penguins

Australia

The Phillip Island penguin parade (1991)

It was off to the Penguin Parade. We headed straight through the information center and spread our mats out on the beach in the best viewing spot, and then took shifts keeping watch and looking at the displays. Finally, after a long but worthwhile wait, in marched the penguins. While we got cold and the night got dark, these beautiful little fairy penguins rode in on the surf, rode out again, and when they were good and ready, waddled up onto the shore. The playful ones returned to the water several times before they emerged for the night. Their white bellies shimmered and their flippers flapped. Some were so full from the day’s feed they could barely make it up the sand, and they kept flopping over onto their tummies and sliding back into the ocean. We watched in silence for 45 minutes or so, and then strolled around on the boardwalks to see them heading through the dunes to their burrows. I laughed to see a few furry chicks and even a penguin skirmish…