Golden Gate's Vulture Hide
Golden Gate built a nice hide at their vulture restaurant recently. It was the first time we saw it and I was very impressed. It is a beautiful, clean and practical hide, with a great view. Even if you see no birds or animals, you'll have a great view towards the start of the Drakensberg mountains.
During the time we were there - there were some carcasses in view:
And apparently the pony/horse carcass had been put out the day before we arrived. And it shrunk in size at quite a rate daily!
But we never saw much activity around it, though we visited the hide very often!
We did on one occassion see some far off jackal, and I think they probably came most evenings and dug into this nice treat put out for them. The change in carcass size was most noticable between the previous afternoons and the next mornings.
We were unfortunately not as lucky to get any vulture sightings...
So we'll just have to keep returning!
We did however see the White-necked Ravens (Withalskraaie) on more than one occassion:
Now for my opinion on the hide: As I already mentioned, it is truly a lovely, perfectly positioned hide. Clean and well looked-after. BUT... Many people did not seem to understand how the hide works, and that one would not be allowed to go and walk amongst the carcasses...
One for the wall of shame:
But to be honest - there is no sign indicating that you are not allowed to go outside and around the hide. I know - it seemed quite obvious to me too - but what about those who never visit birdhides, and don't often visit parks?
The other little problem I found, was the info the honorary rangers posted on the Bearded Vulture (Baardaasvoël) and Cape Vulture (Kransaasvoël) inside the hide...
A wingspan of 720-787cm... Just think about a bird with a wingspan of near 8m...
I mean really - that is impossible to even think about! (The true wingspan is 2,6-2,8m according to my Sasol). And according to the sign on Cape Vultures they also have a 6-7m wingspan!
I think I've read before that people noticed this mistake and suggested it be corrected - but it seems it hasn't been. Maybe someone could give the honorary rangers in charge of this project a nudge...