And it's Bri who is first over the line with the first egg. She is always one of the first but this time beat everyone. Maybe it's the new mate? She has moved house and in with him - it's perfect. Bless her!
Quick note to other sponsors: these penguin have now been spotted: Noelyn, Poppy (who has switched to Dylan by the looks of it), Ming - and the wonderful news of Noodle, the chick raised by Shannon and Ewan.
We finally found these two....they have moved house and have started to build a nest. Eric is the male and Thor is the female - she was sponsored as a chick and given this name making this our nordic pair! It's wonderful to have them back!
Other sponsored penguins sighted now are:
Bri, Lesley, Goldenstar and Honeydrop, Logan Bear, Jax, Janet, Mary, Molly and Bronn. To all your wonderful sponsors whose penguin has not featured in the list, please be patient, the penguins are a little later than last year and it is taking us a while to identify them. They need to be settled enough in their box that we can approach them to identify them and we don't want to cause undue stress. And yes, we find it hard too as we are anxious to know who has made it through the winter
Slowly, slowly our yellow-eyed penguins are trickling home. It is mostly the boys we have see so far, as the girls are at sea eating lots to make big eggs!
For our wonderful sponsors, I thought I give you a list of those named penguins sighted so far (in no particular order):
Goldenglitter, Ron and Isabel,Stitches, Nye and Ciara, Stewie Junior and Anna, Bruce and Chicky, Holger and Danni, Dylan, Pyne, Rio, Pringle, Otto, Gustl, Odd Simen and Butterbell, Ewan and Shannon, Morgan, Hollie, Mama Pingu, and Bequette.
If yours is not on the list, it doesn't mean the penguin is no longer with us: we just haven't crossed paths yet. I will let you know when your penguin is sighted (and when your box is being used).
P.S. The photo is of a random penguin.....
Lock-down gets lots of things done....found this photo of Pringle, a chick from the past summer, when it was in rehab for a week back in June. Clearly Pringle knows how to fish and is sticking round, so in a year or two hopefully will start breeding - even if it requires intermittent pick-me-ups in our rehab!
Ewan and Shannon were breeding in this box a couple of years ago - and it looks like it is occupied again - but by whom? Our lock-down is easing tomorrow and soon we can find out who is hanging out where and with whom in our colonies. The penguins have started to stay home and make nests and the first eggs are only a couple of week away. Where did winter go??
Obviously our presence in the penguin colony is reduced to a couple of "penguin-bubble" people during lock-down, so no recent photos from the chief photographer.....but I found this one that I thought was quite amusing: it's a trap for stoats and rats etc and the penguins do like to pooh downhill. We often have chicks on these traps but on this day (quite some time ago) an adult had decided that it's a good idea!
This two-year old was sponsored in the 2019 season and is Otto's chick. We are not too sure whether Hehu is a boy or a girl, but s/he was sleeping in the colony one day, still there two days later - and that's never good. We weighed him/her and s/he was only 3.9kg and had a cloudy left eye. Blood analysis showed an infection AND Malaria. This bird was not well and was hiding in the box in rehab (headache maybe from the Malaria?) A whole lot of pills, salmon and peace and quiet and s/he is coming out of the box now. As s/he is our only patient we put a mirror in the pen for company. Hehu is almost ready to head out again. Phew, that was a close call - s/he would not have made it without a stint with rehab.
Our winter days are spent tidying the penguin reserves, planting trees and analysing the data and information from last season - and we don't usually get to see the penguins (and a paucity of penguin photos). Sometimes we get to hear them in the evening but during the day there is no one home. Even now in mid August we are not seeing them in the colonies just yet (we did last year). These two were a real treat, not only because they were the first adults we had seen in ages but also because they decided they liked this newly minted nest box in a new place. We tried to make it attractive by providing furniture, ie cabbage tree leaves, and until now no takers. On this day this couple decided to hang out in it and try it out for size. We'll find out SHE likes is well enough for her precious eggs some time next month!
Our yellow-eyed penguins are near invisible these days. We find their poohs in the colony during the day but they are home late and we miss seeing them. It's their holiday time and they spend every day out at sea.