The sky-point behaviour of the yellow-eyed penguins is so expressive: the whole body is showing the delight of seeing the other bird. It is usually preceded with a run-up to the other bird which can be quite intimidating because it could be misinterpreted as aggression - or in fact aggressive territorial behaviour could be misinterpreted as courting.... and then you get a beating if you don't run away. Looks like communication can be difficult for them as well!
The long march home
Once the penguins have decided it is time to head into the colony they determinedly march homeward and often others join them. In the middle of winter they do take their time though: there are no chicks waiting at home that need to be fed or a mate that needs to be relieved off the nest - so there is time is dawdle a little as well.
When the sea is rough the waves sometimes catch up with the penguins as they arrive ashore prompting them to jump onto the nearest rock. As it is unlikely that they don't like getting their feet wet, they probably trying to avoid being tossed about!
The sky-point this yellow-eyed penguin is performing is a greeting ritual meaning something along the lines of "howzit going, gorgeous?" These two are on the beach so it's definitely courting but we have seen chicks doing it to each other, to their parents and of course any adult to any other adult. Depending on who the other bird is the response can be a sky-point in return (involving walking round the other bird) or completely ignoring the efforts!
Who goes there?
Something has piqued this yellow-eyed penguins' interest...it could be the photographer (who thought she was hiding rather well behind a bush - so hopefully not her), a seal or it just spotted the other penguins hanging out on the beach. These penguins are always weary on the beach for any danger - and that includes people.
Got to be flexible
When the yellow-eyed penguins return from fishing they spend a minimum of 10 minutes on the beach preening. This serves two purposes: one is recovery from the swim home. There is an oxygen debt to be paid for rigorous exercise. The second reason is that their magnificent feather coat requires maintenance to stay waterproof, so every feather needs to be fiddled back into place so the penguin stays warm and dry in the cold ocean.