Little Penguins

We walked down the path to Pilots Beach when we visited Taiaroa Head, Otago Peninsula on Saturday 10 October, afternoon. There’s an area for viewing little blue penguins. The penguins come ashore at dusk so we didn’t see any. Over the summer about 200 arrive here in the evening. Near Dunedin, New Zealand

Fyi the penguins (Eudyptula minor) are known by many names including little penguins, blue penguins, little blue penguins, kororā, and in Australia – fairy penguins. They are the smallest species of penguin.

Click on any photo to enlarge


On our way we saw poroporo flowers. I love the colour and they also produce pretty fruit. Native, in the ‘potato’ family. Also occur in Australia.

Walkway down to Pilots Beach. Otago Harbour.

As we neared the beach there were sheetmetal panels under the railing with penguin cut-outs … neat idea!

The sun shone through the penguin cut-outs and onto the path. This angle is looking down onto the dirt path 🙂

Next photo’s by Nigel – shows how it’s put together.

Love the effect!


Text by Liz, photos by Liz and Nigel; Exploring Colour (2020)

11 thoughts on “Little Penguins

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  1. Those penguin cutouts are clever; who’d have imagined a grass-green penguin? We had a chance to watch the little penguins come ashore in Oamaru but didn’t feel like paying for the privilege of sitting close-by in bleachers, so we got only a distant view of them.

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  2. Oh little blue, we love you. Lucky enough to see them in Oamaru, and consider myself privileged to have been kept awake by their braying, well into the night, for such a dainty kind of bird they are very noisy! (And a big thankyou to the locals on ‘penguin patrol’ who were so helpful and informative).

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  3. Your poroporo flowers (love the name!) resemble our silverleaf nightshade. That makes sense, since ours also are in the genus Solanum. Ours usually are abundant in one of the refuges I visit, but a combination of storm surge flooding and mowing seem to have done them in for this year. The creative fencing is great — penguins are cute in any form.

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    1. The Austronesian languages love to double up syllables or pairs of syllables. Poroporo is one of a zillion Māori examples. In Eve’s Cebuano language, balik means ‘[to go] back’ but people often say balik-balik. The Hawaiian language has given us mahi-mahi, which is a kind of fish.

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      1. There are so many examples that it’s almost futile to begin. One that sticks in my memory is from one of my first journeys to this part of the world, to Australia. My itinerary took me to Wagga-Wagga, in the Riverina Disrtict of New South Wales. “Wagga” is the aboriginal name for the native crow, which quite accurately imitates its call. Doubling it makes it plural, so the name means “the place of many crows.”

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