Claire Doe | Thursday, February 06, 2014
“Life on Robben Island”
It's been home to a Leper Colony, psychiatric hospital and a maximum security prison and Robben Island was my home for 2 amazing weeks.
Our main activity was Nest Checking. If there was an adult penguin present, sitting on eggs or chicks, we had to identify it with photos taken previously. If there was no photo record then new photos were taken. If nest had chicks alive and being tended, the chick was categorized depending on age.
Other activities included a Moult Count, Chick Growth Monitoring, Game Counts and Rabbit Counts! We also spent a morning and an afternoon doing very important beach cleaning.
The weather meant that tourist boats were not able to run for two weeks. On our day off we spent the day exploring the island completely uninhibited. We saw an array of wildlife as well as African Black Oystercatchers, Blacksmith Lapwings, Cape & Bank Cormorants, Pied Crows, African Sacred Ibis, Cape Weavers, a Spotted Thick Knee Dikkop, Chukkah Partridges, Fiscal Strikes and more.
Robben Island is a breeding area for Swift Terns and Hartlaub's Gulls and it was fascinating to drive along and be surrounded by a mass of birds with chicks of varying sizes dashing around! The noise was constant but quickly became background noise.
A unique experience that I will never forget and would recommend to anyone.