While we were in the Moeraki area, we learned that there was a possibility to see the yellow eyed penguins… and for free! And they come ashore at 5ish or so well within good light parameters for photos. Off we went. Again, the scenery is spectacular, and this headland was no exception. Other than the couple of windy and rainy days in Bluff, the weather has been wonderful.
The three of us hiked to the point and watched and waited. There were several sleeping New Zealand sea lions also at the top of the hill! Tom with the big lens and tripod over his shoulder attracts lots of birders and this location was no exception. Another fellow from Oregon who had been asking Tom about birds and penquins, had left for his car only to run back to ask, "Are the penguins are about 3 feet tall?" If so, he thinks he saw one coming out of the water back up the trail.
We headed back to the location but couldn't see anything. I went slightly around the corner to get a different view and spotted some movement on the hillside, slightly out of Tom's line of sight. Penquins! They'd already made it up most of the hill about 60-80 feet. When we got there, they were huffing and puffing from the climb.
The first shot is as we could see them, the second is cropped.
All total we saw 6 this evening. The camp host back at our campground was thrilled as for weeks, they've only seen 3. Since the yellow eyed penguins are endangered this was a good thing.
For those of you that know I'm not really into the birding thing like my husband, but who doesn't love and get excited about penguins!
And then there's the walk back up to the car park, and the cool lighting hitting the 'plant guards' or daytime luminaries at the base of the light house.
And one last shot as we were leaving the area over the incredibly green landscape.