Marine – Algoa Bay Island Nature Reserve
About the Birding
Located in the large arc of Algoa Bay, to the east of Port Elizabeth, this 40 hectare collection of coastal islands is clustered in two groups of three islands each: the St Croix group, comprising St Croix, Jahleel and Brenton islands; and the Bird Island group, consisting of Bird, Seal and Stag islands, as well as Black Rocks. St Croix Island lies 4km from the mainland and is situated between the mouths of the Coega and Sundays rivers, 21km north-east of the harbour at Port Elizabeth.
About the Birding Site
With close to 3000km of coastline, South Africa boasts one of the richest marine environments anywhere in the world. The oceanography is dominated by two major currents – the Agulhas Current, a warm water current flowing down the south coast, and the Benguela Current, a cold-water current flowing up the west coast. Moreover, several large upwelling and frontal systems are present along the coastline creating incredibly rich and productive feeding areas for diverse marine species including seabirds.
Other Related Information
The St Croix and Bird Island groups are located roughly 5Km off the coast beyond the towns of Colchester and Alexandria, respectively.
St Croix Island group: -33.7990, 25.7695
Bird Island group: -33.8409, 26.2861
Access to both islands is strictly limited to research and national park personnel only, though it is possible to view both island groups from a boat.