This is the Southern African Rare Bird News Report issued at 21h00 on Monday, 07 November 2011. 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 http://groups.google.co.za/group/sa-rarebirdnews
Things are slowly improving with the number of reports being received. Starting in the Western Cape, there has been no further sign of the COMMON REDSHANK reported last week at Woodbourne Pan in Knysna, but for completeness sake, I have included a photo of the bird anyway just for confirmation purposes.
All other records in the province over the last few days came from the West Coast National Park where a NORTHERN GIANT PETREL was seen on Friday evening near the turn-off to Churchaven (not really a rarity, but a strange sighting on land in the park for sure!) and the EURASIAN OYSTERCATCHER was still frustratingly only showing briefly at Seeberg on Saturday morning.
Moving into the Eastern Cape, it was confirmed that both adults and at least one immature CAPE EAGLE OWL was still present in the quarry in Grahamstown yesterday. It would seem that these birds have lost the popularity they developed when they were originally found and proved to be such an easy tick for so many birders who travelled from all over the country to see them there…
Common Redshank at Woodbourne Pan
© Charles Ratcliffe
Eurasian Oystercatcher at Seeberg
© Mike Buckham
Northern Giant Petrel in the West Coast National Park
© Jacques Malan
Moving into Kwazulu Natal, there have been a few interesting reports received in the last few days. On Saturday, it was confirmed that the SOOTY TERN was still present at the newly opened mouth of the Umfolozi River whilst, yesterday, an immature CRAB PLOVER was reported in the Southern Sanctuary area of Richard’s Bay.
This morning there was some excitement in the Empangeni area when a RUFOUS-BELLIED HERON was located on the UVS flats. It was in an irrigation canal between 2 cane fields on the right hand side of the road going the Esikhaleni and remained in this area throughout most of the day. And, also in the province from last week, but almost certainly an escapee, a BLACK-AND-WHITE-CASQUED HORNBILL was reported from Creighton.
Sooty Tern at the Umfolozi River mouth
© Ricky Taylor
Crab Plover at Richard’s Bay
© Niall Perrins
Rufous-bellied Heron in Empangeni
© Bruce Nicholson
Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill in Creighton
© Dudley Smith
Moving slightly further north into Mpumalanga, the SOUTHERN BROWN-THROATED WEAVER remained on view around Crocodile Bridge in the Kruger National Park on the weekend while at least 2 CRESTED GUINEAFOWL were reported from a farm about 20km south of Komatipoort. Also of interest was a record of a BLACK-BELLIED KORHAAN last week just next to the Gauteng border at Telperion Farm adjacent to Ezemvelo Nature Reserve whilst a GREY PLOVER at Mkhombo Dam last week was also a good record.
In keeping with inland waders, a GREY PLOVER was also present at Borakalalo Game Reserve in the North-west Province on the weekend.
And finally, in Namibia, there are currently at least 24 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES and a summer plumaged BLACK-HEADED GULL at Walvis Bay Salt Works whilst Mile 4 Salt Works at Swakopmund is still sporting no fewer than 4 COMMON REDSHANKS.
Southern Brown-throated Weaver at Crocodile Bridge
© Brian Phelps
Crested Guineafowl south of Komatipoort
© Brian Phelps
Please remember to send through your details to be included on the various listing clubs that are hosted at www.zestforbirds.co.za. This website also has an extensive rarities gallery that has many additional photos of a number of rarities that are mentioned in these reports.
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.
Cape Town, South Africa
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