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The Great AW Little Blue Penguin Hunt


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another little blue penguin hunt! No, we’re not going hunting them for their flesh but wandering along the south coast foreshore in the expectation that we can observe some little blues coming ashore from their hunting and feeding trips.

We’ll be walking around the Wellington south coast under the cover of darkness exploring the coastline but careful enough not to disturb these birds.

Adult birds come ashore between May and June to prepare nests. This small bird may waddle up to 1.5 kilometres from the sea, and climb 300 metres to find the perfect nest site. Traditional nests are in underground burrows, under vegetation, in crevices, between rocks or in caves. Since people came onto the coastal scene, little penguins have also taken to nesting under houses and boat sheds, in stormwater pipes, and stacks of timber.

People and penguins like to live in the same places - prime coastal habitat, and penguins still try to live with people. They were common in New Zealand, but most are now on offshore islands where there is less disturbance.

Usually two eggs are laid from August to November. Young chicks are generally not left alone until three weeks old, and then both parents are kept busy bringing in food. After about eight weeks the chicks are ready to fledge and fend for themselves.

Independent once again, parents stock up on food before coming ashore to shed their feathers and grow a new waterproof coat. The moult lasts about two weeks and can happen any time between November and March. The penguins are especially vulnerable at this time as they cannot swim.

Where to spot penguins

By day little penguins are out at sea, fishing and feeding, or in their burrows roosting, moulting or tending eggs or chicks. They are more likely to be seen in sheltered harbours and inlets where their low profile may be detected from a boat.

Because of their small size and nocturnal habits, little penguin are rarely seen on land. Generally they only come ashore under the cover of darkness.

Many penguin in Wellington harbour have been banded, providing valuable information about their movements and lifespan. We now know that birds do not often move far from home. When ready to breed, many young animals settle just metres from where they themselves were raised. And once settled in an area, they seldom move away.

The world’s smallest penguin, little penguin (also known as little blue penguin) stand just over 25 cm and weigh around 1 kg. The plumage is slate-blue with a bright white belly. They are found on most of New Zealand's coastline and in southern Australia.

They spend much of their time at sea hunting small fish, crustaceans and squid. Like all penguins they cannot fly, but their paddle-like flippers are excellent for ‘flying’ through the water.

Difficulty

 

 

 

 

5/10 – walking for upto 2 hours with some short moderate climbs and some less formed tracks so a reasonable level of fitness is required. Parts of the track can be slippery when very wet, so good footwear is essential.

What to bring

  • A Torch (Essential),
  • Footwear with good grip,
  • Waterproof outer layer,
  • A drink and snacks.


Time
Meet at 4:30pm. Walking time approximately 3hrs including short breaks.

 

Location

Breaker Bay Carpark, Breaker Bay Road just past the pass of Branda

 

 

No Show Policy:

If you no show or cancel after 7pm the night before this event you will have a 'no show' recorded against your name. No shows can lead to you having to leave the group. Please read our Group Rules here http://www.adventurewellington.co.nz/pages/No_Show_Link_for_Members/


DISCLAIMER :
Whilst every possible assistance will be offered, Adventure Wellington Trust, the Trustees, Event Organisers/hosts and members cannot be held responsible for any accident, injuries or losses sustained leading up to, during, or after an event.


 

Join or login to comment.

  • Hilde

    Great to be outside on such beautiful Winter evening ... And I still think that I DID see a penguin!?

    July 1, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I'm pretty sure it was one as well. It was shuffling about and not flapping any wings! It could have just flown from one place to another on that rock. It MUST have been a penguin :)

      July 1, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Of course it was a penguin! :-) Yes, Caroline is correct it was not flapping around...Just sad not to hear any calling which means they were not on their nests :-(

      1 · July 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    No penguins. Oh well another time. The stars were awesome.

    June 30, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Well 100% definitive sittings!

      July 1, 2013

  • Inky

    It was a fantastic walk, great company!!

    July 1, 2013

  • Dawn

    Thank you Raymond. I had an awesome night out with nice people and was able to see a part of Wellington I'd never been to before.

    June 30, 2013

  • Karl S.

    Thanks for hosting Raymond, I enjoyed simply getting out and chatting with friendly people and doing a bit of night walking - something a bit different for me so quite fun navigating through the darkness. Nice area I'll have to go back during daylight hours sometime.

    June 30, 2013

  • Jenny

    Terribly sorry that I cannot make it at the last minute. Just found out my car is broken when I was about to drive to town just now.

    June 30, 2013

  • Nicky S.

    I'll be driving from Karori, so if anyone needs a ride - let me know :)

    June 23, 2013

    • Andy W.

      Thanks Karl

      June 27, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      thanks Karl - see you there

      June 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Can I catch a ride from someone? I'm happy to meet anywhere in the city or along Oriental Parade.

    June 24, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      4pm at the bottom of Hay Street would be good.

      June 25, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thank you. See you on Sunday at 4.

      June 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi, does anyone have a space going from the cbd please?

    June 26, 2013

  • Andy W.

    Could someone give me a lift from town out to Breaker Bay please?

    June 22, 2013

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