Tuesday, September 7, 2010
We were able to locate a Humpback whale and its calf within 30 minutes of leaving the Port Elizabeth harbor. This was a great opportunity for the guests to get close up footage of these two whales and while they were taking photos a pod of bottlenose dolphins (tursiops trancatus) also appeared and were swimming around the whales while jumping and playing amongst themselves.
We then continued towards our destination, St Croix Island where South Africa’s largest colony of African Jackass Penguins (spheniscus demersus) can be found. Amongst these comical penguins we also found African Black Oystercatchers (haematopus moquini), Cape Cormorants (phalacrocorax capensis), White-Breasted Cormorants (phalacrocorax lucidus) as well as Subantarctic Skuas (catharacta antarctica) that were hovering above the boat.
We then headed back towards the Port Elizabeth harbor and were lucky enough to encounter a Bryde’s whale (balaenoptera eden) as well as a Humpback Dolphin (sousa plumbea). Both these species are not often seen so it was with much excitement that these two species were observed.
The experience of not only observing the land mammals of RiverBend Lodge but also those found off our coast was certainly a memorable one. This is yet another example of the kind of well-rounded safari guests can look forward to when staying at RiverBend Lodge.
They are usually gregarious, all in small groups, which is also makes the sighting of only a single bird rather unusual. They forage in trees, flapping to keep their balance, and often hanging upside down. As you can see in the photo their green plumage makes effective camouflage. When in flight these birds tend to fly straight and direct. These birds being fruigivores would find plenty of fruit bearing tress in the Afro-Montane forests found on the Southern facing slopes on our concession within the Addo Elephant National Park.
Bearing that in mind lets hope to see more of these eye-catching pigeons in the future!