SA Rare Bird News Report - 03 September 2020

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Trevor Hardaker

Sep 3, 2020, 11:31:03 AM9/3/20



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 17h30 on Thursday, 03 September 2020.


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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Starting in the Western Cape, a pelagic trip out of Simon’s Town on Sunday had reasonable success delivering 2 SOUTHERN and 2 NORTHERN ROYAL ALBATROSSES as well as a SOUTHERN FULMAR on the trip. Elsewhere, lingerers included the LONG-CRESTED EAGLE seen again at Rozendal farm in Stellenbosch this afternoon, the GOLIATH HERON still at Distell Dam in Stellenbosch on Friday, the AFRICAN PIED WAGTAIL still at Gansbaai Sewage Works on Monday and the AFRICAN JACANA still at Dolphin Beach Pans this afternoon while there were also at least 3 AFRICAN PALM SWIFTS at the latter site this afternoon too. Over on the Garden Route, a single LESSER STRIPED SWALLOW was seen around the channel between Rondevlei and Langvlei near Wilderness on Tuesday while the YELLOW-THROATED PETRONIA was still coming to the feeders at Reflections Eco-Reserve near Wilderness until at least Tuesday.



Southern Royal Albatross on pelagic trip

© Alice Moller

Southern Royal Albatross on pelagic trip

© Vanessa Stephen



African Jacana at Dolphin Beach Pans

© Adrius Rabie

Goliath Heron at Distell Dam

© Adrius Rabie



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


The Free State continued to hold on to the YELLOW-BELLIED GREENBUL which was still coming to the feeders in a garden in Virginia until at least Saturday.



Palm-nut Vulture at Komga

© Larry McGillewie

Yellow-bellied Greenbul in Virginia

© Neil Venter



Kwazulu Natal has certainly stepped up a level or two in the last week with plenty of good records coming through. Lingerers included the 2 BURCHELL’S COURSERS still present at Galway farm near Normandien on Friday, the EURASIAN CURLEW still around in Durban Bay today and the AFRICAN CRAKE still in the grasslands outside Mtunzini on Saturday. The St Lucia estuary is on fire at the moment and, this morning, there was a SOOTY TERN and 3 CHESTNUT-BANDED PLOVERS there. Yesterday, there was also a GULL-BILLED TERN and a EURASIAN OYSTERCATCHER there while, on Sunday, the good birds were also augmented by a single EURASIAN CURLEW as well. Manyoni Private Game Reserve also delivered some great provincial birds with a young HOODED VULTURE seen there this morning, a female BENNETT’S WOODPECKER and a pair of CUT-THROAT FINCHES seen there yesterday and a female RED-HEADED WEAVER seen there on Monday. Elsewhere, there was a glut of AYRES’S HAWK EAGLE reports recently with the Mtunzini region producing one over Zini River Estate this morning and another over Xaxaza yesterday. The Pietermaritzburg area also got in on the action turning up one over Wylie Park yesterday and another over Queen Elizabeth Park at -29.572, 30.326 on Friday.



Burchell’s Courser in Normandien

© Decklan Jordaan

Burchell’s Courser in Normandien

© Stuart McLean



Ayres’s Hawk Eagle at Queen Elizabeth Park

© Ansie Coetser

Sooty Tern at St Lucia estuary

© Ian Ferreira



In Gauteng, a EUROPEAN HONEY BUZZARD was reported over Colbyn Ridge in Pretoria on Tuesday while there were also still several SWALLOW-TAILED BEE-EATERS present in the Wilge River valley on Tuesday as well. An OLIVE WOODPECKER at Amanzimtaba indigenous forest on Sunday was a good provincial record while there were also 2 AFRICAN PYGMY GEESE seen at Camp Discover in Dinokeng over the weekend.



African Pygmy Geese at Dinokeng

© Garth Shaw

Olive Woodpecker at Amanzimtaba

© Gareth Hazell



Swallow-tailed Bee-eater in the Wilge River valley

© Tristan Spurway



Across in Mpumalanga, there were at least 5 SWALLOW-TAILED BEE-EATERS present on a private farm just outside White River on Tuesday while a EURASIAN WHIMBREL was seen at Gudzani Dam in the Kruger National Park last Wednesday.



Swallow-tailed Bee-eaters near White River

© Brad Arthur

Eurasian Whimbrel at Gudzani Dam

© Gerda Welman



Into the North-west Province where the LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was still at Rockwall Dam near Rustenburg at -25.498, 27.203 on Saturday.


Limpopo seemed to concentrate all the good records in the Kruger National Park with a small flock of SOUTH AFRICAN CLIFF SWALLOWS seen at Crooks’ Corner near Pafuri on Tuesday and another 2 individuals seen at the bridge over the Levhuvhu River near Pafuri this morning, at least 2 AFRICAN SKIMMERS still on view at Sable Dam on Sunday and a group of 12 GREAT WHITE PELICANS seen circling near Stapelkop Dam, south-east of Mopani, on Thursday.



Lesser Black-backed Gull at Rockwall Dam

© Garth Shaw

Great White Pelicans near Stapelkop Dam

© Wayne van Driel



African Skimmers at Sable Dam

© Gerda Welman

African Skimmer at Sable Dam

© Sheila Grobbelaar



Up in Namibia, the popular ROSS’S TURACO was still at Taranga Safari Lodge, west of Rundu, until at least last Tuesday while the BLACK SPARROWHAWK was also still hanging around in Swakopmund this morning and the YELLOW-THROATED LEAFLOVES were back in the gardens of Caprivi Houseboat Safari Lodge in Katima Mulilo this afternoon.


And finally, in Zimbabwe, a EURASIAN WHIMBREL was seen 46 km on the Malilangwe side of the Triangle junction on Tuesday.



Yellow-throated Leaflove at Caprivi Houseboat Safari Lodge

© Curt Sagell



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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