We were phoned on Friday evening by a ranger from Department of Conservation asking us to visit the beach and retrieve a dead penguin from Onoke Spit. Apparently someone fishing earlier in the day had sighted the bird and noted that it was wearing an identification tag. We had no trouble locating the Little Blue Penguin and as requested we wrapped it well and stored it in our freezer to await further instructions. Today I received the message from DoC that the bird was tagged on Matiu/Somes Island in the middle of Wellington harbour and the rangers there are very interested that it had washed up on a beach in the Wairarapa. So much so that they intend to make a film about it! Nice to think that this little creature will be famous even if posthumously.
While at the beach this weekend we noticed large groups of White-fronted Terns or Kahawai Bird as they are sometimes called, because of their habit of following shoals of these fish. In one group just resting on the beach there were about 60 birds and many more sighted further out to sea fishing. Obviously the Kahawai are running well as the sea is so calm at present.