SA Rare Bird News Report - 29 October 2009

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Trevor Hardaker

Oct 29, 2009, 4:25:05 PM10/29/09
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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 22h15 on Thursday, 29 October 2009. 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


While there have been no reports received this week of any earth-shattering rarities, there have been a number of interesting regional vagrants reported throughout the region.


In the Western Cape, the most exciting report this week is of a JACOBIN CUCKOO visiting a Constantia garden and gorging itself on caterpillars. Although this species does occur occasionally on the eastern side of the province, there are only a handful of records for the Cape Peninsula. Other reports of note included a LESSER SAND PLOVER at Geelbek in the West Coast National Park yesterday, a RED-BILLED QUELEA on the farm Leeuwenboschfontein near Montagu and a GOLDEN-BREASTED BUNTING on the farm Williamsburg near Uniondale whilst the irruption of LARK-LIKE BUNTINGS continues on the west coast with a number of records being reported.


In the Northern Cape, the CRESTED BARBETS that were first reported from Augrabies National Park some time ago are also still present and this considerable westward range extension seems to now be taking on some level of permanency.


The North-west Province also got in on the action delivering a MOUNTAIN WAGTAIL in Tonqani Gorge (near Mountain Sanctuary Park just east of Rustenburg) on Monday. Searching through available literature, I cannot find any references to previous records of this species in the province, so if anyone is aware of previous records in the province, I would be very interested to hear about these…


In Limpopo, the eastward irruption of RED-HEADED FINCHES also continues with 3 birds (2 females and a male) being located along the S100 near Satara in the Kruger National Park.



Finally, in Monday’s SA Rare Bird News Report where mention was made of the recent GREY WAGTAIL at Popa Falls, I indicated that there were only 4 previous records for Namibia of this species.


I had forgotten about the record in October 2005 which is archived in our rarities gallery from Halali Camp in Etosha National Park, so in fact the recent Popa Falls bird becomes the 6th record for Namibia (unless, of course, someone else comes forward with more records of this species to prove me wrong once again…)

Grey Wagtail in Etosha NP in 2005 © Peter Lawson


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 wildlife photos at




Trevor Hardaker and John Graham

Pelagics, rarity photos, listing clubs and more




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