EXPERIENCE FALCONRY AND FLYING BIRDS OF PREY IN CHESHIRE AT GAUNTLET EAGLE AND VULTURE PARK

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Back to Vulture Tracking in South Africa
October 2008.

Wild African White Backed Vultures Graham returned to South Africa this month, joining the team from The Hawk Conservancy to continue the conservation project with White-Backed Vultures.
It was a successful and eventful trip that built on the work that Graham was involved with last year.

Here Graham recounts the experience.

Wild African White Backed Vulture in nest Back from the annual venture to "Deepest Darkest Africa."

It was great to get back to Africa for my second wild adventure with these amazing vultures.
As they say, 'Africa isn't for wimps.' Sure enough, minutes after our arrival we were joined on camp by a scorpion in Lou's bed. It was brave old Ashley who captured it in a cup!
The next day we were straight to work doing what we went to do "catch vultures". I spent 72 hours in a 4x4ft hide with John Bob and Jim Bob, better known as "Team White Back". We were joined by a 3ft tortoise and a 5.5ft monitor lizard who decided to perch himself in a tree above. We were not alone!
Vulture restaurant was built over the last 2 years and this is the area where drug free carcases from local farms and game reserves are put out for the vultures to feed upon. The task this year was to fit 4 vultures with backpacks, which would enable us to receive coordinates to know their movements and whereabouts over the next 2 years and locate them if a problem arose. We also went out to ring and tag this years baby vultures. This totalled 49 one more than last year which was great news.
Vultures at carcass

Handling one of the vultures
Backpack being fitted to one of the vultures
We successfully fitted four birds with the backpacks and they were named Alpha, Angus, Acacia and Amar meaning long life.

We also went up in a helicopter to check over views of nests and some of the other animals, which was an amazing experience.
I feel privileged and so lucky to have been given the opportunity to go again. I met some lovely genuine people and I thank all the team from the Hawk conservancy, Mark Anderson and all the other conservationists I met in South Africa.
Here's to next year,

Graham
Graham prepares to release Amar

© 2014 Gauntlet Birds of Prey Eagle and Vulture Park.