Eagle Season Information

For the posting and discussion of Access Issues and Closures for Areas around South Africa.
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Tamtam
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:56 pm
Real Name: Tam Scheidegger

Eagle Season Information

Post by Tamtam »

Eagle Season Info

The Eagle breeding season is coming to an end and it has been successful. Thanks go to many climbers who gave the conservation team information timeously. Here is some info about the 4 nesting sites which we (climbers) share with the Eagles.

The Chosspile Eagles probably used the Lord of Rings nest as a “frustration” nest. The experts explain that the pair will often build and sit on two nests at the beginning of the season. She will decide which will be the one on which to raise her chick; the other that is abandoned is called a “frustration” nest. Information from climbers and the monitoring group allowed us to re-open the crag early, before normal seasonal opening time. Sightings of the Eagles in the area point to a nest South-East of the ridge.

The big Bronkies boy, named Shadow, was raised on a precarious ledge in the middle of the climbing crag, and not on the previous nest platform. This has enabled us to allow climbing in the “Eagle Sector” this winter. Shadow is about to fledge and climbing will be re-opened around his nest a month after his first flights, around the end of October. Posts will go out on the Jhb and Magalies MCSA e-news and SACIN. The designated off-limits area is dependant on where the Eagles decide to nest. At present monitoring is done from across the valley, and is not very clear. Next year, we hope to install a camera closer to the new nest to help us clarify this information. In addition, the monitoring group will gain information on: the type and number of prey brought to the nest and the nesting to hatching to fledging time periods.

Wilgepoort’s chick is at the same stage (about to fledge), and as not many people frequent this crag they have been left in peace. The Tonquani pair seem to be harassed by a troop of aggressive baboon quite often. Not much is known about this pair; hopefully a research group will also monitor them next season.

In order for good decisions to be made about the closure and re-opening of crags; the conservation team really relies on those climbers who frequent the crags often. Please continue to inform the MSCA and heed the guidelines for eagle season. It’s been great, I am looking forward to next season.
Tamtam
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Real Name: Tam Scheidegger

Re: Eagle Season Information

Post by Tamtam »

Dear Climbers

The Bronkies chick fledged recently and a month's grace should be given to mum and/or chick if they wish to return to the nest as a safe spot. Please be patient and use the other great crags as alternatives just for the next 2 weeks. (Chosspile has been open since August!!). Bronkies will be fully open at the end on November. Again, many thanks to those who have given info and helped keep these beautiful birds flying.

Cheers
Tam
Tamtam
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Real Name: Tam Scheidegger

Re: Eagle Season Information

Post by Tamtam »

Attention Climbers and Bolters at Bronkies.

2019 Eagle season is upon us! The Eagles have started to refurbish both of their nests on the Bronkies Crag. Until the end of March, climbing may continue. However, bolting of new lines and the felling of alien invasive trees need to be postponed until the end of the season, sorry for that!

Please keep us posted with any info and we hope to keep you informed as well.

Many thanks in advance for your co-operation.

Tam Scheidegger
MichelleH
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Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:51 am
Real Name: Michelle Hutchinson

Re: Eagle Season Information

Post by MichelleH »

Thanks for this Tam. I haven't been to Bronkies for a long time, keen to go with some first timers on Saturday, planning to climb on the side closer to the farm house where the lower grades are. Is that possible and are the access guidelines still the same I.e. No need to book ahead, fee per climber/car?

Thanks for your help, Chosspile is our second option...
Tamtam
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Real Name: Tam Scheidegger

Re: Eagle Season Information

Post by Tamtam »

Eagle update for April 2019:

Chosspile: No nesting activity is evident on the nest. Climbing is permitted to continue for now. However, ensure that you adhere to thoughtful behaviour. No loud music, shouting, dogs nor large groups. Please send information on any activity to us.

Bronkies: Climbing closed for the season around last year's nest: btw "Joint Venture" and "Blue Boots".

Wilgepoort: Climbing closed for the season around the demarcated nest site.

Many Thanks
Tam
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emile
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Real Name: OneDog

Re: Eagle Season Information

Post by emile »

Tamtam wrote: Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:30 am Wilgepoort: Climbing closed for the season around the demarcated nest site.
Hi

I don't recall sign posts, if I remember correctly the pillar & the main face are off limits - is that correct? Not seeing clear info on the Wiki either.
mdemaillard
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Real Name: Marc De Maillard

Re: Eagle Season Information

Post by mdemaillard »

There was a very good sign at the gate last time i went (last year ?) with picture of the cliff & clear delimitation, + an open/restricted flap maintained in position with a padlock. Awesome stuff.
The restricted area on the main face is between Mcfats LGP and Bottleneck Bulge as far as i know.
Cheers !
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emile
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Re: Eagle Season Information

Post by emile »

Ah, now that you mention it the sign at the gate rings a bell...

Muchos gracias!
Tamtam
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:56 pm
Real Name: Tam Scheidegger

Re: Eagle Season Information

Post by Tamtam »

Eagle update on nest activity and climbing restrictions Aug 2019:

Sad news is that the Chosspile nest has been unsuccessful. Evidence shows that the nest was used for the incubation of an egg, and a chick was observed in the nest. However, last weekend it was confirmed that there is no longer a chick in the nest. We can only profer assumptions as to the cause of death. I would like the MCSA to sponsor a camera for this nest. This would give us undisputable evidence to monitor their activity. The pressures on these birds to ensure succession are exceptionally high. We need to do all that we can to ensure survival by giving them their space. It is highly unlikely that the birds will continue nesting, but avoid the Lord Of the Rings area just in case.

Wilgepoort nest had a confirmed chick. More updates to follow. Hopefully this nest will be successful. Climbing closed for the nest area.

Bronkies nesting is still uncertain, please give the nests space, until further notice. Climbing closed for the two nest areas.
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Forket
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Re: Eagle Season Information

Post by Forket »

The 24/7 monitored pigeon nest that you guys built ontop of the bronkies Eagle nest is hilarious. "Totally non invasive". The Eagle even went one step further and moved into the most popular climbing spot at bronkies by the looks of it. Leave the birds alone dammit, you're f'ing it up even more than the presence of the climbers! I'd like to guarantee it!

Ebert Nel
Old Smelly
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Re: Eagle Season Information

Post by Old Smelly »

As always the Jester in the court pronounces his verdict without the facts...

What all climbers need to realise is that there are many interest groups involved with the preservation of the Eagles, including Government authorities - so lashing out at those who are trying to maintain our access to the climbing whilst ridiculing the efforts of "other" parties involved may not be helpful - but then everyone including the "joker" knows that.

I would echo the sentiment to leave the birds alone though...and I would encourage everyone to respect the birds and their guardians as some of them would see this as a chance to ban the climbers from the general area. Lets just all stick to the arrangement and be sensible with regards to the Eagles and we should have no issues.
Really, its not that bad...I think it's my shoes...
Tamtam
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Real Name: Tam Scheidegger

Re: Eagle Season Information

Post by Tamtam »

I expect that many climbers may be interested in viewing some of the photos that have come from the camera on the Bronkies Eagle's nest. Perhaps we need to investigate installing a webcam there, and having its feeds come here? There is a beautiful image taken of an adult and a near adult on the platform (original) nest in August.

Mostly one Eagle has been sited at the Crag, roosting on the nest at night and flying off during the day. The young adult may be a possible mate for next year's season, but there is no brooding nor chicks currently. Please could admin for the Bronkies route guide amend the Seasonal closure to Open for Climbing and Bolting.

Unfortunately Chosspile was also an unsuccessful nest site this year, so Lord of the Rings is also open.

I am waiting for confirmation of the fledging of the chick at Wilgepoort, we would need to give at least a month's grace after fledging. Please keep clear of the nest site at least until end of October.

I appreciate all info that comes through from climbers as they are often regulars and know their crags well. A Very Big Thanks to you all for looking after these magnificent birds.
Tam
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Tamtam
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:56 pm
Real Name: Tam Scheidegger

Re: Eagle Season Information

Post by Tamtam »

2020 EAGLE SEASON: APRIL – SEPTEMBER

A reminder that those braving or planning trips after the lock down must avoid Eagle breeding sites, from 1 April until 1 September - unless a communication otherwise has been sent out, from here or via MCSA e-mails. This means that Lord of the Rings at Chosspile, Eagle areas at Bronkhorstspruit, Wligepoort and Tonquani may NOT be climbed. We rely on the environmental departments, you, the climbers and some volunteers to keep track of the progress of their breeding behaviour. Unfortunately, the camera that took such amazing photos last year, just wont work. The MCSA are hoping to invest in a new one that can send live photos to this website. Until then, if you see the birds, please watch in awe, send photos but mostly keep your distance and stay safe at home!

Tam Scheidegger
JHB Conservation Convenor
Tamtam
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:56 pm
Real Name: Tam Scheidegger

Re: Eagle Season Information

Post by Tamtam »

Eagle Nests and Climbers

Climbers share their crags in and around Gauteng with 4 breeding pairs of Verreaux’s Eagles. During the breeding season from April to October, allocated space around the nests is out-of-bounds for climbing. The Crags affected are Bronkies, Wilgepoort, Tonquani and Chosspile (Lord of the Rings). All of these nests could be being used at the moment. Please keep well away from all the nesting sites, keep noise levels down and allow them the peace they need to feed and rear their juveniles. We give the juveniles one month grace period after taking their first flight before re-opening the Crag.

Please Note: the signs on the Rock demarcate the nesting site at Bronkies. Between “Perch on this” and ‘Devils Concubine”. The wiki still needs to be updated from 2018, when the Eagles decided to use a different nesting site.

The trail cam at Bronkies will be replaced later this year, so in the interim, please send information about the birds to the MCSA office and we can foreward it to the monitoring committee.
Tamtam
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Re: Eagle Season Information

Post by Tamtam »

2020 Oct update

The Breeding season has come to a close. The information that I can provide is that both the Wilgepoort and Bronkies nests were prepared and used during the season, but with no success. So the three Sport climbing areas: Bronkies, Wilgepoort and Chosspile are now open for climbing. The Tonquani and Grootkloof nests may have been more successful, please give the nest areas a grace period until the end of Oct. Any information or photos of these magnificent birds that you may take - please forward them on for all to enjoy.

Tam
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