We visited the West Coast National Park and went to Tsarbank, an area we hadn’t explored previously. It is a really beautiful place with the sea on one side and the Langebaan lagoon on the other. The beach is a small bay full of shells, hundreds of Cormorants and a few African Black Oystercatchers (Afrikaans name, Swarttobie) or Black Oystercatchers as they are more commonly called.

This bird is quite striking with its red beak and eyes and pink feet on this very black body. the Black Oystercatcher is on the endangered list with a mere 5000 pairs remaining. Amazingly this bird can live up to 35 years old and they only start breeding at three years of age.

We were very lucky to get fairly close to this pair.


  1. Sue Gielnik
    10 June 2015

    I saw a pair of these birds today on my localwalk to the beach. I am in Altona, Victoria, Australia. I have never seen these birds before ! I took a photo of them.

  2. admin
    19 April 2023

    Hi Sue

    We were amazed that they would be found so far away. On looking up information we see that in Australia they are called Sooty Oystercatchers.

    Thank you for the information and for the visit to our site 🙂

    • Sue Gielnik
      22 April 2023

      Yes I was excited when I found out how far they had come!


Leave a Reply