Penguins at Play

An early morning walk along Nelsons Beach, Vincentia delivered more than the usual pleasant stroll. Not only were a pod of dolphins cruising close to shore but a lone fairy penguin was harassing a school of bait-fish along the shoreline. Only a few metres from the sand and in small breaking waves the penguin was having an energetic and rewarding feast. There are many penguins in the bay and Bowen Island has a well established and known colony. I visited Bowen with the Booderee rangers one late summers evening a couple of years ago and assisted in a population count. As the sun sets hundreds of penguins return to shore with the afternoons catch. In rafts (groups) as they are called the penguins surge to the shoreline and up through the sand and grass to their nests. Trying to count these little birds as they run at and past you is a challenging task and a mix of estimation and guestimation is required! The penguin colony numbers in the thousands and the birds are protected through the isolation and no public access to the island.

nelsons-002_renamed_5549.jpg nelsons-004_renamed_15777.jpg Nelsons Beach, Vincentia

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