On the second day of our short holiday on Yorke Peninsula last week we drove from Edithburgh to Marion Bay before lunch. The weather was turning bad with strengthening northerly winds ahead of a cooler change from the south.
On arriving at Marion Bay we drove slowly around the older part of town noting things we could remember from holidays there in the 1980s. Little had changed in that part of town but we also noted many new and expensive looking homes in the newer parts of town. We parked at Penguin Point overlooking the bay. As the wind had turned almost gale force we had to stay in the car to eat our lunch as it was too unpleasant outside. It was not good birding weather.
Penguin Point is obviously named after the bird of the same name, probably the Little Penguin which is seen regularly along the coast of South Australia. I can’t find any references in my library but I would expect that some Little Penguins actually nest along this part of the coast. I didn’t see any penguins on my visit but this is not surprising as most Little Penguins spend most of the winter at sea.
While the Little Penguin is the most frequently seen species along the southern coast of Australia, several other species are occasionally recorded, including the Rockhopper Penguin, Fiordland Penguin and the King Penguin.
My daughter sent me a link to a Youtube video about one very clever – or lucky penguin.
It is certainly worth taking out two minutes to watch it. Click here to view it.
What I want to know is – how foolish are the observers? There they are sitting in a rubber dinghy in a sea boiling with killer whales only a metre or two away.
Yikes – I’d be terrified too – move over little penguin!
When we were in Sydney last month visiting family for Christmas, one of the things I wanted to do was to take a ferry trip on Sydney Harbour. Last time we were here we didn’t get to go on the harbour. The main objective of the ferry ride was to see the beautiful harbour and the magnificent scenery around it. Birding was secondary.
We took the ferry to Manly where we alighted for a walk to the beach. We also indulged in a delicious icecream before heading home again. I was more intent in getting some good photos of the harbour rather than watching birds. I definitely saw plenty of Silver Gulls. They seem to be plentiful here. I also saw several terns but without my binoculars it was hard to tell the species. Several cormorants were seen at a distance too great to positively ID and I’m sure I missed many others on the journey.
On a visit in 2000 I was walking along the foreshore near Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair and was surprised – and delighted – to observe a Fairy Penguin (Little Penguin) swimming in the shallow water. Later I found out that they are a breeding species in the harbour. No penguins on this trip however.
While birding from one of the ferries that ply these waters daily could be done with some success, my experience on this occasion was disappointing. Of more value, I suspect, would be to visit a series of key spots around the harbour.Ã‚Â A static position may be far more effective rather than a moving platform. Just a thought.