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Archive for December, 2007

Stony Point is one of three mainland African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) colonies-the others being Boulders Beach in Cape Town and a small colony in the De Hoop Nature Reserve.

Earlier this year-November 10-I travelled with some friends to Stony Point, not to see the penguins however, but to catch a sighting of a wayward Elephant Seal (Mirounga leonina). Alerted by a post on the CapeBirdNet we spent the day relaxing in the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens before stopping off to view the seal on the way home. I was a little disappointed to find it was a juvenile seal rather than an adult male which I had hoped for, but the seal was still an impressive sight:

We did not check out the penguin colony on that trip but here are pictures from a previous trip on New Years day earlier this year:

The colony is home not only to the penguins, but a variety of other sea birds including cormorants:

and gulls. This is a Cape Gull (Larus vetula) nest with a single chick:

There were also a number of other animal species present. We spotted a Cape Grey Mongoose (Galerella pulverulenta) as well as a number of lizards:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Southern Rock Agama (Agama atra atra)

Cape Girdled Lizard (Cordylus cordylus)

and Red-sided Skink (Mabuya homalocephala).

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Tankwa Karoo 2

Last year my wife and I travelled to the Tankwa Karoo in spring to look at the wild flower display & for me to keep an eye out for new birds. Here are some pics from that trip. It is interesting that there were definitely differences in the flowers that were in bloom from one year to the next. We left much later than planned so did not actually make it to the Tankwa Karoo National Park itself; nevertheless we had a great time.

Typical Tankwa Karoo landscapes.

White-beaded Vygie (Monilaria moniliformis) [Vygie is an Afrikaans word meaning succulent plant. See Wiktionary entry.]

Sorrel (Oxalis sp.)

Unknown succulent.

Unkown Drosanthemum sp.

Namaqualand Arctotis, (Arctotis fastuosa).

Common Felicia (Felicia australis).

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