Egyptian Vulture Draws Mixed Emotions For Local Twitchers
Egyptian Vultures are one of the most sought after vagrants to Southern Africa. Despite there being a fair amount of records for the species in the subregion, the birds are notoriously hard to twitch, remaining in the same location mostly for a mere few hours before moving on. The best chance twitchers have with these birds, is when one is found at a large carcass, where the potential exists for it to stick around long enough for twitchers to get their travels in order.
The bird was picked up on the 28th of June, just south of Satara in the Kruger Park, but then disappeared from the location. The bird was then relocated just more than a week later, this time to the north, near Olifants high water bridge.
For birders in the north of the country or those visiting the Kruger, this became a twitchable opportunity. Michael Mason, a Cape Town birder who happened to be in the Kruger on holiday was one of those who set out at dark from the southern Kruger Park in an attempt to twitch the bird. He managed to relocate the bird in another group of vultures, suggesting the possibility of a nearby carcass.
While this successful twitch brought massive smiles to those who were able to connect with it, those who were unable to put the plans in place to twitch the bird, were obviously less enthusiastic about the concept of the bird being twitchable, and no doubt were left asking themselves, “What if”. The Egyptian Vulture remains an empty spot on many of the country’s more prolific listers lists. If the bird is picked up again at a large carcass, it seems likely that it may see a flood of dedicated twitchers scurrying to make travel plans.