SA Rare Bird News Report - 14 January 2021

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Trevor Hardaker

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Jan 14, 2021, 11:00:53 AMJan 14
to sa-rare...@googlegroups.com, keena...@gmail.com

 

 

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 Thursday, 14 January 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 http://groups.google.co.za/group/sa-rarebirdnews

 

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Wow, what a time to return from a trip into the rarity craziness that is currently happening all around Southern Africa. I even had time for a little diversion on the trip for a twitch of my own…J First and foremost, I would like to give a big thanks to Garret Skead for running SARBN while we were away. I’m sure you will all agree that he did a great job in ensuring that the news was shared timeously and that you all got to hear about the important birds. Thanks very much Garret – much appreciated!

 

So, let’s get straight into my very first formal report of 2021 and, to start with, let’s get the few scarcity reports that I’ve received out of the way first…

 

EUROPEAN HONEY BUZZARD:

 

·         One in the Skeerpoort area (North-west Province) at -25.789, 27.728 this morning.

·         One near Ngobi (North-west Province) at -25.001, 28.102 this morning.

·         One on a farm in Port Edward (KZN) on Tuesday and again yesterday.

·         One over Faerie Glen (Gauteng) on Tuesday.

·         One in Klein Windhoek (Namibia) on Tuesday.

 

 

European Honey Buzzard near Ngobi

© Jacques Verster

European Honey Buzzard in Port Edward

© Stan Culley

 

 

On to the rest of the news and, starting in the Western Cape, there was some local excitement when a FRANKLIN’S GULL was found in the Tern roost on Pan P2 at Strandfontein Sewage Works on Tuesday and was still there today. Interestingly, this is a different individual to the one that was found there 6 days ago which was a bird in full breeding plumage. Another FRANKLIN’S GULL was also seen near the Black Oystercatcher restaurant on the Agulhas Plains on Monday and, given the similarity in appearance between these two birds (both in non-breeding plumage), one has to wonder whether both reports perhaps refer to the same individual which has now moved between the two sites. Remaining at Strandfontein Sewage Works, the mega BAIRD’S SANDPIPER was still on Pan S2 this morning along with a RED-NECKED PHALAROPE while there were also still at least 2 SAND MARTINS roosting with Barn Swallows around -34.088, 18.518 yesterday as well. Up on the west coast, the AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER remained in place at Kliphoek Salt Pans in Velddrif this afternoon. It’s also been an interesting time for EURASIAN GOLDEN ORIOLE records with 2 birds seen at Eagles Guest House in Somerset West yesterday and another singleton seen in Hill Street in Mossel Bay at -34.185, 22.147 yesterday as well. Staying on the Garden Route, the GOLDEN-BREASTED BUNTING was still at Uplands in Plettenberg Bay at -33.951, 23.305 this morning while the GOLIATH HERON was still at White Horse Dam in Plettenberg Bay on Tuesday. Moving inland, there was also some local excitement when a GREAT EGRET was found at Beaufort West Sewage Works yesterday.

 

Up in the Northern Cape, a PECTORAL SANDPIPER was found along the grassy shoreline of the large dam at New Holme Guest Farm near Hanover on Tuesday while there was also some surprize when a GREY-HEADED KINGFISHER flew into a house in Askham on Tuesday, well out of range for this species. A GREAT EGRET was also still present at Kamfersboom in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park earlier today, while, also from the park, a slightly delayed report has been received of a single LESSER MOORHEN found at Sameveloring waterhole on 7 January 2021, a really bizarre record for this area.

 

 

Franklin’s Gull at Strandfontein Sewage Works

© Garret Skead

Franklin’s Gull at Strandfontein Sewage Works

© Jacques Proust

 

 

Franklin’s Gull at Strandfontein Sewage Works

© Keith Gradwell

Franklin’s Gull on the Agulhas Plains

© Liohan Gilliomee

 

 

American Golden Plover at Kliphoek Salt Pans

© Martie de Wijn

American Golden Plover at Kliphoek Salt Pans

© Madelie Burger

 

 

Eurasian Golden Oriole in Somerset West

© Juan van den Heever

Eurasian Golden Oriole in Mossel Bay

© Rudi Minnie

 

 

Great Egret at Beaufort West Sewage Works

© Japie Claassen

Lesser Moorhen at Sameveloring waterhole

© Nicky Shadbolt

 

 

In the Eastern Cape, the action remained firmly around Kei Mouth which continued to draw a steady stream of twitchers to admire the subregion’s first SOOTY GULL that continued to show well earlier today while added distractions also included the PECTORAL SANDPIPER that was also still there yesterday.

 

 

Sooty Gull at Kei Mouth

© Stewart MacLachlan

Sooty Gull at Kei Mouth

© Jorrie Jordaan

 

 

Sooty Gull at Kei Mouth

© Barry Kurten

Sooty Gull at Kei Mouth

© Gareth Yearsley

 

 

Sooty Gull at Kei Mouth

© Lynette Rudman

Sooty Gull at Kei Mouth

© Tim Cockcroft

 

 

Sooty Gull at Kei Mouth

© Nick Fordyce

 

 

Sooty Gull at Kei Mouth

© Hanno Janse van Veuren

Sooty Gull at Kei Mouth

© Pierre Hensley

 

 

Sooty Gull at Kei Mouth

© Alan Collett

Sooty Gull at Kei Mouth

© Garret Skead

 

 

Pectoral Sandpiper at Kei Mouth

© Pierre Hensley

 

Pectoral Sandpiper at Kei Mouth

© Sandra Lombard

Pectoral Sandpiper at Kei Mouth

© Stewart MacLachlan

 

 

Pectoral Sandpiper at Kei Mouth

© Garret Skead

Pectoral Sandpiper at Kei Mouth

© Nick Fordyce

 

 

Moving up the coast into Kwazulu Natal, the popular MADAGASCAN CUCKOO was still in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve until at least Tuesday while the GULL-BILLED TERN was seen again on the Nibela Peninsula yesterday and there were also still at least 2 WESTERN YELLOW WAGTAILS present at Mpempe Pan yesterday. This morning, a single CASPIAN PLOVER was also found at Kwelezintombi Pan, near Makakatana Bay, St Lucia, on the short grass between car park and water while the SOOTY FALCON was also still hanging out in the usual area at Mbazwana this afternoon. Elsewhere, other provincial records of interest included a BRONZE-WINGED COURSER found on a private farm near Dalton yesterday, the LESSER MOORHEN still present near the Karkloof Conservation Centre on Tuesday, another LESSER MOORHEN also still present on a private farm dam in Port Edward on Tuesday and a dead AFRICAN SCOPS OWL (seemingly hit by a car) found in Marine Drive in Umhlanga yesterday.

 

 

Madagascan Cuckoo in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve

© Jacqueline Contino

Lesser Moorhen in Port Edward

© Hugo Voigts

 

 

The Free State held on to at least 5 BAILLON’S CRAKES which were all still present at Soutpan at -28.761, 26.051 this morning.

 

Gauteng produced a DUSKY LARK at De Tweedespruit Conservancy, just north of Cullinan, on Tuesday, not a regular bird within the province’s boundaries, although it does seem to be a rather good season for them in South Africa generally at the moment.

 

In the North-west Province, a LESSER MOORHEN was found at Sable Pan in Pilanesberg National Park yesterday.

 

 

Dusky Lark at De Tweedespruit Conservancy

© Neithard Graf von Dürckheim

 

 

Up in Namibia, the wandering BRADFIELD’S HORNBILL in the Swakopmund area was seen again at Rossmund Golf Course yesterday afternoon while the YELLOW-THROATED LEAFLOVES were back in the gardens of Caprivi Houseboat Safari Lodge in Katima Mulilo this afternoon as well.

 

And finally, in Zimbabwe, there was massive excitement when a vocal MADAGASCAN CUCKOO was found in Monavale, Harare yesterday afternoon and was still there today. To have 3 of these birds in the subregion in a single season is unprecedented! Following a record from Seldomseen in the Vumba in the Eastern Highlands in December 1998, this appears to only be the second ever record for the country, so very exciting indeed. Also causing quite a bit of local excitement, there was some surprize when at least 3 STREAKY-BREASTED FLUFFTAILS were located at Cunningham's Cottage at the Umguza Irrigation Scheme, just outside Bulawayo, on Sunday. A number of locals managed to connect with these birds which were still there until at least yesterday as well.

 

 

Madagascan Cuckoo at Monavale

© Jean-Michel Blake

Madagascan Cuckoo at Monavale

© Roger MacDonald

 

 

Madagascan Cuckoo at Monavale

© Keenan Bews

Madagascan Cuckoo at Monavale

© Barry Launder

 

 

Madagascan Cuckoo at Monavale

© Piet Zwanikken

Madagascan Cuckoo at Monavale

© Jonathan Whittaker

 

 

Madagascan Cuckoo twitchers at Monavale

© Innes Louw

Madagascan Cuckoo twitchers at Monavale

© Tony Wood

 

 

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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