September 29, 2014 at 10:37 pm
We’re stuck in idle mode with not much to do other than trying to get back the only device we still have. The weather on the West Coast is spectacular which makes being stuck in town even more of a drag. It’s one of these days where you can spent hours on end thinking about the things you could be doing if it weren’t for the lack of devices. Well, at least we’ll go to Haast this afternoon to use find a telephone and check emails. Hopefully I’ll find the message saying that our GPS dive loggers are finally on their way to us.
I have decided against going back I during the day today to check the time lapse camera at our i-gotU bird’s nest. There was only a small chance that we would encounter it on the nest anyhow and we should try to cut down on disturbance of the neighbourhood.
Instead we took a trip to Haast to get some more groceries, make a few phone calls and connect to the internet. We returned to Neil’s Beach just after sunset and headed out to the Heads immediately.
We arrived at the Plaza at around 9pm. The rush hour had passed and only two apparently non-breeding penguins sat amongst the rocks not doing anything. I climbed up to the Plaza and made my way through the kiekie. Up past the second logger nest, into the Plaza. The lower cave nest had one adult guarding the chick. And our logger nest…
… was empty! No adult, no chick! Don’t tell me crèching had started!?! Did the chick leave the nest to hang out with other young ones in a penguin version of a Kindergarten?
I grabbed the SD card from our time lapse camera and we headed back out.
Reviewing the time lapse images shows the adult penguin leaving the nest between 7:33 and 7:34. The chick left the nest not long after at 7:47. Not to return into frame until I picked up the SD card at 20:31.
We’re in trouble now. The logger’s battery by now is drained. Whether the condoms have held out the water four days in a row is another question. But how are we going to get the device off the female if she returns to feed the chick not at the nest but somewhere in the bush around the Plaza?
Well, we just have to get her on the beach then. Hope dies last, they say.