SA Rare Bird News Report - 15 November 2021

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Trevor Hardaker

Nov 15, 2021, 11:00:48 AM11/15/21



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 18h00 on Monday, 15 November 2021.


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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As usual, let’s start with a few scarcity reports received over the last few days:




·         One along the Sand River in Mala Mala Game Reserve (Mpumalanga) yesterday.

·         One in Windhoek West (Namibia) yesterday.

·         One in Olympia in Windhoek (Namibia) yesterday.

·         One over Singery’s farm along the R102 near Mtunzini (KZN) on Friday.




  • One still along Ngonbeni Loop off the H14 in the Kruger National Park (Limpopo) on Friday.



European Honey Buzzard at Mala Mala Game Reserve

© Kerry-Lee Roberg


European Honey Buzzard in Olympia

© Cobus de Waal

European Honey Buzzard in Windhoek West

© William Hofmeyr



On to the rest of the news and, starting in the Western Cape, pelagic trips produced some nice birds again with a trip out of Simon’s Town on Saturday turning up a young SOUTHERN ROYAL ALBATROSS and another trip out of Hout Bay yesterday delivering an adult NORTHERN ROYAL ALBATROSS and a SPECTACLED PETREL. Other local linegerers included the YELLOW-CROWNED BISHOP still at Lake Michelle in Noordhoek yesterday, at least one PINK-BACKED PELICAN still on Pan P2 at Strandfontein Sewage Works yesterday and a SAND MARTIN seen again on Pan P1 at Strandfontein Sewage Works on Friday while 2 AFRICAN PALM SWIFTS were seen in Parklands on Friday and a LARK-LIKE BUNTING was reported near Silverstroomstrand on Friday as well. Moving eastwards, the PECTORAL SANDPIPER was still at Rooisand Nature Reserve near Kleinmond yesterday while the reserve also produced BLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATER (heard only) and SAND MARTIN on Saturday. A single GREATER SAND PLOVER was found at the Uilenkraals River, east of Gansbaai, on Saturday and at least 8 KNOB-BILLED DUCKS were still present south of Bredasdorp at -34.649, 20.074 yesterday. A CINNAMON-BREASTED BUNTING was reported on the Garcia Pass near Riversdale on Saturday, a BROWN SNAKE EAGLE was seen inland of Still Bay at -34.195, 21.408 yesterday while there were also a few LESSER STRIPED SWALLOW reports from the Garden Route with a couple seen at Hoekwil on Friday and a singleton reported in Plettenberg Bay along the R340 to Wittedrift on Friday as well.


In the Eastern Cape, a BUSH BLACKCAP was caught and ringed at Mazeppa Bay at -32.479, 28.647 on Friday.



Northern Royal Albatross on pelagic trip

© Trevor Hardaker

Northern Royal Albatross on pelagic trip

© Robert Cooper



Spectacled Petrel on pelagic trip

© Trevor Hardaker

Yellow-crowned Bishop at Lake Michelle

© Pat McKune



Pink-backed Pelican at Strandfontein Sewage Works

© Robert Cooper

Pink-backed Pelican at Strandfontein Sewage Works

© Pamela Cooper



Pectoral Sandpiper at Rooisand Nature Reserve

© Stanislav Novotny

Greater Sand Plover at the Uilenkraals River

© Dean Boshoff



Lesser Striped Swallow in Plettenberg Bay

© Selena Flores

Bush Blackcap in Mazeppa Bay

© Karin Nelson



Moving up the coast into Kwazulu Natal, the popular SLATY EGRET was still at Bell Park Dam yesterday giving many provincial listers the opportunity to twitch it on the weekend. Elsewhere, the GREATER SAND PLOVER was still at the Umgeni River mouth in Durban this afternoon, 2 BLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATERS were seen in a garden on The Bluff in Durban on Friday and a SOUTHERN WHITE-FACED OWL was found in Gilford Place in Durban North on Thursday evening and was still there yesterday. Also of interest, a single CASPIAN PLOVER was found on the Nibela Peninsula at -27.855, 32.439 on Friday and the ALLEN’S GALLINULE was still on a private farm dam in Port Edward until at least late on Thursday.



Blue-cheeked Bee-eater on the Bluff

© Rowan Bartlett

Allen’s Gallinule in Port Edward

© Leon Bruggemann



Southern White-faced Owl in Durban North

© Luke Allen

Southern White-faced Owl in Durban North

© Elton-John Bartlett



Into Gauteng where 2 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS were found on the mudflats around Hadeda hide at Marievale Bird Sanctuary on Saturday and were still around yesterday while the SLATY EGRET was also still at Gnu Valley farm in Muldersdrift yesterday. Also of local interest, a WHITE-BACKED NIGHT HERON was seen again at Plovers Pond in Cedar Lakes Estate in Johannesburg yesterday (this is a private estate, so access is not possible unless you know someone there). Unfortunately, it would seem that all the good birds reported at Bronkhorstspruit Dam Nature Reserve recently have now moved on and there were no reports of any of them, despite a number of people looking, throughout the weekend.



White-backed Night Heron at Cedar Lakes Estate

© Paul Counihan

Pectoral Sandpiper at Marievale Bird Sanctuary

© Jon Pullen



Pectoral Sandpipers at Marievale Bird Sanctuary

© Richard Montinaro

Pectoral Sandpipers at Marievale Bird Sanctuary

© Peter Thompson



Across in Mpumalanga, the CASPIAN PLOVERS remained at Mkhombo Dam around -25.126, 28.857 today with the highest count over the weekend numbering no fewer than 32 individuals. The CHESTNUT-BANDED PLOVER also remained close by on Saturday as well while other good records from Mkhombo Dam over the last few days included at least 6 COLLARED PRATINCOLES at -25.122, 28.875 yesterday, a SANDERLING at -25.116, 28.887 on Saturday and a EURASIAN WHIMBREL at -25.122, 28.861 on Saturday as well. At least one AFRICAN SKIMMER was still present just downstream of the Malelane bridge on the Crocodile River late this afternoon as well.



Caspian Plover at Mkhombo Dam

© Johan van der Walt

Caspian Plover at Mkhombo Dam

© Steve van Niekerk



Caspian Plovers at Mkhombo Dam

© Alan Bedford-Shaw



Eurasian Whimbrel at Mkhombo Dam

© Johan van der Walt

Collared Pratincole at Mkhombo Dam

© Johan van der Walt



Up in Namibia, a YELLOW-THROATED LEAFLOVE was seen close to Caprivi Houseboat Safari Lodge in Katima Mulilo this morning again, a CORN CRAKE was found north of Gochas at -24.316, 18.847 yesterday, a FULVOUS WHISTLING DUCK turned up at Radford Bay in Luderitz on Friday, another 22 FULVOUS WHISTLING DUCKS were reported at Vreugde Guest Farm, just south of Etosha National Park this afternoon and at least 3 CASPIAN PLOVERS were reported near Namutoni in Etosha National Park on Friday.


And finally, in Botswana, it was confirmed on the weekend that the WHITE-FRONTED PLOVERS that turned up recently at Gaborone Dam have now bred and have 2 chicks with them.



Fulvous Whistling Duck in Ludeitz

© Jessica Kemper

Fulvous Whistling Ducks at Vreugde Guest Farm

© Rachel Brand



Corn Crake north of Gochas

© JG Gericke

White-fronted Plover chick at Gaborone Dam

© Ian White



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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