When birding there are good days and there are great days of memorable significance…
One of these is spending a day in the Giants Castle mountain reserve vulture hide set high up in the mountains on the edge of a cliff with a scenically spectacular backdrop of the Drakensberg mountains known as the ‘barrier of spears’ to the local Zulu people.
Supplied by the conservation authorities with a generous supply of pre-cut shin bones one sets off from the rest camp at first light in a four-wheel drive vehicle for the well camouflaged and photographer ‘friendly’ hide overlooking the established feeding area frequented by jackal buzzard, white-necked raven and two species of vulture.
Once the supply of bones has been scattered about on the forecourt, one settles into the comfortable hide with a heightened sense of anticipation to await the arrival of the first Bearded Vulture, an endangered species in South Africa confined to the highlands of KZN and Lesotho, to appear and hopefully alight close to the hide in good photographic light.
In this we were not to be disappointed as the first of several Bearded Vultures in varying plumage stages sailed past gracefully in effortless flight on fully extended wings, with up to four at one stage spiralling about on the updraft with a lone Cape vulture for company.
Needless to say, photo opportunities were endless with close on 1000 images taken between us to make for a most memorable birding experience in the company of these majestic icons of the mountain kingdom…
For more information on how to see this exquisitely beautiful vulture, contact us firstname.lastname@example.org