SA Rare Bird News Report - 20 October 2016

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Trevor Hardaker

Oct 20, 2016, 2:00:25 PM10/20/16
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This is the Southern African Rare Bird News Report issued at 20h00 on Thursday, 20 October 2016. 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



The mid-week birding has been a little quieter with not that many reports coming through...


Starting in the Western Cape, the best new report was of a SQUACCO HERON found earlier today at the Dolphin Beach Pans in Bloubergstrand on the northern of the two pans. Elsewhere, the RED-NECKED PHALAROPE was still present at Kliphoek Salt Pans in Velddrif today as well (entry through Kuifkopvisvanger farm - while a FORK-TAILED DRONGO was reported on Tuesday on the farm Branddoorns about 30km south-west of Beaufort West, a rather unusual record for the area. Also of interest, a dark-headed GULL was seen in Knysna on Tuesday afternoon near Thesen Island in the company of Kelp Gulls, but has not since been relocated, so the full identity of the bird remains unresolved at this point in time.


In the Eastern Cape, locals were a little excited to find 2 HOTTENTOT TEALS earlier today at the Klipfontein Pans near Alexandria, an unusual species for the area.


Up the coast in Kwazulu Natal, the LESSER JACANA was still present at Darvill Bird Sanctuary in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday while the RUFOUS-BELLIED HERON also showed very briefly at the Sappi wetlands in Stanger on the same day. This morning, it was also confirmed that a male RED-HEADED WEAVER along with 2 females is back at Leopard Mountain Safari Lodge near Mkhuze.



Squacco Heron at Dolphin Beach Pans

© Steve Williams

Red-necked Phalarope at Velddrif

© Ian Alsworth-Elvey



Over in Gauteng, I've received slightly delayed news of another GREEN SANDPIPER, this time at Modderfontein Nature Reserve on Friday where it was seen from the dam wall feeding in the dam.


Up in Limpopo Province, the good news is that the RUPPELL'S VULTURE was confirmed as still being present this morning at the nest site on the Cape Vulture breeding cliffs at Blouberg Nature Reserve near Vivo while both AFRICAN SKIMMERS were also still holding on at Albasini Dam earlier today and at least 2 AFRICAN SACRED IBISES were located along the Olifants River in front of Olifants rest camp in the Kruger National Park today as well (literally on the border with Mpumalanga).


And finally, in Botswana, a rather exhausted GREAT WHITE PELICAN turned up this afternoon at one of the process water dams at Ghaghoo Diamond Mine adjacent to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve looking rather out of place. It's going to be interesting to see how long it hangs around for at this little artificial oasis in the middle of the Kalahari desert!



Green Sandpiper at Modderfontein Nature Reserve

© Vic de Sousa

Great White Pelican at Ghaghoo Diamond Mine

© Bill Richter



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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