SA Rare Bird News Report - 10 September 2018

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Trevor Hardaker

Sep 10, 2018, 2:00:40 PM9/10/18



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 20h00 on Monday, 10 September 2018.


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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As some of you will already know, I am off at the end of next week to Peru for a birding trip. In fact, it is quite an exciting trip in that I have been invited to join as part of a team that will be attempting to break the world record for the most species seen in one calendar month in a single country. I will only be there for the first part of the attempt, but it's going to be really great to be part of this and to be able to do my bit to get the team off to a solid start at the beginning of October!


Anyway, I am out of the country from Friday, 21 September and only get back on Tuesday, 9 October and Justin Nicolau has kindly agreed to run SARBN while I am away. I will post further contact details for him closer to the time, so that you know who to contact to let know about any rarities that are found but, in the meantime, if you have any birding friends that are still wanting to join SARBN, please make sure that you ask them to get in touch with me before then, as Justin won't be able to add them to the subscriber list. So, if they don't get in touch with me within the next week and a bit, they are going to have to wait until I get back before they can be added to the membership of SARBN.


Anyway, on to the news and, starting in the Western Cape, a pelagic trip out of Simon's Town on Saturday produced a double royal flush with 2 SOUTHERN ROYAL and 2 NORTHERN ROYAL ALBATROSSES seen on the day while another trip today reported a brief view of a single SPECTACLED PETREL. The long-staying RED-NECKED PHALAROPE was also still at Kliphoek Salt Pans in Velddrif until at least Friday whilst, for the mammal enthusiasts, a SOUTHERN ELEPHANT SEAL was reported in the Cape Fur Seal colony on Duiker Island near Hout Bay earlier today as well.



Red-necked Phalarope at Velddrif

© Linda du Plessis

Red-necked Phalarope at Velddrif

© Lester van Groeningen



Northern Royal Albatross on pelagic trip

© Trevor Hardaker

Southern Royal Albatross on pelagic trip

© Joel Radue



Southern Royal Albatross on pelagic trip

© John Graham

Southern Royal Albatross on pelagic trip

© Trevor Hardaker



In the Eastern Cape, at least 8 GREEN-WINGED PYTILIAS were still present in the Camdeboo Conservancy near Graff-Reinet yesterday while it was also confirmed that both WAHLBERG'S EAGLES were back at Table farm near Grahamstown on Friday.


Moving up the coast into Kwazulu Natal, the LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was still present in Durban Bay earlier today and was reported again on the monthly waterbird census there while 2 FULVOUS WHISTLING DUCKS were also seen at Darvill Bird Sanctuary in Pietermaritzburg earlier today as well.



Green-winged Pytilia in the Camdeboo Conservancy

© Alan Collett

Lesser Black-backed Gull in Durban Bay

© David Allan



Over in the Free State, there was some local excitement when an AFRICAN GREY HORNBILL was seen just outside Harrismith on Saturday. To get to where it was seen, take the Verkykerskop road, then turn right onto the de Beers Pass road and it was seen about 200m from this junction.


Across in Mpumalanga, a single WHITE-STARRED ROBIN was seen on the Shabeni loop (S10) about 400m from the northern entrance near Pretoriuskop in the Kruger National Park yesterday, a really good bird for the park.


Up in Limpopo Province, the easterly spread into the northern parts of the Kruger National Park for WHITE-BROWED SPARROW-WEAVERS continues with a bird reported earlier today building a nest on the north side of the S63 about 350m from the H1-8 towards Pafuri picnic site.



African Grey Hornbill near Harrismith

© David Weaver

White-starred Robin on the Shabeni Loop

© Simon Vegter



And finally, in Mozambique, a large group of FRIGATEBIRDS were seen cruising over Barra on Saturday (can't be sure from the photos which species they are) and a further 4 birds were reported from Casa de Cocos slightly further south on Saturday as well.



Frigatebirds over Barra

© Leigh from Chill Restaurant



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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