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.

 

 

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Animals at play

Playful, exuberant and just plain fun, featured here are three of my favourite animal species playing.    So why do they engage in these exuberant displays – what do they gain or do they do it just because it feels good?  All the scenes exude good humour – a relaxed sense of just goofing around.   It was a delight to watch all their antics.  Play benefits healthy development of young animals both physically and mentally – helping them to get to grips with their spacial environment and building up dexterity and strength.

For more entertainment head over to WPC:Fun!

March: Wildlife in the garden

A sunny spot in the late afternoon.
Enjoying a sunny spot in the late afternoon just over the edge of the garden is a Cape Clawless otter.

This month I’ve joined Jude’s photography challenge.  The subject is wildlife in the garden, which is ‘right up my street’.   The urban/wildlife interface here between mountain and sea is pretty active with a range of wildlife visitors – from the smallest of critters such as baby field mice to baboon, otter and porcupine … dassies, mongoose, genet.

 

 

The otters came calling

Night noises can sometimes be quite unsettling.  A high-pitched wailing sounded eerie and threatening:  the Cape clawless otters had arrived in dynamic form.   Their squealing sounded full of quest.  We’re guessing that they are the young adults from the family group which range this section of the coast.  What a rumpus as they called through the night, but it bodes well to know that they are back as the vegetation sheltering their holt was partially destroyed in the recent fire.

The otter holt

We had a lucky to sighting in the morning as they made they way back to the water.

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More otter accounts can be found here.