to make it. So he took advantage of our hospitality and we were delighted to have him. After the moult he was fat and happy and eager to get going home to either Bounty or Antipodes Islands.
It was the last meal of the last patient in our hospital at Penguin Rescue today. Then it was time for this chick from last summer to have another go at independence. And now the hospital stands empty for the first time since mid October last year. We have cared for 87 Yellow-eyed penguins, 2 Erect-crested, 2 White-flippered and 3 Little penguins. It has been another big season and we hope to see many of our former patients happily on eggs in September! That's the ultimate reward.
Sometimes there is a surprise in the forest: we found this young New Zealand sea lion loafing in the penguin colony. Usually there are New Zealand fur seals and they are much more common along the coast and the pups often venture into the forest. Sea lions are much rarer and not many have made it as far north as Moeraki. Most are harmless regarding penguins but some individuals may develop an appetite for them and can do significant damage to a penguin colony. This guy rested and moved on, we only saw him once.