After SZG finished work today we went for a walk along the Burnie Boardwalk. It was just before sunset as we wanted to try and grab a glimpse of the fairy penguin colony that actively live in Burnie. Apparently the colony is very big and from around an hour before sunset to about an hour after dark, the adult fairy penguins start to return from the sea, to look after and feed their young.
The children where very excited to be going down by the beach to see if we could see any penguins. We were initially greeted by a tour guide at the Penguin Centre, who voluntarily gave us a short talk about the life and times of the fairy penguin and told us their life cycle and other interesting facts. They also showed us Boris, the freeze dried and stuffed Fairy Penguin, who is available for photographs! The children enjoyed being able to get up close with a ‘real’ penguin – even though he was obviously not alive! They had a very hands on experience and got to touch Boris, which was great.
Once Sunset started we went for a short walk along the boardwalk to see if we could grab a glimpse of some live penguins – and we were not disappointed at all. There where a number of small chicks who came out to await the return of their parents. Then after some strange noises, which we were informed were the penguins talking to each other we could start to see the adult penguins emerging from the water and making their way across the rocks to their young. It was all very exciting and interesting. Unfortunately the penguins hate light, so we were unable to use a flash on the camera, and therefore did not manage to get any good shots to share of the live penguins and their chicks, but the experience was great none the less and the children enjoyed it immensely as did SZG and I!
Here are some photos we did get to take of Boris!