SA Rare Bird News Report - 11 June 2020

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Trevor Hardaker

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Jun 11, 2020, 12:47:40 PM6/11/20
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S O U T H E R N   A F R I C A N   R A R E   B I R D   N E W S   R E P O R T

 

 

 

This is the Southern African Rare Bird News Report issued at 18h45 on Thursday, 11 June 2020.

 

Information has been gleaned from various websites, email groups as well as from individual observers who have passed on their sightings. This report cannot be taken as being totally comprehensive as it is based only on information made available at the time of writing. All bird sightings reported here are reported in good faith based on information as provided by the observers. Any inaccuracies are totally unintentional and the writer cannot be held liable for these.

 

None of the records included in this report have undergone any adjudication process with any of the subregion’s Rarities Committees, so inclusion in this report does not constitute any official confirmation of the particular record. Observers are still encouraged to make the necessary submissions accordingly.

 

For those who may have only joined the group recently and are interested in finding out what has been seen in the past, previous reports can be viewed at http://groups.google.co.za/group/sa-rarebirdnews

 

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Well, one thing is blatantly clear… ever since South Africa moved to Level 3 and birders were given a little more “freedom” to move around, the numbers of interesting records have certainly been on the increase, so please forgive this rather jam-packed report which tries to cover everything that has happened in the last fortnight across Southern Africa. I will continue to monitor the number of interesting records coming through and, if it maintains this sort of pace, I will then have to consider increasing the frequency of these reports again (maybe just to weekly for now?). Anyway, as always, please keep sending through your news to me, so that I can collate these reports and I look forward to all of us getting back to a point where SARBN can be fully operational again and we can race off to twitch birds wherever they may be…

 

On to the news and, starting in the Western Cape, there have been a few fishing trips that have headed out recently with one of them producing at least 3 WANDERING ALBATROSSES and a SOUTHERN FULMAR about 70 nautical miles WNW of Hout Bay on Saturday while another also turned up a SOUTHERN FULMAR about 25 nautical miles south-west of Cape Point on Wednesday, 3 June. It didn’t all happen on boats though and, this afternoon, a juvenile GREY-HEADED ALBATROSS was picked up from the shore in Hermanus near the harbour there, quick a remarkable record for a land-based seawatch! Other local excitement was caused by a LESSER CRESTED TERN found at Fisherhaven at -34.360, 19.113 on Sunday which was still there on Tuesday, several ROSEATE TERNS found at Danger Point near Gansbaai yesterday and still there today, a GREEN-BACKED HERON found at Port Owen in Velddrif this afternoon, a CAPE VULTURE seen on Sunday near Tesselaarsdal around -34.36, 19.502 a little north-east of Stanford, an AFRICAN CRAKE seen in a garden in Velddrif on Tuesday afternoon and an AFRICAN CUCKOO HAWK found at Eden Forest in Stellenbosch on the late afternoon of Monday, 1 June and still present there on the morning of on Tuesday, 2 June. Elsewhere, lingerers included GOLIATH HERONS still present at the wetland off Adam Tas Road in Stellenbosch at -33.947, 18.836 on Tuesday, 2 June and at Botlierskop near Mossel Bay on Sunday, 2 AFRICAN RED-EYED BULBULS still present on a farm near Gouda on Tuesday, 2 June and the AFRICAN JACANA still present at Little Princess Vlei in Elfindale until at least Sunday, 31 May while, over in the north-east of the province, a BLACK SPARROWHAWK was seen in Beaufort West on Thursday, 28 May.

 

 

Grey-headed Albatross in Hermanus

© Pieter Verster

Southern Fulmar south-west of Cape Point

© Justin Berry

 

 

Southern Fulmar west-north-west of Hout Bay

© Simon Walker

 

 

Green-backed Heron at Port Owen

© Melissa Demaio

African Crake in Velddrif

© Joan Schrauwen

 

 

Roseate Tern at Danger Point

© Tinus le Roux

African Cuckoo Hawk in Stellenbosch

© Trevor Hardaker

 

 

Lesser Crested Tern at Fisherhaven

© Lester van Groeningen

Lesser Crested Tern at Fisherhaven

© Dean Boshoff

 

 

Lesser Crested Tern at Fisherhaven

© Jacques Malan

 

 

Lesser Crested Tern at Fisherhaven

© Garret Skead

Lesser Crested Tern at Fisherhaven

© Michael Mason

 

 

African Red-eyed Bulbul near Gouda

© Trevor Hardaker

Goliath Heron at Botlierskop

© Estelle Smalberger

 

 

The Eastern Cape certainly revved up the rarity action producing a cracking summer-plumaged WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER, probably only the 33rd record ever in Southern Africa, found in rock pools at Kini Bay at -34.023, 25.383 on Thursday, 4 June. The bird proved very reliable and a number of locals were able to twitch it as it remained present until at least yesterday. Also creating major excitement amongst provincial listers (and also lots of frustration for those who couldn’t travel to it) was the province’s 1st ever YELLOW-BILLED OXPECKER found on a farm near Elliot at -31.257, 27.811 on Monday, 1 June and still present there until at least Sunday, 7 June. Other good provincial records came from along the R335 south of Somerset East on Friday when a MARABOU STORK was found -33.04, 25.59 and a RED-HEADED WEAVER was discovered seemingly building a nest at -32.822, 25.593. Elsewhere, a GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO was picked up on camera trap footage on a farm near Bedford on Sunday, a SWAINSON’S SPURFOWL was seen on the farm Lucernedale, in the Schoombee region, on Sunday, 31 May while the SPUR-WINGED LAPWING continued to loiter around the Continental Tyres building in Port Elizabeth until at least Thursday, 28 May.

 

 

White-rumped Sandpiper at Kini Bay

© Kirk West

White-rumped Sandpiper at Kini Bay

© Jo Balmer

 

 

White-rumped Sandpiper at Kini Bay

© Nina Robertson

White-rumped Sandpiper at Kini Bay

© Godfrey Lodge

 

 

White-rumped Sandpiper at Kini Bay

© Mike Pearson

 

 

White-rumped Sandpiper at Kini Bay

© Patrick Killian

White-rumped Sandpiper at Kini Bay

© Roy Tustin

 

 

White-rumped Sandpiper at Kini Bay

© Denise Hoffmann

White-rumped Sandpiper at Kini Bay

© Wilma Meiring

 

 

White-rumped Sandpiper at Kini Bay

© Diane McLean

White-rumped Sandpiper at Kini Bay

© Albert McLean

 

 

White-rumped Sandpiper at Kini Bay

© Lloyd Edwards

 

 

White-rumped Sandpiper at Kini Bay

© Graeme Pienaar

White-rumped Sandpiper at Kini Bay

© Patrick Brett

 

 

White-rumped Sandpiper at Kini Bay

© Trevor Flugel

White-rumped Sandpiper at Kini Bay

© Santa Best

 

 

Yellow-billed Oxpecker near Elliot

© Jorrie Jordaan

Yellow-billed Oxpecker near Elliot

© Stewart MacLachlan

 

 

Great Spotted Cuckoo near Bedford

© Lochard Ainslie

Swainson’s Spurfowl near Schoombee

© Rob Southey

 

 

Moving up the coast into Kwazulu Natal, the most exciting record was no doubt an immature RUPPELL’S VULTURE found feeding with other Vultures on a giraffe carcass at Pongola Nature Reserve on Saturday, 30 May and still there on Sunday, 31 May. This is probably only the second record for the province and, away from the breeding bird at Blouberg Nature Reserve near Vivo in Limpopo Province, one of the few other records of this species anywhere in Southern Africa. More twitchable, however, for most provincial listers was an ABDIM’S STORK that turned up on the Bluff Golf Course on Friday, 5 June and was still present there earlier today. Interestingly, another ABDIM’S STORK was seen at Selbourne Golf Estate in Pennington on Wednesday, 27 May and may well be the same individual that then moved further up the coast towards Durban. This remains a rather unusual record for the province with only one other record from the Durban area at Northern District Sewage Works in April 1987 based on historical data for the province. Added to this, there are 2 previous records from the Pietermaritzburg area and around 40 records in total for the province, most of those coming from the lower Drakensberg region from the Coleford area up to Ladysmith and then also a few from the Zululand Reserves (thanks to Digby Cyrus for providing this info!). Elsewhere, the VERREAUX’S EAGLE OWL was seen briefly again in Miller Street in Howick on Tuesday evening, an AYRES’S HAWK EAGLE was seen over Zini River Estate in Mtunzini on Sunday, 31 May, the ALLEN’S GALLINULE was still at the private farm dam in Port Edward yesterday and a MARABOU STORK was found near Himeville on Friday, 29 May.

 

 

Ruppell’s Vulture at Pongola Nature Reserve

© Ferdi Myburgh

Ruppell’s Vulture at Pongola Nature Reserve

© Ivan Pretorius

 

 

Abdim’s Stork at Bluff Golf Course

© Rowan Bartlett

Abdim’s Stork at Bluff Golf Course

© Blessing Majoka

 

 

Abdim’s Stork at Bluff Golf Course

© Dave Rimmer

Abdim’s Stork at Bluff Golf Course

© Ronnie Herr

 

 

Abdim’s Stork at Bluff Golf Course

© Elton-John Bartlett

Abdim’s Stork at Bluff Golf Course

© Penny de Vries

 

 

Abdim’s Stork at Bluff Golf Course

© Warren Dick

Abdim’s Stork at Bluff Golf Course

© Ansie Coetser

 

 

Abdim’s Stork at Bluff Golf Course

© Mark Hardouin

Abdim’s Stork at Bluff Golf Course

© Priscilla Hardouin

 

 

Abdim’s Stork at Bluff Golf Course

© Roger Hogg

Abdim’s Stork in Pennington

© Rigardt Hoffman

 

 

Marabou Stork near Himeville

© Pam Kleiman

Ayres’s Hawk Eagle at Zini River Estate

© Neil Perry

 

 

Allen’s Gallinule in Port Edward

© Lia Steen

Allen’s Gallinule in Port Edward

© Stan Culley

 

 

Into the Free State where a rather unexpected LONG-CRESTED EAGLE was found in Woodland Hills in Bloemfontein on Sunday.

 

Mpumalanga also got in on the action producing 3 AFRICAN SKIMMERS at Sunset Dam near Lower Sabie in the Kruger National Park on Tuesday which were still there today, an AFRICAN OPENBILL found at a small dam outside Devon at -26.394, 28.875 on Wednesday, 3 June, an AFRICAN HAWK EAGLE seen on a farm in Leandra on Tuesday, 2 June and an immature JACKAL BUZZARD seen in the Sabi Sands on Sunday, 24 May.

 

In Zimbabwe, a RED-NECKED FALCON was seen at Katiyo Tea Estate in the Eastern Highlands on Saturday, 30 May (probably the same individual that had been seen in the area a few weeks previously as well) while the same day also produced a rather unexpected MASCARENE MARTIN seen near Leopard Rock, still pretty much a mega bird for the country.

 

 

African Skimmers at Sunset Dam

© Rainer Mauthe

African Skimmers at Sunset Dam

© Daan Reitmann

 

 

African Skimmers at Sunset Dam

© Copper Badenhorst

 

 

African Skimmers at Sunset Dam

© Mariette Janse van Vuuren

African Hawk Eagle in Leandra

© Henri Smuts

 

 

Jackal Buzzard in the Sabi Sands

© Marc Eschenlohr

Red-necked Falcon at Katiyo Tea Estate

© Patience Simozosha

 

 

And finally, in Mozambique, there was still lots of action to be had over the weekend on the San Sebastian Peninsula near Vilanculous where numbers of both SAUNDERS’S and DAMARA TERNS were still present (as many as 20-30 individuals of both species) whilst other distractions included quite a few CRAB PLOVERS, a single RED KNOT and 7 GREAT WHITE PELICANS, still a rather unusual bird in this part of the subregion and probably only the 3rd or so record for the area.

 

 

Saunders’s Tern on the San Sebastian Peninsula

© Dave Gilroy

Damara Terns on the San Sebastian Peninsula

© Dave Gilroy

 

 

Red Knot on the San Sebastian Peninsula

© Dave Gilroy

Great White Pelicans on the San Sebastian Peninsula

© Dave Gilroy

 

 

Crab Plovers (with Bar-tailed Godwits) on the San Sebastian Peninsula

© Dave Gilroy

 

 

Thank you to all observers who have contributed their records. Please continue to send through any reports of odd birds as well as continued updates on the presence of rarities already previously reported, no matter how mundane you think they may be. Even if you think someone else has probably sent in a report, rather send the report yourself as well. The only way to improve this service and to make it as useful as possible to everyone is if it can be as comprehensive as possible.

 

Kind regards

Trevor

 

TREVOR HARDAKER

Cape Town, South Africa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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