May22

African Black Oystercatcher

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The African black oystercatcher otherwise known as Haematopus Moquini.

This beautiful bird with its jet black plumage, orange circled eyes, legs and dagger- shaped beak has captured our attention during our walks here at the Bot River Mouth and various beaches of Hermanus, Western Cape.             DSC_0060                                                                                                                      The first thing that always draws our attention to their presence while walking on the beach is the cute   unmistakable squeaky-bath-toy sound they make while flying.

It is said the African black oyster catcher mates for life and pairs have been know to live up to 20 years. Wow,what an example of loyalty.                                                                                                             DSC_0064   DSC_0073

More interesting facts:

The birds that live on sandy shores eat sand mussels.

The estuarine birds eat cockles and pencil- bait.  

The birds start breeding at 3-4 years of age.                                                                                                                                 Both parents incubate the eggs which hatch after 32 days.  

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These birds have been observed to flock or form clubs during the non breeding season as a means of protection. from predators.                                                                                                              DSC_0601                                                                                                                                    Their natural predators are foxes, jackals,genets,snakes and gulls. Holiday makers and dogs are an additional threat. Thankfully beach driving has been banned.    

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The birds that live on rocky shores are said to feed on mainly mussels and limpets and fish not oysters.    

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This species is now listed as “Near Threatened”

Thanks to the Oystercatcher Conservation Programme initiated by the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology at the University of Cape Town, the numbers are on the rise again.

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Bird lovers will enjoy observing these and many other species in their natural habitat frequenting Fisherhaven and the shores and cliff paths of Hermanus and surrounds.

May8

Kayaking on the Bot River Lagoon

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Fisherhaven Traveller’s Lodge offers kayaking trips on the Bot River Lagoon to guests, weather permitting.

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May7

Consent Usage Compliance Certificates & awards

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Fire Safety Compliance    

Fire Safety Compliance certificate

BnB insured

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Preparation & serving of Food and Beverage

May7

Casual walk from Grotto Beach to Sopiesklip

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Sopiesklip, a tourist attraction for visitors to Hermanus who enjoy exploring.

Curiosity got the better of us after hearing stories of a hollow in a rock with a carved doorway.

We parked our car, kicked off the shoes and began our walk along the sandy beach at Grotto beach.

Watching the birds flying above and frolicking in the waves as they washed the shore kept me mesmerized for most of the walk except for the few times I stopped to pick up an extraordinary shaped stone or shell.

The entire trip there and back took us approximately 3 hours.

The next time I do this trip along the beach, I will be wearing a comfortable pair of walking shoes and bringing along a ruck sack with water or juice.☺

Some of the interesting stories that happened here through the ages;

Sopiesklip was the halfway point along the coast for Gansbaaiers en route to Hermanus and it may have earned it’s name as the ideal place to rest and have something to drink ( ‘n sopie whisky’) before moving on. The soft beach sand must have made it a tiring and tough journey with the ox wagons. “In the footsteps of Lady Ann Barnard” written by Jose Burman

It has also been told that, “in the old days”, when the boats were still manned by rowing teams and sails, the strong winds and current would push the fishing boats into the middle of Walker bay and they would wash up at Sopiesklip.    Through the years the fishermen carved this hollow in the rock and stored glass bottles of brandy with ropes attached in the cave. A place to shelter from the cold wind, waves and have a nip of brandy to keep warm.

Mr Brian Macfarland( Senior) also has a story about an old German called Otto, a recluse, who used to go fishing on a thick – wheel bicycle. He got tired of going up to the rock outcrop and back to Hermanus so he stayed in the cave house which he named, “Die Paradys”

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DSC_0010     DSC_0025                                                    Oyster catchers and Kelp Gulls                                                                                                                                      image       image

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Rocky outcrop

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Beautiful rock formations…….natural artwork on the sand.

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I made it!