Nest building head-start
We have a number of fab photos from this camera and so there will be a wee bit of a series featuring (presumably) Stitches, her mate and neighbours - for some the horizon will be straight (because that was possible to adjust in Photoshop) and for some it's wonky because it would have cut out too much of the photo.
Here one of the fab four is already collecting nesting material, it's never too early to get started!
Spying on the penguins
It's always fun to spy on the penguins with a trail camera and we get to see what they are up to when no human is there to see. The camera was on a slight angle - hence the wonky horizon but the camera captured some priceless moments in the life of these penguins. We think that one of these four who appear to have a lively discussion is probably Stitches, so this foursome will be her, her mate and the neighbouring pair. They have lived next to each other for years and know each other - but here no one is listening and everyone is talking at once. Remind you of anyone?
Different kind of box
A few years ago a pair built a nest on this ledge. It was rather unsuitable as it was exposed to the southerly winds and rather precarious so we built this unusual, custom-made box for them. They did not take up residence in it but have returned for their annual moults and usually hang out during winter on this windy ledge. We'll find out if it is to the liking of the female this year. It is popular with the seal pups though, so maybe that is putting them off.
On the way home
The yellow-eyed penguins are usually not in the colonies during the day and not everyone returns in the late afternoon. This adult did and is making his way through the colony to his nest box and territory to spend the night.
Stewie Junior and Anna
Again it is a guess - but a fairly informed one. These two were coming up the hill towards Uncle Chang's box so it's probably these well known characters!! Looking so good!
We don't really know who is who in the colony at the moment because we can't get close enough to read their micro-chips without causing distress. So there is a little guess-work at play here: this could be the parents of Oisinin and Lola, two lucky chicks with sponsors. Their father had a brief stay in rehab recently to see him through the final stages of the moult. These two are standing very close to their nest box - so it's probably them!
Who goes there??
This yellow-eyed penguin is keeping a close eye on the neighbours and on the other penguins arriving ashore in the hope to spy his mate returning.
Staying at home
Not just humans are staying at home: this yellow-eyed penguin is taking a day off from fishing and is self-isolating in his nest box - probably not so much by choice - he hasn't got a mate at the moment to share his bubble with!!
A pair of yellow-eyed penguins
..... enjoying each other after a day at sea - they are looking fab now in their new coats and nicely plump as well.
It ain't easy
We have been in lockdown which has kept me and my camera away from the penguins at Moeraki but the penguins have also not been around. At this time of year - and this is totally normal - they spend all day every day out at sea and are not ashore during the day. So, some photos are being dusted off from the archives like this one from last September!