SA Rare Bird News Report - 14 April 2011

Skip to first unread message

Trevor Hardaker

Apr 14, 2011, 3:01:15 PM4/14/11
to SA Rare Bird News


This is the Southern African Rare Bird News Report issued at 21h00 on Thursday, 14 April 2011. 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. 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



Starting in the Western Cape, yet another pelagic mega has managed to slip through almost undetected… On Friday, a CHATHAM ALBATROSS was photographed south of Cape Point by a skipper of one of the local trawlers. This is all thanks to the work of the BirdLife Albatross Task Force who encouraged him to get interested in seabirds and to get himself a camera. And now he has turned up an absolute mega! To the best of my knowledge, this would be only the 4th ever record of this species in Southern Africa following previous records, all in the same area, in October 1993, May 2001 and July 2006.


Other records in the province over the last few days wane by comparison but include a SQUACCO HERON reported on Tuesday at a small pan near Sunset Beach whilst a pelagic trip on Monday turned up a single LEACH’S STORM PETREL about 17 nautical miles from Cape Point.


Then into the Northern Cape where, yet again, we have another record of CHESTNUT WEAVER with a single male spotted yesterday at Twee Rivieren in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. It’s hard to believe that we started 2011 off without ever having had this species recorded in South Africa before and we are now only in April and have already had our 3rd record!


In the Eastern Cape, the BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER at Kei Mouth was still on view yesterday afternoon, but reports of it have been a little erratic, possibly more due to a lack of birder coverage than anything else. However, there is bound to be an influx of twitchers over the weekend into the area hoping to catch up with this mega.


Moving into Kwazulu Natal, the GREAT CRESTED GREBE reported about 30km from Vryheid along the R34 a few weeks ago was still present late this afternoon.


And finally, in Mpumalanga, the WHITE-BACKED NIGHT HERONS at Lake Panic near Skukuza in the Kruger National Park continue to attract attention with some people even getting lucky enough to spot the 2 youngsters that are present there as well.



Chatham Albatross south of Cape Point

© Wilfred Esau



Chestnut Weaver at Twee Rivieren

© Graeme Ellis

Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Kei Mouth

© Etienne Marais



Don’t forget to send through your details to be included on the various listing clubs that are hosted at This website also has an extensive rarities gallery that has many additional photos of a number of rarities that are mentioned in these reports.



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





Cape Town, South Africa




See my photographic attempts at:




Trevor Hardaker and John Graham

Pelagics, rarity photos, listing clubs and more:




Get the latest rarity news by joining at:




Online database of all SA rarities




Reply all
Reply to author
0 new messages