SA Rare Bird News Report - 05 April 2021

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Trevor Hardaker

Apr 5, 2021, 12:02:04 PM4/5/21



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, 05 April 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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Just a handful of scarcity reports to start with…




·         One over Dunkirk Estate in Salt Rock (KZN) this afternoon.

·         One near Sterkfontein Dam (KZN) at -28.571, 29.123 today.

·         One on a farm in Muldersdrift (Gauteng) yesterday.

·         One in Centurion (Gauteng) at -25.847, 28.172 on Friday.

·         One in Rietondale in Pretoria (Gauteng) on Friday.

·         One in Henley on Klip (Gauteng) on Thursday.



European Honey Buzzard at Dunkirk Estate

© Paolo Slaviero

European Honey Buzzard in Henley on Klip

© Ben Geldenhuys



On to the rest of the news and, starting in the Western Cape, another NORTHERN ROYAL ALBATROSS was seen on a fishing trip out of Hout Bay yesterday. Also of interest, at least 3 SAND MARTINS were still present and roosting with Barn Swallows between Pans S6 and S7 at Strandfontein Sewage Works today while another single SAND MARTIN was seen at a small wetland next to Sunset Beach yesterday as well. Close by, a SQUACCO HERON was found opposite the Sunset hide at Rietvlei Wetland Reserve earlier today and an adult BLACK-CHESTED SNAKE EAGLE was seen at Kalbaskraal at -33.576, 18.643 this morning. Up on the west coast, there was still a BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER present at Geelbek in the West Coast National Park this afternoon (3 birds seen together there on Saturday) while, at Velddrif, the GREAT EGRET was still at De Plaat yesterday and, at Kliphoek Salt Pans, the RED-NECKED PHALAROPE remained on yesterday and the AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER and GREATER SAND PLOVER were also reported from there on Saturday.


Heading eastwards, the SQUACCO HERON was still at Paardevlei near Strand this afternoon, there were still 14 BLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATERS at Rooisand Nature Reserve on Friday and a BROWN SNAKE EAGLE was seen again on the van der Stel Pass at -34.141, 19.247 on Saturday while there was also some surprize when several RED-BILLED QUELEAS were seen in a garden in Stanford yesterday, a species that has expanded quite a bit in the Overberg in recent years, but has not been recorded in Stanford before. The Garden Route also provided a few nice birds with a large group of BLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATERS seen inland of Gouritzmond at -34.324, 21.832 yesterday, a FULVOUS WHISTLING DUCK found on farm dam near George at -33.974, 22.366 on Friday and still there today and the 4 AFRICAN PIED WAGTAILS also still around the Cape Nature picnic site on the Keurbooms River in Plettenberg Bay until at least Saturday.



Squacco Heron at Rietvlei Wetland Reserve

© Margaret Hardaker

Red-necked Phalarope at Kliphoek Salt Pans

© Andre Strydom



Blue-cheeked Bee-eater at Rooisand Nature Reserve

© Daryl de Beer

Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters at Rooisand Nature Reserve

© Lynette de Beer



Blue-cheeked Bee-eater at Rooisand Nature Reserve

© Gary Baumgarten

Brown Snake Eagle on the van der Stel Pass

© Lester van Groeningen



Fulvous Whistling Duck in George

© Garret Skead

Fulvous Whistling Duck in George

© Wessel Uys



In the Eastern Cape, the mega SOOTY GULL remained on at the Sundays River mouth earlier today and, close by, several BLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATERS were still in Colchester this afternoon as well. The province also seems to be experiencing a mini-irruption of BRONZE-WINGED COURSERS with one individual still at Lawrence de Lange Game Reserve, just outside Queenstown, on Friday evening, another one found on Roode Bloem farm, about 10 km north of Graaff-Reinet, on Saturday evening and yet another one reported at Mazeppa Bay at -32.455, 28.655 on Thursday. Elsewhere, several other great provincial birds were reported with a COMMON CUCKOO found in Queenstown on Saturday, a DWARF BITTERN found at the local dam in Barkly East at -30,976, 27.593 on Saturday which was still there today, a RED-CAPPED ROBIN-CHAT seen in a garden in Bluewater Bay on Friday and 2 BLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATERS seen just outside Mathyolweni gate to Addo National Park earlier today.



Sooty Gull at the Sundays River mouth

© Godfrey Lodge

Sooty Gull at the Sundays River mouth

© Martin Potgieter



Bronze-winged Courser at Lawrence de Lange Game Reserve

© Jorrie Jordaan

Bronze-winged Courser at Lawrence de Lange Game Reserve

© Susan Schlebusch



Bronze-winged Courser on Roode Bloem farm

© Alan Collett

Common Cuckoo in Queenstown

© Gareth Coombs



Dwarf Bittern in Barkly East

© Clayton Meise

Dwarf Bittern in Barkly East

© Stewart MacLachlan



Moving up the coast into Kwazulu Natal, the popular BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER was still at Mpempe Pan this afternoon and the SOOTY FALCON was still near Mtubatuba at -28.37, 32.256 until at least Friday while there were also a couple of records of TEMMINCK’S COURSERS with 6 birds reported opposite the Karkloof Conservation Centre yesterday and another 3 birds still hanging around at Pongola Nature Reserve on Friday.



Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Mpempe Pan

© Tom Drinkwater

Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Mpempe Pan

© Matthew Axelrod



Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Mpempe Pan

© Brandon Stainthorpe

Sooty Falcon near Mtubatuba

© Ian Gordon



Gauteng held on to the SLATY EGRET at Marievale Bird Sanctuary which was present around Hadeda hide until yesterday and then seen close by at -26.363, 28.514 earlier today.


In Mpumalanga, 3 GREAT WHITE PELICANS were found on a farm dam south of Leandra at -26.525, 28.856 on Saturday and were still there today.


Up in Limpopo, a STREAKY-BREASTED FLUFFTAIL was heard calling near the parking area at Jacana hide at Nylsvlei Nature Reserve on Friday and an adult SOOTY FALCON was seen at Olifants North Game Reserve on Friday as well.


And finally, in Namibia, a CASPIAN TERN was found this afternoon along the Chobe River at Zovu Elephant Lodge, just across the river from Kasane, a great record for the area.



Slaty Egret at Marievale Bird Sanctuary

© Rolf Wiesler

Slaty Egret at Marievale Bird Sanctuary

© Johan Botha



Slaty Egret at Marievale Bird Sanctuary

© Elmarie Hirschhorn



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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