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Monday, January 12, 2009

The Little Penguins - Phillip Island

The reason we came to Phillip Island was to see the Little Penguins and it was well worth the trip. As promised, about 9 pm, they emerged from the sea after fishing all day, waddled ashore and started walking to their burrow homes which could be kilometres away. The chicks who are left in the burrows never get to know who their parents are so they bail up and harrass any returning penguin they can catch and start to furiously squark and beg for food. Naturally the mother is only going to feed her own chick so she gives it a good peck and continues on her way.

Only 12 inches high, they are easy prey for predatory birds and they wait a long time before actually leaving the security of the water's edge to cross the open sandy beach. It they get frightened, they retreat to the water again and may do this several times before finally crossing the beach and waddling onto the land.

No photos are allowed, the comfort and wellbeing of these beautiful little creatures is what this place is all about.

A truly memorable natural wildlife experience and one I won't forget. It's plain to see that ecotourism is the way of the future.