Knowing I was about to reveal the cover page for the next exciting chapter book in the mischievous Bradberrie brothers alien adventure series, I went in search of evidence of other life forms somewhere out there in our universe. Perhaps even proof of aliens here on Earth. I visited the Tidbinbilla Deep Space Tracking Station with high hopes. On entry the sign asked for all mobile phones, laptops etc to be turned off to "Help us listen to whispers from space." Surely I would at least hear something interesting here!
I searched high and low, but to no avail. I found moon rocks, Mars rovers. rocket ships and even adorned a space suit just in case an alien was hiding in some obscure place too frightened to reveal himself. It was a very interesting day, I learnt a lot about deep space, the race to the moon and even a whole lot of information about our sun, but no aliens were to be found anywhere here.
So I travelled further afield, down the south coast to the most southern part of mainland Australia. I had high hopes as I wondered through the rainforests that something unusal may have been lurking in there. I searched the waterways and estuaries and even hiked high up a mountain top.
It was only when I arrived on Phillip Island to observe the Little (Fairy) Penguins that I felt that perhaps I had found what I was searching for. These unique little birds stay out at sea for 75% of their life and yet each time they come to land to nest they know exactly where to find the same burrow. It was just like watching aliens, waiting until after dark to sneak to shore, then suddenly (almosy magically) they appear in their hundreds and race across the sand, waddle up bush tracks and find their waiting mates. Calls go out through the night as the party begins, neighbours chat and freinds re-unite. Observing the penguins in their native state was not only enchanting, it seemed almost other worldly as they marched on by us totally disregarding the throng of humans eager to catch a glimpse of such a special creature.
Note: The above picture with the penguins is a green screened photo of us superimposed amongst the penguins. Naturally you cannot disturb their march to their burrows, touch the penguins or even get quite this close! All photography is prohibited with respect for the penguins.