It can be really challenging to find fresh and innovative ways to photograph a familiar subject, to capture the ‘known’ in a way that portrays the ‘unknown’ Anna-Mart Kruger discovered her way“.


After spending 6 hours on Bird Island off Lambert’s Bay photographing the Cape gannet colony, I found myself analysing how I’d chosen to capture the essence of these birds.


“It was only when reviewing my images from the trip, trying to choose the "shots" that captured the moments, that I recognised my fascination with the gannet’s eyes: their piercing blue-eyed stare as they glide effortlessly past the camera, their ability to reconnect with their mate from a distance, among hundreds of other birds, as they prepare to land back among the colony. I was clearly focused on the eyes!


“The gannets are consummate fishermen, and equally consummate flyers and divers…but on land, they appear clumsy, almost comical. That’s how they earned themselves the Afrikaans nickname of Malgas, translated as ‘mad goose’.“This portfolio of images will put you behind the ‘eye’ of the Malgas and maybe redefine the way you see your own day.“Bird Island lies about 100m off the shore of Lambert’s Bay, on the Cape’s West Coast. It offers visitors a rare opportunity to see the Cape gannet ‘up close and personal’! It’s one of only six sites worldwide where Cape gannets breed, and it is the only breeding site easily accessible to the public.

“The island, which is almost 3 hectares in size, is connected to the mainland via a breakwater. It is an important breeding and roosting site for seabirds, particularly the gannets and cormorants. In the background, Cape fur seals can be seen sunning themselves on the island’s rocks.“In the island’s well-situated gannet lookout, visitors get a priceless opportunity to witness their unique mating dances. The bird hide is signposted with interesting information about these fascinating seabirds and their habits.