A retired couple are continuing a lifelong love of animals at Sardinia Bay Golf & Wildlife Estate, which is a chip and a putt from the Port Elizabeth city centre.

Although Ian and Nina Robertson have worked with four-footed creatures all their lives, their interests have shifted to the feathered variety in recent times.

The Robertsons bred race horses at Milkwood Stud for 30 years before moving “just down the road” to the estate in April.

“We were going to move to White River in Mpumalanga to be closer to our family, but made a last-minute decision to stay local,” said Ian.

“The estate is beautiful and quiet and full of game and birdlife. It’s lovely to have all that around you.”

The amateur birdwatchers have spotted “at least” 35 species on the premises, including the black-headed heron and long-crested eagle.

“We’ve planted a very bird-friendly garden – all indigenous in keeping with estate rules,” said Nina.

“The birds love it. One sunbird was so excited it sat on the plants as they were being offloaded.”

Ian and Nina feed the birds every morning.

“They come and wait, but we never feed them before eight,” said Ian. “We get about 50 every day.”

The couple got into birdwatching in 2013 and have since turned it into a serious hobby, often going on special birdwatching expeditions.

“We’ve got trips planned to the Zambezi, Zimbabwe and Okavango,” said Nina.

“Living on the estate makes it easier for us to travel. When we had the horse stud, we could never go away.”

Ian said he had checked off 661 of roughly 900 birds on the Southern African birding list, while Nina is just ahead at 674.

The couple, who fell in love with their house when they first saw it, remember the estate before any development started.

“Our children competed in cross country events here many years ago,” said Ian. “A lot has changed since then.”

He explained that a lot of bird species were moving further south, possibly because of global warming, and that many of these had made the area, including the estate, their new home.

They said they chose the estate primarily for the nature-centric lifestyle it afforded them.

“Neither of us play golf, though we live between the third and ninth hole,” quipped Ian.

“But we’re going to be very happy here.”

The Robertsons are continuing a lifelong love of animals at Sardinia Bay Golf & Wildlife Estate. Photo: Supplied

Issued by: Full Stop Communications