SA Rare Bird News Report - 13 May 2019

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Trevor Hardaker

May 13, 2019, 2:00:59 PM5/13/19



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, 13 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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Still the occasional straggler scarcity being reported…




  • One over Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve (Gauteng) on Saturday.
  • One in Gxulu near Mthatha (Eastern Cape) on Friday afternoon.


On to the rest of the news and, starting in the Western Cape, the best bird of the last few days was undoubtedly a fine adult SALVIN’S ALBATROSS seen on a pelagic trip out of Simon’s Town yesterday. It’s certainly been a while since once of these has been reported on a local pelagic trip. Elsewhere, both an AFRICAN JACANA and an AFRICAN PALM SWIFT were found at Dolphin Beach Pans yesterday, a WHITE-FRONTED BEE-EATER was reported at Geelbek in the West Coast National Park on Saturday, the RED-BILLED OXPECKER was still enjoying the company of Zebra and Eland this morning at Koeberg Nature Reserve and the SQUACCO HERON was still holding on at Dick Dent Bird Sanctuary in Strand on Saturday.

European Honey Buzzard in Gxulu

© Clive Delbridge



Over on the Garden Route, a CROWNED HORNBILL was reported on the northern end of George flying towards Witfontein on Friday and, sadly, the HOUSE CROW was also still hanging around in Mossel Bay at -34.171, 22.123 this morning as well.


For the mammal enthusiasts, there was also a SOUTHERN ELEPHANT SEAL reported at Olifantsbos near Cape Point on Saturday.



Salvin’s Albatross on pelagic trip

© Vince Ward

African Jacana at Dolphin Beach Pans

© Daryl de Beer



African Jacana at Dolphin Beach Pans

© Trevor Hardaker

African Palm Swift at Dolphin Beach Pans

© Trevor Hardaker



In Kwazulu Natal, the EURASIAN OYSTERCATCHER was still at St Lucia estuary on Saturday while a male CHESTNUT-BANDED PLOVER was reported at the same site on Friday. Also of local interest, 2 separate LARK-LIKE BUNTINGS were reported on Sani Pass yesterday, one just 200m from the South African border post and the other about a kilometre inside Lesotho.


Over in the Free State, the KNOB-BILLED DUCK was still at the dam 14 km south of Reddersburg until at least Friday.


Across in Gauteng, there was some local excitement when a pair of AFRICAN PYGMY GEESE were found on Saturday at Marievale Bird Sanctuary at -26.325, 28.519 while a SWALLOW-TAILED BEE-EATER was reported around the western gate to Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve at -26.526, 28.160 on Saturday as well.



Lark-like Bunting on Sani Pass

© Stuart McLean

African Pygmy Geese at Marievale Bird Sanctuary

© Roger Machin



In Mpumalanga, the LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was still at Leeupan, south of Leandra, on Saturday, but then was not seen yesterday despite several birders searching hard for it.



Lesser Black-backed Gull at Leeupan

© Pedrie Oosthuizen

Lesser Black-backed Gull at Leeupan

© Jean van Rooyen



Up in Limpopo, 3 SWALLOW-TAILED BEE-EATERS were found at Ofcolaco, between Tzaneen and Hoedspruit, at -24.102, 30.384 on Friday while, this afternoon, there was another record of SCALY-FEATHERED FINCHES from the Kruger National Park when a small group of birds was seen in the north-western corner of the Makuleke Concession not too far from Pafuri.


And finally, in Namibia, the YELLOW-THROATED LEAFLOVES were still in the gardens of Caprivi Houseboat Safari Lodge in Katima Mulilo yesterday.



Swallow-tailed Bee-eater at Ofcolaco

© Vaughan Jessnitz

Yellow-throated Leaflove at Caprivi Houseboat Safari Lodge

© Toni Hart



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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