SA Rare Bird News Report - 17 March 2022

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Trevor Hardaker

Mar 17, 2022, 12:01:16 PM3/17/22



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 Thursday, 17 March 2022.


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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We are about to head into a long weekend and I will be away for it and am not sure what time I will be getting back home on Monday so there may or may not be a formal report going out on Monday – it will just depend on whether I get back early enough and how I am feeling at the time…J


Alright, on to the news and starting in the Western Cape, there were still a number of FULVOUS WHISTLING DUCKS on Pan P4 at Strandfontein Sewage Works yesterday. Other good records included a BROWN SNAKE EAGLE seen between Malmesbury and Darling, about 10km from Malmesbury, on Tuesday, a GOLIATH HERON seen about 5km upstream of the mouth of the Breede River on Monday and then, presumably the same bird, seen at the actual mouth yesterday while a EUROPEAN ROLLER was also seen just outside Laingsburg on the Moordenaarskaroo Road on Tuesday. The EURASIAN OYSTERCATCHER was also still present this morning at the Keurbooms River estuary in Plettenberg Bay while a single EUROPEAN ROLLER was also reported just outside Plettenberg Bay along the R340 this afternoon.


Up in the Northern Cape, 2 EUROPEAN ROLLERS were reported north-east of Hanover at -30.978, 24.605 on Tuesday.



Goliath Heron on the Breede River

© Mike Dolhoff

European Roller near Hanover

© Leonie Fouche



Into the Eastern Cape where there were still at least 6 BLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATERS present and seen over Main Street in Colchester yesterday while another group of BLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATERS was also reported this afternoon flying around at Mackay Bridge Angling Club. Addo National Park seemed to be getting into its stride as well with a LILAC-BREASTED ROLLER seen around Mimosa in the Nyathi Section on Tuesday, the popular DWARF BITTERN still at the Red Bishop hide in Main Camp on Tuesday and 2 BRONZE-WINGED COURSERS reported at Riverbend Lodge on Tuesday evening as well. Elsewhere, a COMMON CUCKOO was also reported around the Reef Café in East London this morning.



Blue-cheeked Bee-eater in Colchester

© Marie Delport

Common Cuckoo around Reef Café

© John Pillans



Moving up the coast into Kwazulu Natal, there were at least 2 AFRICAN CRAKES present in the Emoyeni grasslands outside Mtunzini yesterday, the RUFOUS-BELLIED HERON was still on view at Umbogavango Nature Reserve in Amanzimtoti this morning and a single LESSER JACANA was also found at a private farm dam in Port Edward on Tuesday.



Rufous-bellied Heron at Umbogavango Nature Reserve

© Rowan Bartlett


Lesser Jacana in Port Edward

© Stan Culley

African Crake at Emoyeni grasslands

© Paul Goslin



The Free State delivered a GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO seen at Soutpan at -28.736, 26.070 on Tuesday.


Gauteng’s Marievale Bird Sanctuary also remained firmly in the spotlight with at least one SPOTTED CRAKE still there yesterday at -26.335, 28.515 (and 2 birds seen together on Tuesday) while there were also 2 SLATY EGRETS reported at Hadeda hide on Tuesday as well. Another hugely exciting record from Marievale which only surfaced this afternoon is that of a GREAT SNIPE seen between 50-100m before the Spotted Crake spot mentioned above on the right hand side (towards the Bus Stop Hide) on Sunday. This species remains exceedingly rare in South Africa and even more so in Gauteng itself!



Spotted Crake at Marievale Bird Sanctuary

© Rob Cliff

Great Snipe at Marievale Bird Sanctuary

© Ludwig Roell



And finally, in Mozambique, a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, seemingly of the heuglini race treated by some authorities as a separate species, Heuglin’s Gull, was found at Costo do Sol in Maputo yesterday morning.



Lesser Black-backed Gull at Costo do Sol

© James Hogg



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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