Winter seas in False Bay

It’s calmer on the False Bay side when the nor’westerly Atlantic swells push onto the coast; though the wave height may not be as high as along the western edge of the Cape Peninsula there is still power in the break.   We watch with great anxiety for the otters and penguins as they exit the surging waters.    Fortunately the Boulders’ penguin colony is sited in a sheltered sandy cove, with a defence of boulders breaking up the force of the water.  Still these sturdy little creatures risk being tumbled in the surf.   Once on land they head for shelter from the strong winds.   Interesting to see the Cape cormorants happily hunkered down amongst the penguins. (Note the little penguin with the missing foot.)

Close by the Cape clawless otters (Aonyx capensis) maintain secret holts on land where they can hole up out of the rough seas.  We’ve been fortunate to observe a pair which have returned to the area near our garden since the vegetation has regenerated after the devastating fires.  Unlike the penguins’ sandy beach landing, the otters negotiate a rocky shore and often suffer from  injuries.  Pyjama shark is the catch of the day. If you’d like to read more details about the otters Wilf Nussey’s enthralling stories are here.



Edge: Cape Peninsula

Cape _Point_Lighthouse Cliffs_over_Cape_Point


This rugged place where the Atlantic Ocean comes crashing into the cliffs near Cape Point, defines the most south-westerly point of the African continent.  A boardwalk above the cliffs leads to the view of this dynamic scene.   It has a strange draw, like being tempted to the very edge of a precipice.   I love to watch the cormorants here.  They’re quite at home settling on the ledges below and come nesting season they build there nests in this extreme location.

WPC: Edge  “This week, share your own interpretation of “edge.” Take a photo from an actual edge, like a balcony, a window, or a seaside bluff (wherever you are, stay safe!). Focus on a sharp angle or object, or show us the outer margins of a building, a face, or a book….. ”   Take a look here for more examples of this week’s challenge.

On the wing

Isn’t it a marvel to watch birds on the wing and note their contrasts in aerodynamic shape? There are those with powerful wing flaps to slender wing form aerialists, and then there are the dumpy waterbirds more adapted to diving than highflying?