Hello friends and family - Happy Easter
The penguins keep arriving, and so we keep releasing them when they are ready so it can be a challenge to know how many are here at any given time. On Sunday morning I picked up a penguin off the landing at the Moeraki colony that had moulted but weighed only 4.4 kg. It had been there on Saturday so its choice to stay in was an indicator that all was not well. It was a 2 year old female from here that had nested at Aramoana. She had Malaria. On Tuesday morning we had 50 in care with 18 of our breeders not seen yet.
The team came out on Monday and we brought in 3 penguins including the 47 pair who were looking so well for a couple of weeks then weighed under 5 kg and still 2 weeks of moulting to go. Tuesday was a day for washing and cleaning ready for the next lot.
We went out again on Wednesday and only found one needy penguin – Mrs 90. She fledged 2 chicks and came in, pre-moult, weighing 4.9kg. but she was the only one! We released 5 so maybe we have passed the peak. On Thursday the drama was around undelivered fish. United fisheries had it picked up on Monday morning, but it had not arrived in Dunedin. Long weekend ahead, dwindling fish supplies. I have ordered more which should be here by Wednesday.
We did the rounds on Friday and only picked up one penguin. It was Mr 168. He had started the moult well but after 3 weeks was under 5 kg with a week to go. There are penguins back now, those that we have released are swimming home, resting up for a couple of days and then back out there fishing. Yesterday I picked up Mrs 78 – underweight to moult but at 6.7kg, not as bad as we have seen. Later, I went down the hill and beeped Mrs 96. She is the only female that we know for sure moulted unassisted. We have 8 females unaccounted for.
Have a great week!