SA Rare Bird News Report - 12 December 2013

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Trevor Hardaker

Dec 12, 2013, 1:33:57 PM12/12/13
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This is the Southern African Rare Bird News Report issued at 20h30 on Thursday, 12 December 2013. 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



Starting in the Western Cape, a couple of SAND MARTINS were reported from the farm Waylands in Darling on Friday whilst a EUROPEAN HONEY BUZZARD was seen in Wilderness on Tuesday. New in from the Albatross Task Force is that one of the team has just returned from a week on a trawler and had up to 3 WANDERING ALBATROSSES down on the Agulhas Bank.


Up the coast in the Eastern Cape, the major excitement was the delayed news of a CRAB PLOVER at the Gamtoos River estuary which was eventually confirmed as still present earlier today. Initially, this morning, it was seen at the junction between the river and the blind mouth, but later today was found about a kilometer upstream from there, so it is obviously moving about a bit and may take a bit of time to search for if you are planning on going to look for it. This afternoon, a YELLOW-BILLED STORK was also located there, another excellent bird for the province.



Crab Plover at Gamtoos River

© Wessel Rossouw

Crab Plover at Gamtoos River

© Gregg Darling



From the Northern Cape, an OLIVE-TREE WARBLER was reported earlier today along the river line that runs next to the camp site at Augrabies Falls National Park, possibly the westernmost record ever in South Africa of this species.


In Mpumalanga, a visit to a private farm near Komatipoort on Monday turned up a couple of WESTERN YELLOW WAGTAILS as well as a single LESSER JACANA, both good birds for the area.


Moving into Limpopo Province, a WESTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL was located in Tzaneen yesterday whilst, on Monday, a LARK-LIKE BUNTING was reported from near Crook’s Corner and a WHITE-BROWED SPARROW-WEAVER was seen at Shingwedzi, both in the Kruger National Park.


And finally, in Namibia, at least one COMMON REDSHANK has now returned to Mile 4 Salt Works just north of Swakopmund.

Western Yellow Wagtail in Tzaneen

© Chris Krog



Please remember 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



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