Tuesday, 17 February 2015

This day is for the birds!

We awoke bright and early and made our way to Otago...the peninsula which extends into the ocean from Dunedin, thus forming the protected harbour.  This area is famous for wildlife... Especially for the Royal Albatross...a beautiful and huge seabird, which I am fascinated by.  This bird, once grown from hatchling takes flight for the first time from high cliffs, and does not return to land for five years!  Rather it circumnavigates the south pole until it finally returns to its nesting ground to breed.  It is one of the largest of birds, with a wing span of 3 metres!! The Royal Albatross centre is situated right at the Northern end of the Peninsula and was established to protect the Albatross and to protect its breeding grounds.  It is also situated in a most beautiful setting with the entrance to Dunedin in sight and large and small shops passing by.  This was our first stop.

We joined the tour we had booked and were soon in the observation gallery where we could see several nests upon which the adults sat protecting their new chicks.  We also had the added treat of seeing an albatross in flight soaring on the updrafts and coming in to land.

The tour was over all to soon and we made our way to a local camp ground where we settled in. 

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