Immature Cape Gannet stuck in the mud at Strandfontein Sewage Works

Following the previous note submitted by Per Holmen last week about the immature Cape Gannet at Strandfontein Sewage Works, Otto Schmidt sent me the following photo and note:

Cape Gannet by Otto Schmidt

Regarding the reported juvenile Cape Gannet in P2, there were in fact two birds there around lunch-time on 17 March, no doubt, as you suggest, taking a rest from the strong winds over the previous days. Both birds still seemed in reasonably good shape (see attached pic.), but their feet were stuck in the clinging mud of the pan, and one has since been reported dead. With luck the other one managed to free itself. I walked down to the pan edge, but couldn’t get anywhere near the bird without ending in a similar situation. There was no-one else around, but it would have been very difficult for anyone to get close enough to assist either bird. When watching waders feeding along the same edge this past Monday, even they were having to tug their legs out on occasion, so a gannet with its weight and webbed feet had very little chance.

Thanks Otto for this interesting photo and note.

David Winter

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