Trustee Jill Cotton reports about blue penguins nesting close to her home:

“My birds had 100% breeding success this season.”

She noted:

“There’s been a change in the visitor pattern to the beach here.

Two things:

International visitors had this beach north of Greymouth targeted on a website for several years bringing unwanted numbers looking for penguins during the day and letting dogs run around.   Then the pandemic put paid to international visitors and erosion of the lane down to the beach and large shingle pile up made it more difficult for locals.  We mainly have keen fishermen and their families now.

We  had observed a reduction in visitor numbers of about 75% over the past five seasons.  I feel the penguins have more confidence in continued breeding here now …..definitely less interference.

With growing interest in our local wildlife in recent years, I was pleased to learn about a unique situation in the sale of my neighbour’s property.  The house is on the same lane with three penguin nest boxes being used each season in the bush close by.  My neighbour sadly passed away last year … he was a great friend to the penguins and asked his family to respect his wishes that the property be passed on to a similar person.  The new owner is keen to look after and monitor the birds, which is great news.

I also have new tenants in my cottage …… penguin-friendly of course!  We are off to a good start to the year.”

Penguin box after moult

 

Two other active boxes close by… off the main track to the beach in the bush 40 meters uphill from the tide line and parking spot.