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Phillip Island Penguins
Suddenly a voice cries: "Look! Over there!" Necks crane, eyes strain hard to see. But in the gentle surf at sunset it is impossible to recognise what it is in the water. A head, a beak perhaps, a tiny wing...
No sooner is the first cry heard when it is followed by another. You look out to sea and, yes, there's something there, some movement, something ... and suddenly not just one by many...
And a hush of expectancy falls.
They come as if riding on the surf, and you can pick them out now.
And they're coming home
On a patch of sand not too far away you now glimpse a pair of wobbly feet. You can see the bird then, a tiny bird, a litle penguin, a fairy penguin.
Another comes on shore, and another, and another, and soon the beach is alive with these birds.
They have had their day foraging out at sea and now they are coming home.
They walk across the sand in small groups (some almost in single file), as if in a triumphant march, and they head for their home in the dunes.
An awesome sight to see
Wave after wave they come from the sea and waddle, like only penguins can, across the sand of Summerland Beach on Phillip Island.
They arrive in their hundreds, these tiny, frail-looking birds who've braved the seas, and are now coming home.
They are an awesome sight to see, this massive avian display before the dark finally swallows the sea and earth and sky.
And you pray for Someone, please, Someone, please look after these tiny brave ocean explorers and see that they come home, always, to their home on the shore.