All creatures wild and wonderful in Struisbaai

Having been away for over a week we returned to find the vegetables doing okay in spite of our neglect!   The tomatoes had gone wild and we had to set up a trellis to support them.  The little rockery was quite overgrown and the poor flowers swamped by the tomatoes and parsley.   But now it’s looking a little better!  We are still working at getting the lawn into shape and were delighted to find most of the bald patches looking green.

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The lawn is beginning to grow at last.

We popped down to the harbour as soon as we arrived

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Our picturesque harbour looking at its beautiful best

We were delighted to find the resident stingrays swimming in the shallows but some kids were throwing sand and pebbles into the water.  The parents were not saying a word and I wouldn’t mind my own business.  Actually I consider that it is my business to educate small boys on how to take care of our wildlife.   So I told them the rays would stop visiting if they insisted on abusing them.  All I got was a defiant stare from them and a cross look from their parents.

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The stingrays fortunately ignored their oppressors

Because we are letting the house we have to pack up all our personal belongings, check the inventory and make sure everything is in order for the tenants. In between doing the chores we have been enjoying the birds in the garden.

In past years we never got sparrows visiting the feeding table but now they are the most frequent diners.   We get three species – The Cape Sparrow, The House Sparrow and the Southern Grey Headed Sparrow.

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I think the Cape Sparrow is the most striking of the three – this is the male

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The female is somewhat duller

014 Grey-headed sparrow

Southern Grey-headed sparrow

Speckled pigeons, Red-eyed doves, Cape Turtle doves and Laughing doves also come and take their share but the sparrows rule.

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Speckled pigeon

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Laughing dove taking a rest

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The Cape Weaver used to be our most common visitor but only a few visit these days.

Our new sugar-water feeder is a hit and needs filling twice a day!  The witogies and sugarbirds love it the most but there is interspecies tension when the weavers try to get a lookin too.

001 Mr Sugarbird at feeder

Mr Sugarbird is the usually boss and even chases Mrs Sugarbird away

008 Sugarbird and weaver conflict (2)

But the Cape Weaver is a force to be reckoned with

010 Weaver wins.JPG

It’s my turn now!

018 Sugarbirds in tree

Well we have a better view from up here while we wait

003 Tortoise

Another frequent visitor to our garden

We have seen some really interesting creatures in Struisbaai and once even had a steenbok trot down the road a few months ago.  But one creature I never expected to see blew me away yesterday.  Earl was visiting Abri and came racing back to fetch me – “Bring the camera and come quickly!” but he wouldn’t tell me what he’d seen.   I guessed it would be the steenbok but instead

005 Meerkat.JPG

This little creature and his brother on the lawn of Abri’s sister’s holiday house

002 Meerkats

Quite unconcerned about the attention and behaving like meerkats behave

Jeannette explained:   Their mother abandoned them and Abri flew to fetch them from a game farm in The Freestate for me to take care of.

She lives on a farm in Robertson and has raised wild orphans before.  The vet is used to her turning up with strange pets.   These two do not have cages and roam free in her farm garden although they sleep indoors.   Because they don’t have other meerkats to cuddle up to for warmth they have to have blankets and a hot-water-bottle!   Her German Shepherd is quite okay with the strange pets and does not try to eat them!

You just never know what you’re going to come across next!

Tomorrow we return to Cape Town for the Christmas Holidays.

 

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3 thoughts on “All creatures wild and wonderful in Struisbaai

  1. Lovely captures. I have only come across house sparrows, not the other two. The sugarbird has a really long tail!
    It is sad parents neglect to teach children respect for wild life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great photos here! The male sugarbird is awesome (I gasped). I love seeing long-tailed birds, and there aren’t too many in the world. Also, I’m glad you had a gentle word with the boys, it’s important to help our fellow humans treat the wildlife with respect.

    Liked by 1 person

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