Tuesday 3 February 2015

Happy Feet

I promised cute baby penguins and here they are.

These images are from the Pohatu Penguin Tour we did on Friday night, when our French guide Benoit (I could listen to him saying the word 'arbour in his cute accent all night) drove us about an hour from Akaroa to Pohatu, the largest little penguin colony in New Zealand.

There we donned camouflage gear (yes, I did feel like a twat) and grabbed binoculars before heading out into the gloaming to watch the tiny blue and white penguins come out of their protected boxes to get a breath of fresh air.

And you probably heard our sighs from your place as the penguin guardian angels tried to release one wee fella to the sea for the third night running. As we watched, he stood there shivering and trotting back to his human mama who'd hand fed him since he was left behind by his own mother a few weeks ago. I swear to god, everyone watching wanted desperately to pick him up and take him home but, eventually, he got the message and after a few retreats back up the beach, he swam out to sea. Here's hoping the bloody great seal we spotted a few minutes later didn't have him for dinner....

Here he is having a last feed before he was taken to the beach

And here is is, being encouraged by a load of tourists to turn around and get into the water  

Which he eventually does...

And here are a couple of others penguins, their moult not quite complete and so not ready to follow their plucky mate out to sea,

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