The Fiordland Crested Penguin is the second rarest penguin the the world. There are only about 3,000 pair of these penguins left (did you know that penguin are counted in pairs?).
We were so lucky to have seen nine of them today: 3 walking into the sea when we first arrived, another hopping down from the nesting area, a juvenile joining him in the opening of a cave, watched the first walk along the beach them swim out to sea, saw another coming back from the sea a while later, then three more by the steam as we were leaving.
I've got strong WiFi again, and was finally able to compile some of the better photos that I took from our penguin walk on Saturday.
Dick emerges from the rain forest - looking for penguins
the amazing, secluded, hidden beach that our guide brought us to. We were the only people on it the entire time we were there. Just magical.
when we first arrived, we just saw three penguins waddling into the sea together. I'm not sure if you can see them in this photo or not. Hoping Dick got a better shot. Regardless, you get a sense at how pretty this beach was!
this little guy (an adult male) came hopping down the rocks from the nesting area soon after we arrived.
hopping on the rocks
he eventually hopped down the rocks and made his way to the entrance of a cave. He was soon joined by a 10-week old, juvenile
the adult male waddles his way down to the sea...
We quietly walked around the corner of a large rock formation to see if we could find any other penguins on that side. We didn't find any others, but it led us to another spot of the beautiful beach.
plus, we saw a star fish and other sea life on the rocks.
as we made our way back to the original side of the beach, we spotted another adult male (perhaps the same one?) coming back in from the sea....
...and waddling back up the beach...
...and back up onto the rocks.
another view of the little guy on the rocks
as we made our way back from the beach back to the trail, we spotted these three little guys by the stream!
So, in all, we saw nine penguins (assuming they were all different when they went into and out of the sea). Pretty lucky, considering there are so few of these guys left in the World.