Hello friends and family
We learned during the week that there is a third killer on the loose among our penguin chicks. The upside is that there was nothing we could do to save the ones that died, the downside is that they are dead. It is called RDS (respiratory distress syndrome) and is fatal once symptomatic.
The Norwegian volunteers have headed off to the north island and life is settling down a little. The spring growth, perfume and colour is amazing. The gulls have laid eggs on the headland and the hedge is full of nesting finches.
On Tuesday the team came out for the weekly weigh here at the lighthouse. Some chicks have topped the 1.5kg mark and look fantastic. Our newest babies had diphtheria and have been treated. The ground had dried out enough for us to be able to get around without too much fuss.
At 8:30pm on Wednesday evening, Joe called me out and we watched a drone circling so low over the island that the gulls lifted off their eggs. We walked down the headland but could not see the operator. There were no cars in the carpark and no other sign of people present. Joe said that when he first saw it, it was sweeping over the penguin colony. By 9pm there was no more sign or sound of it, so hopefully it had gone.
Thursday was our first clear round for some time. We weighed the chicks at the Moeraki colony and the heaviest was over 2 kg. The chicks at the Bluffs are all still young and small. We checked on 49 chicks and they were all okay. Sadly, yesterday another one had died so we now have 48 – same as last year.
Have a great week!