Starting in the EASTERN CAPE, the status quo remains the same for the Sooty Gull, with no further sightings reported. But the province continued to deliver exciting birds, with a LESSER CRESTED TERN at Kei Mouth on 5 Jan and two individuals on 6 Jan. The BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER was still present on the morning of 6 Jan, and a PECTORAL SANDPIPER was found today at Kei River at -32.670, 28.375. Pieter Verster gives the following info: “Transkei side of the Kei river. Cross river and walk 300m left. There is a big water body with an old yellow paddle board in it. Very close to paddle board”. Photo attached (c) Pieter Verster.
At Hamburg, the PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER was found again today on the grassy bank at -33.281, 27.481, and a GREATER SAND PLOVER was also seen, on the first sand bank in front of Do Regos Cabin, and a EUROPEAN HONEY BUZZARD was seen near the ferry at Kei Mouth, south bank today.
In KWAZULU-NATAL, the EURASIAN OYSTERCATCHER was still at St Lucia on 5 Jan, and the BRONZE-WINGED COURSER remained at Lower Illovo on 7 Jan. The MADAGASCAN CUCKOO was at Hluhluwe Game Reserve, and a LESSER MOORHEN was seen at Cully’s dam near Port Edward yesterday. The CASPIAN PLOVERS were still at Mpempe pan on 6 Jan, and a SOOTY TERN was seen today at St Lucia Estuary. Manyoni Private Game Reserve continued to deliver good provincial birds, with GREY-HEADED KINGFISHER seen today. An AYRE’S HAWK-EAGLE was seen over Mtunzini today.
In the WESTERN CAPE, the BAIRD’S SANDPIPER was seen on S5 on 5 Jan, and the RED-NECKED PHALAROPE was on S2 yesterday. Kliphoek salt pans delivered two BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPERS on 5 Jan, and one bird on 6 Jan, GREATER SAND PLOVER, RED-NECKED PHALAROPE and AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER, with the latter two also reported today. Photo attached (c) Zunaid Barday. EUROPEAN ROLLERS were reported from the Suurbraak area and along the R340 near Plett, outside George near Montagu-Outeniqua junction, and near Knysna in the last few days, and a group of BLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATERS was seen along the R43 between Franskraal and Pearly Beach yesterday. Two BLACK STORKS were seen near Uilenkraal river bridge yesterday. The GOLDEN-BREASTED BUNTINGS near Plett were successfully relocated by birders yesterday and today, and a SAND MARTIN was reported from Rietvlei road near Plett today. The reliable LESSER STRIPED SWALLOWS were still at Goukamma bridge on 7 Jan. EUROPEAN HONEY BUZZARDS were seen at at George Dam today, at Bel Ombre, Constantia on 3 Jan, and over stone cottage at Kirstenbosch yesterday.
In LIMPOPO, a DARK-BACKED WEAVER was seen in Woodbush forest at -23.837, 29.992 in a mixer feeding flock on 5 Jan, and the LESSER JACANA was still at the pan near the R36 on the same day, joined by three LESSER MOORHENS. Two different EUROPEAN HONEY BUZZARDS was reported by on farm close to Naboomspruit on 6 Jan.
In the NORTHERN CAPE, all sorts of exciting water birds have been drawn into the Kgalagadi by the good rains, with GREATER PAINTED-SNIPE seen between Samevloeiing and Leeudril on 5 and 6 Jan, plus 2 LESSER MOORHENS yesterday. The GREAT EGRET was still there on 5 Jan. A DWARF BITTERN was also seen at Rooiputs waterhole yesterday. At Kuruman River Reserve, a DWARF BITTERN was seen on 5 Jan, and a number of HARLEQUIN QUAILS were also present.
In MPUMALANGA, I was sent an odd record of a LILIAN’S LOVEBIRD in Berg-en-dal, Kruger, which I presume is most likely an escapee.
And finally, in BOTSWANA, heavy rains have raised the water levels at Gaborone dam and submerged the muddy fringes, and the Red-throated Pipits have not been seen for a few days. I’ll send out notice immediately if they are relocated.