SA Rare Bird News Report - 19 April 2021

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Trevor Hardaker

Apr 19, 2021, 12:01:21 PM4/19/21



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 18h00 on Monday, 19 April 2021.


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


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Just the odd scarcity report still trickling through…




·         One in the Honde Valley (Zimbabwe) on Saturday.


On to the rest of the news and, starting in the Western Cape, the biggest new excitement came on a pelagic trip out of Hout Bay on Saturday when a young SALVIN’S ALBATROSS was found on the trip, still a mega rare bird in Southern Africa. The stunning NORTHERN ROYAL ALBATROSS seen on the same trip was really relegated into a distant second place on the trip because of it. Elsewhere, the popular LESSER NODDY put in an appearance at the Tern roost opposite Greenways in The Strand on Saturday morning, but was then not seen again for the whole weekend despite a number of people looking for it. Birders combed this site and the nearby Macassar Sewage Works looking for it, but could at least confirm that one LESSER CRESTED TERN was still present at the latter site throughout the weekend.


The influx of RED-BILLED QUELEAS continues unabated with birds seen in Kommetjie throughout the weekend with the biggest flock numbering over 50 individuals that visited a garden in Lighthouse Road yesterday. There was also a group of around 35 seen south of Olifantsbos yesterday, a smaller group of 10-12 seen at Platboom on Saturday, 2 small groups seen in Scarborough on Saturday and a singleton reported at Harold Porter Botanical Gardens in Betty’s Bay on Saturday as well. Also of local interest, a CINNAMON-BREASTED BUNTING was found at Silvermine at -34.102, 18.448 yesterday and another was located at Harold Porter Botanical Gardens along the left hand pathway about halfway between the entrance gates and the bridge over the river yesterday as well. Other interesting records included a SQUACCO HERON reported at Dolphin Beach Pans on Saturday, an AFRICAN PALM SWIFT seen at Atlantic Beach Golf Estate near Melkbos on Friday while, up on the west coast, the RED-NECKED PHALAROPE and GREATER SAND PLOVER were still at Kliphoek Salt Pans in Velddrif on Friday and a DOUBLE-BANDED COURSER was reported this morning near Moorreesburg at -33.210, 18.436.


Moving eastwards, an AFRICAN CRAKE was found at the south-eastern corner of Onrus Caravan Park yesterday, a female EURASIAN GOLDEN ORIOLE was seen at Hermanus Wastewater Treatment Works at -34.424, 19.207 yesterday and 2 AFRICAN PALM SWIFTS were located along the R316, just south of Bredasdorp, on Thursday while yet another lost CINNAMON-BREASTED BUNTING was seen near Sedgefield at -34.033, 22.843 yesterday as well. Heading inland into the Karoo regions, a GREAT EGRET was seen at dam near Klaarstroom at -33.303, 22.468 yesterday and a very lost AFRICAN CRAKE was found on a farm south of Murraysburg at -32.274, 23.621 yesterday and released at the dam there and was still present around the dam earlier today.



Salvin’s Albatross on pelagic trip

© Cliff Dorse

Salvin’s Albatross on pelagic trip

© Trevor Hardaker



Salvin’s Albatross on pelagic trip

© Alice Moller

Salvin’s Albatross on pelagic trip

© Gaynor Donovan



Salvin’s Albatross on pelagic trip

© Michael McSweeney

Northern Royal Albatross on pelagic trip

© Trevor Hardaker



Northern Royal Albatross on pelagic trip

© Richard Crawshaw



Red-billed Queleas in Kommetjie

© Pamela Cooper

Red-billed Queleas in Kommetjie

© Robert Cooper



Red-billed Quelea at Harold Porter Botanical Gardens

© Riaan Swart

Cinnamon-breasted Bunting at Harold Porter Botanical Gardens

© Eric Rautenbach



Lesser Crested Tern at Macassar Sewage Works

© Garret Skead

Lesser Crested Tern at Macassar Sewage Works

© Tristan Silver



African Crake at Onrus Caravan Park

© John Bowman

African Crake near Murraysburg

© Johan Mans



In the Eastern Cape, there has been no further sign of the SOOTY GULL at the Swartkops River mouth since it was last reported and photographed late on Thursday afternoon, but the DWARF BITTERN was still at Barkly East Dam yesterday and a single BROWN SNAKE EAGLE was found near Kommadagga yesterday as well.



Dwarf Bittern at Barkly East Dam

© Jorrie Jordaan

Brown Snake Eagle near Kommadagga

© Barry Kurten



Moving up the coast into Kwazulu Natal, the BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER and several TEMMINCK’S COURSERS were still at Mpempe Pan on Saturday and there was some additional excitement when a SPOTTED CRAKE was reported there as well while a DARK CHANTING GOSHAWK was seen again at Manyoni Private Game Reserve on Saturday as well.


Across in Mpumalanga, the LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was still at Leeupan, near Leandra, yesterday.


The North-west Province chimed in with a SWALLOW-TAILED BEE-EATER seen in the Boons area at -26.046, 27.227 yesterday.


Up in Limpopo, a single PINK-BACKED PELICAN was found at Vogelfontein at -24.619, 28.693 on Saturday.


And finally, in Namibia, the YELLOW-THROATED LEAFLOVES were back in the gardens of Caprivi Houseboat Safari Lodge in Katima Mulilo this morning while another very lost AFRICAN CRAKE was found in a house in Wlotzkabaken, north of Swakopmund, on Saturday.

Lesser Black-backed Gull at Leeupan

© Viandre Delport



Pink-backed Pelican at Vogelfontein

© Christo Venter

African Crake at Wlotzkabaken

© Kelly Powell



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








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