Tag Archives: Bearded Vultures

Kamberg Wildlife Sightings – October 2016

Submissions by Pamela Kleiman of Connington Farm


Although most days were still pretty chilly, it was good to get out and see how the veld had greened up, to see the Spring flowers starting and to see some of the migrant birds returning

A view looking down the D450 valley


I enjoyed seeing the first of the Spring flowers. In low lying wet areas there were sheets of Tulbachia natalensis


Tulbachia natalensis


Tulbachia natalensis

Dierama sp.


A small farm dam covered in pink water lilies


I was focusing on a flight of different swallows one day when I noticed one that was flying very slowly. I zoomed in on it only to discover it was a Bearded Vulture flying very high over my cottage on Connington farm!


Bearded Vulture

Some of the other special birds I managed to photograph were :-

The first pair of Pin-tailed Whydahs I had seen for the season


Pin-tailed Whydah (male and female)

A Secretarybird very close to home



On a very cold and damp morning there were 4 young Southern Bald Ibis sitting in a tree


Southern Bald Ibis (young)



Southern Bald Ibis (young)

This African Harrier-hawk landed right next to the road as I drove past


African Harrier-hawk (Gymnogene)

Two Red-necked Spurfowl came out of a swampy area – a first for me in KZN


Red-necked Spurfowl


Not an awful lot to report for this area, but it was good to see the Banded Martin had returned and to see a couple of African Bald Ibis close to the side of the road in the Hlatikulu reserve.


Banded Martin

Southern Bald Ibis – I was interested to see the comparison of the adults and the young birds (shown in the Kamberg report above)


Southern Bald Ibis (adult)



Field mushrooms


Ajuga ophrydis


New Vulture Hide

“Bearded Vultures are critically endangered with approximately 330 left in Southern Africa and only 3000 Cape Vultures,” says Sonja Krueger of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. “These extremely low numbers are mainly as a result of a lack of suitable habitat and food, as well as significant impacts through poisonings and collisions or electrocutions with powerlines,”xCP_Ad2_07Jul2010_aIt is for this reason that the N3 Toll Concession (N3TC) has donated funds to construct a hide at Cathedral Peak in the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, a world heritage site in KwaZulu Natal. By constructing a hide and a feeding site in this Park, it is hoped that the vulture populations of the area will have a much more stable source of food.

CathedralPeak_6July2010_RW&CC_135The hide is a collaboration between the N3TC, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation Trust and is one of three which are to be built within the Drakensberg area. Designed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s Glenn Harboth and built by Lawrie Raubenheimer (Heritage Design and Creations cc), this hide has been modelled on the local rocks and blends beautifully into its surrounds.

Opening of the Vulture Hide in Cathedral Peak

The N3TC has a 30 year contract to manage and maintain the N3 highway and, as a result, they bring a large number of people into the area. “It is important for us to leave a legacy behind when we one day step out of this area,” said Neil Tolmie, CEO of N3TC. “It was for this reason that we agreed to support the conservation of the Bearded and other vultures within the area three years ago. We look forward to building on our relationship with Wildlands and KZN Wildlife in the years to come.”


The hide will be able to accommodate a number of visitors at a time and is fitted with rain water harvesting tanks and full ablutions. “This is an amazing project which will not only create an additional feeding site for these endangered birds, but also much needed awareness amongst the public, allowing them the privilege of spending time close to the action of feeding vultures,” said Kevin McCann, Strategic Manager of Wildlands. “Without the incredible support of the N3TC and passion of the staff at KZN Wildlife, this project would not have been possible,” McCann concluded.

Picture 4