The weather in Jeffrey’s Bay is stunning. We sat on the deck to have our morning tea and there was no need for a jersey. After a delicious breakfast of fruit salad, muesli and yogurt we set off for to explore St Francis Bay which is not far from J-Bay.
St Francis Bay was first sighted in 1575 by the Portuguese seafarers who named it after the patron saint of sailors. It is a tranquil village with meandering waterways, picturesque thatched houses, abundant birdlife and miles of golden beaches.
We drove past a game farm and saw quite a few species through the electric fence and also did some birding wherever we found ourselves.
At lunch time we went to a restaurant with a wonderful view of St Francis Harour but unfortunately the food did not match it. Jim had fried hake which left him feeling that he needed something to take the taste away later in the afternoon! The rest of us settled for prawn and salmon salad which was less than mediocre. To make it more interesting they could have added some avocado pear and perhaps mango. The “prawns” were tiny, deep-fried, crumbed shrimps, the taste of which indicated that they were fried in oil that was not too fresh. A rule we usually follow is not to go into a restaurant where there are no diners or where there are people sitting without food in front of them – It’s a clear indication that the food and service are bad! Such a pity because the venue was great.
One of the highlights of our birding today was finding a Kitlitz Plover with a chick. When Mommy saw us she sent her chick into hiding and then scurried away from the spot and drew attention to herself. We sat quietly in the car waiting and then moved a little way off to fool her that we were no longer interested in her baby. It worked and the little one appeared and we were able to get a picture or two.
Kittlitz’s plovers mate for life. Their nest is a scrape in bare, dry ground, sometimes raised on mound in coarse sand or dried mud, mostly < 100 m from water. The female lays between 1 and 3 eggs but usually 2 and both male and female sit on the eggs. Today we saw only one parent and one chick.
Nearby we found another avian couple having a bath together.
At tea-time Maureen said she had a craving for chocolate cake so we headed to a lovely bakery and sat down to coffee and the most delicious chocolate cake – well the others did – I virtuously stuck to Rooibos tea and a banting crunchie! It made up for the inferior lunch!