Tag Archives: birds

Noisy scary kiddies

Noisy scary kiddies
I watched the gulls playing in the One and Only hotel's guest pool for about 15 minutes. Nobody else was around and they were having a marvelous time; well, until a family of running-screaming-laughing kids arrived - which is why they're making a run for it in this photo. Speaking of making a run for it, I wonder what birds would say - "make a flap for it"? :)

Peninsula trip stop 6: Boulders Penguin Colony

Peninsula trip stop 6: Boulders Penguin Colony
Contrary to what Pixar would have you believe, penguins don't all live in the icy Arctic regions - we have plenty of African penguins along our shores. Two places that you'll more than certainly see penguins is at Betty's Bay, and this place, Boulders Beach.

What's awesome about Boulders Beach is that it's a regular beach where people are allowed to bathe in the sun and swim in the ocean together with the penguins. Entry to Boulders Beach is paid for and strictly controlled as not to overcrowd the penguins.

Peninsula trip stop 2: The Company’s Garden

Peninsula trip stop 2: The Company's Garden
The second stop of our trip around the peninsula was at the Company's Garden. The word "Company" in the name referrers to the Dutch East India company, who were the first European settlers to land and set up a base at Cape Town. The Company's Garden was established by the commander, Jan Van Riebeeck, to grow produce to supply passing ships with food.

For their historical significance, the gardens are today considered a national monument.

The geese know something

The geese know something
I find geese are a little creepy, to be honest. It's almost like they know something that I don't, and that they are just that bit more vicious than I expect.

These ones came a-charging, fully expecting to be handed loaves of bread on silver platters. It did not happen.

Peacock and Peahen – a first date

Peacock and Peahen - a first date
We of course don't know for sure that these two were on a first date, but the peacock on the left was the only one (of about 10 peafowls) that followed the peahen onto the roof of this pergola. He seemed to be eyeballing her intently.

What you can't see in the photo is that there was a bush fire burning in the vicinity, billowing smoke into the clear sky, causing the light to change from its ordinary mid-day bright white into a soft orange hue. Normally a peahen's feathers are pretty dull, lacking colour, but on this day the filtered light transformed her plumage to be the golden brown colour that it is in this photo. Click the photo to see the large version. Isn't she beautiful?

An alternate theory, to a "first date", is her alleged suitor wasn't actually a suitor at all... perhaps he was simply in awe of (and probably jealous of) her unusually-pretty plumage!

Please don’t feed the seagulls

Please don't feed the seagulls
I watched as a group of people fed these seagulls potato chips. I was really tempted to ask them to stop since everyone knows that feeding them just makes them more of a nuisance. But, as I thought this I instantly realised that my words would make no difference; so I left.

The clothes maketh not the peacock

The clothes maketh not the peacock
Contrary to what I'd previously believed a study conduced in Japan revealed that peahens (like the dull-grey one on the left) aren't at all impressed by the size or brilliance of the peacock's plumage, nor by how neatly it's been pressed at the dry-cleaners.

According to the study it's what the peacock says that makes all the difference. I have reason to believe this may too apply to the human race.

The iron beak of the Red-winged Starling

Red-winged Starling
Allow me to introduce you to the Red-winged Starling. Perhaps its just my over-active imagination, but doesn't this shadowy creature look perfectly evil? Click on the image to see the larger view - doesn't it's beak and those talons look like they've been forged in the fires of Mordor?

Granted, I'm interpreting the bird's nature based on external appearance (which is just silly, really) but it is true that Red-winged Starlings aren't push-overs - they can be quite fierce, actually. These birds are well-known to attack pets and humans wandering too close to their nests... which are unfortunately often located in the roofs of our homes - uncomfortable close to where we normally do wonder. :)

Unfortunately, Starlings are often considered pests (and are dealt with as such) since Starlings like to nest in roofs and tend to spread lice and other creepy-crawlies. It's sad actually - I kinda like those devilishly-dark-sometimes-fierce birds.

Yellow weaver bird

Yellow Weaver bird
A month or two ago a similar weaver built a nest on this same branch in our garden. Unfortunately, the nest wasn't secured well enough and it slid off the end of the branch and ended up on the grass below.

I've watched this weaver build its nest over the past few days and, perhaps it's premature to say so, but I think it looks a little more secure than the previous one. That said, I sure hope that the little piece of grass that you can see wrapping over the thorn above the nest isn't the only thing keeping it in place!

Swimming flags and seagulls

Swimming flags and seagulls
If you're anything like me, even though signs like these are fairly prominent you've probably never read them - and in this case would be confused when lifeguards start waving at you as you bob about the ocean beyond the marker flags.

So, when visiting beaches like Camps Bay, keep an eye out for the marker flags, and try staying between them. And remember, if you're looking for a hot date with a hot, well-built lifeguard - swimming outside of the markers isn't the way to get one. That stuff only works in the movies. ;)

Birdie nom nom

Birdie nom nom
This sign is located right outside the fast-food outlets at the V&A Waterfront. Due to the high concentration of seagulls, and to make the sign a little more accurate, I would have added "For your own safety..." to the front of the plea.

Do you remember the book or (as I do) the movie The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock? Do you think it's a co-incidence that this is called the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront? Neither do I. Don't feed the birds people! :D

Seagulls scheming

Seagulls scheming
I'll put it out there - I just don't trust seagulls. Have you noticed how they sit, "innocently" viewing the landscape. I tell you, they're up to no good. Just take a look at this photo!

On the more serious side, did you know that seagulls can live for 20 or more years? The same seagull has most probably been attacking your seaside picnics for 20 years! No wonder there are so many of them around!