SA Rare Bird News Report - 10 August 2017

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Trevor Hardaker

Aug 10, 2017, 2:00:41 PM8/10/17


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This is the Southern African Rare Bird News Report issued at 20h00 on Thursday, 10 August 2017. 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, there are now at least 3 AFRICAN RED-EYED BULBULS present on the farm south of Porterville and they were still showing well late yesterday afternoon while the BLACK-BELLIED STARLINGS were also still present along Rustenburg Road in Stellenbosch until at least Tuesday. Also of interest, even although it's not a bird, a LEOPARD SEAL came ashore at Pringle Bay on Saturday afternoon and was still there on Sunday morning before eventually moving off back into the water. What is presumed to be the same animal was then reported today on the beach at Woodbridge Island in Milnerton, but moved off into the water mid-afternoon again as the tide came up.


In the Eastern Cape, the WHITE-BACKED VULTURE is still present at Sibuya Game Reserve and, in fact, there were 2 individuals seen circling over Forest Camp this afternoon! There was also some surprize yesterday when a CROWNED HORNBILL was found on the farm Kranzplaas about 10km south of Graaff-Reinet (it was still present there this morning as well).



Black-bellied Starling in Stellenbosch

© Charles Britz

White-backed Vulture in Sibuya Game Reserve

© Christiaan Viljoen



Leopard Seal in Pringle Bay

© Eric Jennings



Crowned Hornbill south of Graaff-Reinet

© Morne van Jaarsveld

Crowned Hornbill south of Graaff-Reinet

© Alan Collett



Moving up the coast into Kwazulu Natal, the popular MALAGASY POND HERON at Fagolweni Dam at Mziki was still present there this morning while an AYRES' HAWK EAGLE was seen in a garden in Teza again yesterday.


In Gauteng, there was some excitement yesterday when a SLATY EGRET was discovered at Marievale Bird Sanctuary. The bird was still present until at least 3pm yesterday afternoon, but twitchers who arrived later than that were not able to relocate the bird unfortunately.


Across in Mpumalanga, a CAPPED WHEATEAR was discovered yesterday about 20km north of Wakkerstroom on the road to Amersfoort at -27.156, 30.070 while a further 2 individuals were then also found near Daggaskraal, perhaps an indication of a mini-irruption into the area.



Slaty Egret at Marievale Bird Sanctuary

© Paulo Slaviero

Capped Wheatear north of Wakkerstroom

© Dave Rimmer



Moving up into Limpopo Province, both the GULL-BILLED TERN and the group of AFRICAN SKIMMERS were still present at the Foskor dam mines near Phalaborwa yesterday. It has also been confirmed that the Skimmers are definitely nesting there with at least 4 nests observed, so this is really good news for this species in South Africa with the second confirmed nesting record in the last few weeks for this species in the country following the recent record of the pair nesting near Letaba in the Kruger National Park. Also of interest, the RED-HEADED QUELEA was seen again at Raptor's View estate just outside Hoedspruit on Monday whilst news has also filtered through that the immature EGYPTIAN VULTURE was seen again on Monday along the Olifants Wilderness Trail in the Kruger National Park.


And finally, in Mozambique, the SPOTTED GROUND THRUSH was still present at Dunes de Dovela lodge near Inharrime until at least late on Tuesday.



African Skimmer chasing Gull-billed Tern at Foskor dams

© Lieliebet van der Westhuizen

Egyptian Vulture along Olifants Wilderness Trail

© Manuela Krog



African Skimmer chasing Gull-billed Tern at Foskor dams

© Leo Bargiacchi



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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