SA Rare Bird News Report - 06 May 2019

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Trevor Hardaker

May 6, 2019, 2:01:07 PM5/6/19



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, 06 May 2019.


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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One would expect that almost all of the EUROPEAN HONEY BUZZARDS in the subregion should have left and headed north by now, especially given that there were in excess of 100 000 individuals counted moving through Eilat in Israel yesterday and even more birds moving through there during the course of today, but it seems that we still have at least one straggler here.




·         One along the Trumpeter's Drift Road north-east of Grahamstown (Eastern Cape) yesterday.


European Honey Buzzard along Trumpeter’s Drift Road

© Lynette Rudman


On to the rest of the news and, starting in the Western Cape, a GREY WAGTAIL was found yesterday (and was still there today) on the rocks below the parking area at De Kelders in Gansbaai at -34.555, 19.364, no doubt a reverse migrant, while a single DOUBLE-BANDED COURSER was found in amongst a group of more than 35 Burchell's Coursers on a private farm in Piketberg yesterday, an unusual record for the area. The SQUACCO HERON was also still in residence at Dick Dent Bird Sanctuary in Strand earlier today as well.



Grey Wagtail at De Kelders

© Keir Lynch

Grey Wagtail at De Kelders

© Hennie Otto



Grey Wagtail at De Kelders

© Lester van Groeningen



Up in the Northern Cape, there was some local excitement when a young MARABOU STORK was found at Marrick Safari in Kimberley on Saturday.



Marabou Stork at Marrick Safari

© Doug Harebottle

Marabou Stork at Marrick Safari

© Brian Culver



In the Eastern Cape, the adult PALM-NUT VULTURE was still hanging around at the composting facility at Komga yesterday.


Moving up the coast into Kwazulu Natal, the popular EURASIAN OYSTERCATCHER was still at St Lucia estuary yesterday while a pelagic trip out of St Lucia on Saturday turned up a near adult female LESSER FRIGATEBIRD and at least 8 SOOTY TERNS.



Palm-nut Vulture at Komga

© Foden Saunders

Lesser Frigatebird on St Lucia pelagic trip

© David Hoddinott



Over in the Free State, there was some good local birding at Willem Pretorius Nature Reserve yesterday with a pair of JAMESON'S FIREFINCHES found at the lookout over the reserve and an estimate of somewhere between 10 and 15 KNOB-BILLED DUCKS seen on the Allemanskraal Dam, both good provincial records.



Knob-billed Ducks at Willem Pretorius Nature Reserve

© Martin Potgieter

Jameson’s Firefinch at Willem Pretorius Nature Reserve

© Martin Potgieter



In the North-west Province, an AFRICAN OPENBILL was seen at OPM Prozesky Bird Sanctuary in Potchefstroom at -26.746, 27.093 on Thursday.


Up in Limpopo, there was some surprize when 2 SCALY-FEATHERED FINCHES were found along the S53 about 9km south of Babalala Picnic Site in the Kruger National Park on Saturday, possibly only the second ever confirmed record for the park, following birds that were found breeding in Makuleke Concession around 8 years ago. Also still attracting local attention, the immature AYRES' HAWK EAGLE held on at Polokwane Bird Sanctuary yesterday too.



African Openbill at OPM Prozesky Bird Sanctuary

© Jaco Botes

Scaly-feathered Finches south of Babalala Picnic Site

© Leigh Hoets



Ayres’ Hawk Eagle at Polokwane Bird Sanctuary

© Jody de Bruyn



And finally, in Namibia, a TREE PIPIT was found at the Swartfontein Game and Adventure Lodge, about 160km south-west of Windhoek, on Wednesday and was still there yesterday while the YELLOW-THROATED LEAFLOVES remained on in the gardens of Caprivi Houseboat Safari Lodge in Katima Mulilo until at least Friday.



Tree Pipit at Swartfontein

© Madina Fourie

Yellow-throated Leaflove at Caprivi Houseboat Safari Lodge

© Curt-Ingo Sagell



Tree Pipit at Swartfontein

© Neil Thomson



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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