He is back as well and now not only has a freshly sponsored mate called Charlie but his house is also sponsored and called Meghan's Mansion - photos not available of that just yet. They have a couple of fertile eggs and we are expecting the chicks to hatch in the next week or so.
She is also back with her mate from last season - and he is now freshly sponsored and called Shaju. They are experienced breeders and we expect that they ought raise a couple of chicks - not long now to hatching!
Those of you who have been following us for a while might remember that Ming injured her flipper during the moult about 18 months ago and ended up with feather loss on that flipper. It got progressively worse, but she managed to raise a chick until we could take over last season. She was in and out of rehab a couple of times earlier this year because her left flipper had lost all feathers. They have grown back - as you can see - and all that is left is a scar. AND she has again laid two fertile eggs. What a trouper. She has a new mate though: Ping has not been seen, and she has hooked up in a new house with the Bequette's mate (who used to breed with Mary for many years until she left him). Go Ming, what an amazing come-back!
P.S. You gotto give it to the penguins: their soap operas rival the best human soaps, yes?
Hollie is in Penny Box 4
She and her mate have moved down the hill from the Harvey Hotel into Ming&Ping's place - ever wondered what penguins are up to in the winter? Real-estate shopping of course and some houses are just really popular! They have two fertile eggs.
Ah, they are both home looking after the eggs.....or are they? The female - lying down - is Molly and she has moved out of the forest to this spot where she found a long-term bachelor and they have two eggs (Molly's previous mate has not been recorded). Her new mate must be a little out of practice - that's a pathetic nest. Maybe he stayed home for some more nest building? We recorded their micro-chip number and found that appearances can be deceiving: the standing penguin is not her mate - but a young male from the neighbourhood. We have put lots of dummy eggs around the place in all the nest boxes he has used, but alas, here he is with Molly......this often spells trouble, but as far as we can tell it was a one-off. Molly and her mate have two fertile eggs.
She is back - same mate, different house. It is well camouflaged this time among some flaxes. Do these two look a little guilty? Maybe they were gazing at the eggs instead of keeping them warm? They are good parents, these two and we expect both eggs to be fertile.
One of our most favourite females is back on two eggs: Stitches had quite a horrific injury as a young penguin, got beautifully stitched up by the St Kilda vets and survived a trauma that would have surely killed her. So she is a super special to all of us as she illustrates how you can save a bird and she will come back and make more penguins!
Some pairs like to mix it up a little and nest in a natural site. This is where Bronn's mate built her a nest and she laid the eggs. Last year, one of their chicks tumbled down the hill - this is not going to happen from this nest as it is quite secure among the flaxes.
Dylan and Poppy
His mate ran off with Rio (obviously likes a younger male) and her mate never came home and Lesley and Chris now own her house. What to do? Move down the way a wee bit and set up house next door to Holger and Danni. If everyone has chicks hopefully there will be a bit of a kindergarden happening here!! Fingers crossed.
He is a young male who scored an experienced mate (Dylan's mate last season) - a good move as she will be able to teach him a think or two about raising a family. He's done pretty well building a nest, so they are off on a good start.