Back in Struisbaai – A weekend with friends

Last weekend found us back in Struisbaai mainly so that Earl could fix the irrigation system.   Our friends Peter and Heather joined us.

As I had sport duty and a training course to attend at school we only managed to leave at quarter to four and arrived just before 7 p.m.   Heather and Peter were already enjoying sundowners on the stoep:-)    Earl did a superb braai – chicken wings, steak and chops accompanied by Mediterranean veggies and rye bread.   After catching up with our friends we only got to bed after 11 o’clock.

Gus and his little girl Karla drove up early on Saturday morning and were out at sea with Earl by 7 o’clock.

The rest of household emerged from their cocoons at 9 ish had a cup of coffee and then headed for the beach where we enjoyed a delicious swim in a calm sea at Spring Low Tide – and there was hardly another soul around!  Th

The fishermen had a wonderfully successful morning and returned with a superb catch of yellowtail.   Karla (7) said, “I didn’t catch any – they weren’t in my class!”   But she did catch some small ones on other species and released them for another day. We went to watch them come in at the harbour.

Struisbaai Harbour Beach

Struisbaai Harbour Beach

Kiora coming in

Kiora coming in

After enjoying a lunch of yellowtail sashimi, Gus and Karla headed back to Cape Town.   Earl had a nap and Peter, Heather and I went to do a spot of bird watching.  I wanted to find a Denham’s Bustard for them.   We drove down the dirt road that takes us to Arniston and then turned toward Die Mond Nature Reserve.

We saw lots of birds.  After the winter rains a lot of water was still lying in the farmlands and many waterbirds were enjoying it while it lasted – lots of greater flamingos, a variety of ducks and teals, stilts, spurwing geese, spoonbills, ibises and herons.  The distance didn’t make photography worthwhile.   Closer to the road we found an African pipit who obligingly posed

African Pipit

African Pipit

A Steppe Buzzard kept flying from fence post to fence post but I finally got a good shot of him.

Steppe Buzzard

Steppe Buzzard

I had promised my guests Denham Bustards – but they were being conspicuous by their absence.  We came to the turn off to Die Mond and still nothing.  I could sense the disappointment.  “I saw them down this road in this field in the holidays,” I declared; but still they didn’t appear.   The sun was sinking and it was time to turn around.  We stopped to look at other birds but still no Denham’s.   Some half joking half grumpy comments were made and I just had to find those birds.   There was a speck some distance off – moving quickly – I stopped – lifted my binoculars and Bingo – Two gorgeous Denham’s striding across the veld. My guests were thrilled.  They were far off but easy to see with binoculars.  We even managed some ‘record shot” photography.   We observed the birds for some time hoping they would come towards the car but they had other plans so reluctantly we returned home.

The Elusive Denham's Bustards

The Elusive Denham’s Bustards

It was almost 7 o’clock and still hot.  Heather and I had to go for a swim.   The men declined the offer!   We were the only two people in the sea on a perfect evening.

Struisbaai Beach

Struisbaai Beach

Peter and Heather had to leave to at 9 to attend a function back in Cape Town.   Before they left we had a last swim in the sea.  After breakfast Earl completed the irrigation installation and I caught up with school work.  We left at 3 o’clock.   Having a weekend a way always makes you feel like you’ve been gone for a week.  It was divine.

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