A yellow-eyed penguin makes his/her way across the beach with a purposeful stride: places to be, penguins to see.
On the way home after a day's fishing, this yellow-eyed penguin wades through the shallow water to get to the beach. Looking good!
It must be enjoyable this snogging business. When the penguins allo-preen like this they often close their eyes - for pleasure maybe. They sure look like it is a pleasurable thing to be doing with each other!
While these two look like a pair - they are most likely to be two males. How do we know? They are hanging out on a beach on their own a little away from the main colony. We have found bachelors carve out territories away from established - and usually older - males. They hope to attract a female to this new place and so they hang out on the beach and foreshore trying to entice the females in by singing loudly and being very visible. It's worked for their neighbour: we have had a new pair (Chicky was the female) next door in this area this past season. If these two boys decide to set up house with each other, we can always use more foster dads!
And another former chick of ours that was fledged through the hospital, has returned with a sore throat. Like the others, it was an easy fix - we were just so pleased that he knew to come home.
Often those chicks that show up needing a little TLC at this time of year are going to make it and recruit into our local population. We have had another wee girl - with a famous brother called Cassello Chilcott - stay with us for a week or so because she loitered about in the colony and was found to have a throat infection when we caught and examined her. It's an easy fix, a pill, a few days of salmon and she is on her way again. So nice to see her though - because she is clever and learnt how to fish!