New Zealand
Te Akatapu

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    • Day 39

      Penguin Place II

      January 8, 2020 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

      Then we jumped on a bus for a short ride to the reserve. It is all on private land and the owners are operating the tours and it’s the only way to get to the beach. Adrien also said that they are using all the money from the tours to plant more trees, protect the penguins more, take care of penguins that need to be looked after for a while. So it’s nice to know, that the money I spend to see some rare penguins is actually used to help them!

      After the short ride, we started a short bushwalk.
      The tracks are really good and we got strict orders to stay together and be really quiet, as they have been spotting a juvenile near a pond and that where we are going first now.

      A part of the track is through some tunnels, it all is build to keep the impact on the penguins as small as possible. The viewing shelters are like small huts with viewing places.
      Luckily the juvenile was still there, enjoy the sun 🤗
      Adrian told us, that there are only 25 yellow-eyed penguins living on this beach, that’s not much! It’s a really big beach!!
      So they really don’t like to be too close to each other.
      After watching the juveniles sunbath we went to see a 9 1/2 week old chick with his mom. But they have been unfortunately disappearing. Adrian went off to try to find them, but he had no luck, though he said he could hear the little one screaming for his parents.
      So we went down to the stone cliffs and watched some lazy fur seals laying around in the sun. We got to know, that this area is between two big breeding areas and all the fur seals here are young males, chased away from the old males from the breeding colony’s around.

      We then went back to the nesting area, hoping that for someone of the breeding family had already returned. We found a little blue penguin in a nesting box on the way. As they are more social their boxes are very closed to each other all around the area.

      On the way to the viewing shelter Adrian suddenly stopped and said, I see the chick, let’s go another way. And then we all saw him, climbing up the hill, going back home I guess!
      So lovely fluffy he is! 🥰
      That was also the end of our tour, so we walked back to the bus and drove back to the center.

      It was really nice to get so much information about the yellow-eyed penguin and I know now even more how lucky I was to see two of them the other day in the Katiki Reserve and I also now know, that the first one was an adult yellow-eyed and the second one a juvenile 😊
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    • Day 22

      Penguin Place

      March 21, 2016 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

      Penguin Place is a private conservation reserve dedicated to helping the endangered Yellow Eyed Penguin survive.

      This conservation project is entirely funded by guided tours of the reserve. This funding provides habitat restoration, predator control, a research programme and on-site rehabilitation care for penguins that are sick, starving or wounded.

      I saw some penguins in the hospital who are being cared for until they can be released into the wild again. We then went to see penguin couple Jim (22 years, so really old) and his partner Maggie (10 years and his 4th partner) in the little swamp they live in.

      At the beach we were waiting for the penguins to come back in from feeding and just when we were about to leave we saw two waddle out of the water and onto the beach. Unfortunately they were too far away to get a good picture but they are so cute. We also saw fur seals again. Wahoo!
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