Unusual sighting of the Sacred Ibis at the beach, Port Elizabeth.

Unusual sighting of the Sacred Ibis at the beach, Port Elizabeth.

photo of sacred ibis by: steve garvie, dunfermline, fife, scotland

Photo of Sacred Ibis by: Steve Garvie, Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland

These are very poor photos ( below) taken with a cell phone camera and from a distance but we needed to capture this strange sighting. It was quite bizarre to spot about twelve Sacred Ibis birds clambering along the rocks at Millers Beach last week. All were fishing alongside the regular seagulls for delicacies amongst the rocks. We were under the impression that the sacred ibis wouldn’t be found near the coast but after looking up the information we have learned that indeed they can be found at the coast. “The African sacred ibis thrives in large colonies near waterways throughout Africa. It inhabits wetlands such as marshes, swamps, riverbanks, flood plains and mud flats both coastal and inland. It is also known to visit pastures, ploughed land and rubbish dumps.” That doesn’t exactly say AT the beach, wading through little waves lapping up against the rocks at low tide!

sacred ibis, port elizabeth beachfront

Sacred Ibis, Port Elizabeth beachfront

sacred ibis with seagulls, millers beach, pe

Sacred Ibis with seagulls, Millers Beach, PE

Cormorant conference on Bird Rock, Port Elizabeth.

Cormorant conference on Bird Rock, Port Elizabeth.

On any day, at any time you are sure to find a cormorant conference in full swing, doing a balancing act on Bird Rock along the beachfront, Port Elizabeth. Why do cormorants often stand in the sun with their wings spread out to dry? They have less preen oil than other birds so their feathers can get soaked rather than shedding water like a duck’s; wet feathers probably make it easier for cormorants to hunt underwater with agility and speed. We find them rather comical to observe, they seem to be packed with ‘attitude.’ The white-breasted cormorant in particular seems to look wrecked and jagged!

The Cape cormorant is a bird endemic to the southwestern coasts of Africa. It breeds from Namibia south to the southern Cape Province. In the nonbreeding season, it may be found as far north as the mouth of the Congo, and also extends up the east coast of South Africa as far as Mozambique. In the 1970s the breeding population was estimated as over 1 million in Namibia alone. However, the IUCN now classifies it as “Endangered” due to a very rapid decline in the population over the last three generations. The Cape cormorant is an almost entirely glossy black bird, though in breeding condition it has a purplish tinge and a few white plumes on the head, neck, and cloacal areas. Its gular skin ( throat skin) is a deep orangey yellow; unusually for a cormorant, its lores are feathered. ( the lore is the region between the eyes and nostrils of birds, reptiles, and amphibians) The bird’s wing is about 240–280 mm in extent, and it weighs 800-1,600 grams, with little sexual dimorphism. They commonly forage in flocks, taking schooling fish from mid-water, such as pilchards, anchovies, and sand eels. Its prey are typically much smaller than those of the sympatric bank cormorant. Their major predators are black-backed jackals, which take the occasional adult while it is roosting, and nest-site predators such as great cormorants, eastern great white pelicans, and kelp gulls.

Source: Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_cormorant


bird rock, port elizabeth

Bird Rock, Port Elizabeth

Always a seagull around

Always a seagull around

keeping busy doing nothing

Keeping busy doing nothing

cormorant conference on bird rock, port elizabeth

Cormorant Conference on Bird Rock, Port Elizabeth

getting up close and personal with the cormorants

Getting up close and personal with the cormorants

Not quite a board meeting

Not quite a board meeting

fishing break

Fishing break



Regular sightings of endangered African Black Oystercatcher, Port Elizabeth.

Regular sightings of endangered African Black Oystercatcher, Port Elizabeth.

oystercatchers along the rocky shore, port elizabeth

Oystercatchers along the rocky shore, Port Elizabeth

The African black oystercatcher is resident to the mainland coasts and offshore islands of southern Africa sometimes occurring as a vagrant in Angola and Mozambique. These pretty black birds are often seen wading and feeding on the rocks very near to Bird Rock, Port Elizabeth. They are large and noisy waders with completely black plumage, red legs and a strong broad red bill. The near-threatened oystercatcher has a population of over 6000 adults, which breed between November and April. The sexes are similar in appearance, however, females are larger and have a slightly longer beak than males. Juveniles have soft grey plumage and do not express the characteristic red legs and beak until after they fledged. The call is a distinctive loud piping, very similar to Eurasian oystercatchers. Its breeding range extends from Lüderitz, Namibia to Mazeppa Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Typically sedentary African oystercatchers rarely leave their territories, which include a nesting site and feeding grounds. These will usually be located on or near rocky shores where they can feed. The lifespan of an African oystercatcher is about 35 years, of which they are known to pair up for 25 years. Most mainland egg and chick fatalities are due to disturbance by people, off-road vehicles, dog attacks and predation by the kelp gull and other avian predators. Off shore pairs experience similar avian predation although most chicks perish due to starvation. African oystercatchers predominantly feed on molluscs such as mussels and limpets, although are known to also feed on polychaetes, insects and even fish. They are adapted to pry open mussels and loosen limpets off the rocks but have been recorded picking through sand to locate other food items.

Source: Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_oystercatcher

variety of coastal birds, port elizabeth

Variety of coastal birds, Port Elizabeth

sightings of the oystercatcher along the humpback trail, p.e.

Sightings of the oystercatcher along the Humpback Trail, P.E.

A treat to spot an african oystercatcher in flight

A treat to spot an African oystercatcher in flight

african black oystercatchers, port elizabeth

African Black Oystercatchers, Port Elizabeth

Stark contrast in colour, the black against the red bills and legs of the oystercatcher

Stark contrast in colour, the black against the red bills and legs of the oystercatcher

Wild seas of Port Elizabeth, 4th June 2015.

Wild seas of Port Elizabeth, 4th June 2015.

The drama of nature, standing back with respect.

Nelson Mandela Bay, 4th June 2015.

boats huddling in the bay

Boats huddling in the bay

through the wire, raging seas

Through the wire, raging seas

coming through!

Coming through!

power and drama

Power and drama

About that large deck chair…

About that large deck chair…

Awhile back, the Mandela Bay Development Agency installed a new art piece at King’s Beach, Port Elizabeth, as an extension of the famous Route 67. The artwork titled “The Photo Opportunity” by artist Mary Duker,  reminds viewers of seaside visits of their childhood with big canvas chairs.

Dorelle Sapere, MBDA Planning and Development Manager, says: “The commission was awarded as a result of a public art competition calling for site specific proposals for artworks to form an integral part of the MBDA’s King’s Beach upgrade project. The Photo Opportunity work forms the first part of a two part installation at Kings Beach”.

From “The Herald” 12th Feb. 2014
“The picture frame is also symbolic of the autobiographical, referring to the tradition of recording and framing visual memories – it is intended to link the tradition of recording the seaside portrait to the modes of the present – the selfies, the smartphone pictures, the images posted on the Facebook page recording life as we live it, with a spectator as participant, and as the star of his or her own life.”

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“Something Good Roadhouse” was humming today!

“Something Good Roadhouse” was humming today!

“Something Good Roadhouse” recently re-opened at PE’s beachfront. Business there has been brisk. Today after a BnB meeting in Summerstrand, I took a drive along the beachfront and was thrilled to see that droves of people were out and about enjoying the calm and gorgeous, hot winter’s day and supporting Something Good Roadhouse. The sweet taste of summer draws closer, bring it on!

Facebook:         https://www.facebook.com/somethinggoodpe?fref=ts

Tel:                     041 583 6986

E-mail:             somethinggoodpe@gmail.com

Trading hours: 7am to 11pm


something good roadhouse, pe

Something Good Roadhouse, PE

busy busy at something good

Busy busy at Something Good

this is winter in pe!

This is winter in PE!

view of the sea from something good

View of the sea from Something Good



“Gio Caffe Gelato” in the old “Red Windmill” premises.

“Gio Caffe Gelato” in the old “Red Windmill” premises.

Fresh and bright, crisp and cheerful, tasty dishes, generous portions at affordable prices. “Gio Caffe Gelato” is a neat new spot in the old Red Windmill premises at P.E.’s beachfront very close to Shark Rock Pier. The famous Red Windmill hamburgers are still on the menu. While away some sunny, winter hours gazing at these views…only a short drive from us at Dempsey’s Guest House.

the view from gio caffe

The view from Gio Caffe

entrance to gio caffe

Entrance to Gio Caffe

service at gio caffe

Service at Gio Caffe

interior of gio caffe

Interior of Gio Caffe

warm, sunny, winter days

Warm, sunny, winter days