Rare visitor - Little Blue Penguin

On 18 February 2024 a walk at the south end of Waikawa Beach brought a sad sight: one or more heavy vehicles had been on the beach doing 'donuts'. Round and round they'd gone, creating roughly ploughed up ridges and pits of sand.

Wide shot of donuts created on the sand.

But wait, what's that white blob over on the left, encircled by the donuts?

It's a native, declining Kororā | Little blue penguin, that's what. It looks in great condition, except that it's dead.

Plump white penguin, belly-up on the sand.

Which came first, the donuts or the penguin? Who knows. But honestly, the beach is not a vehicle play space. It's a place where wildlife lives and rests. It's hardly a coincidence that this dead penguin is encircled by donuts.

Close up of the dead penguin.
Waikawa News @WaikawaNews