Kimberley Roost


Kimberley Barn Swallow Roost


Kimberleys landscape is changing as the old De Beers diamond holes are being reworked with modern tooling to remove the remaining diamonds from the old workings. As this is being done the old holes are being filled in with the old soil excavated over many years. The only remaining hole will be the “Big Hole”, all the other six holes will be filled in and the landscape will be leveled.


Mark Anderson (Director of birdlife South Africa) who lives in Kimberley with his wife Tania first saw the Barn swallows flying over their house in November 2009, and investigated. Over the next couple of evenings they found about 2 million Barn Swallows decending into a Phragmites Reedbed in one of the holes that is currently being filled in. The reeds were approximately 20m below surrounding ground level.


As the hole is filled in, the reedbed is able to grow with the fill rate allowing the swallows a safe and secure roosting spot until such time as the hole is filled, possibly by 2013. Only time will tell if this roost will survive or whether the swallows will move and find another roosting spot in the area.