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This is the Southern African Rare Bird News Report issued at 20h00 on Thursday, 03 December 2015. 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
Starting in the Western Cape, both RED-NECKED PHALAROPES were still present earlier today at Kliphoek Salt Pans in Velddrif whilst a pelagic trip out of Simon's Town today turned up a single SPECTACLED PETREL. Also drawing attention, a JACOBIN CUCKOO was located yesterday in a garden in Hartenbos, Mossel Bay whilst a single LARK-LIKE BUNTING was also seen yesterday on a farm west of Agulhas at -34.756, 19.894.
Up in Kwazulu Natal, an AFRICAN CUCKOO HAWK was reported from the Normandien Pass west of Chelmsford Nature Reserve on Sunday, a little out of range for this species whilst a RED-BILLED BUFFALO WEAVER was present yesterday at Mavela Lodge on the Zululand Rhino Reserve. Also of local interest was a single MAGPIE MANNIKIN seen in a garden in Northdene, Durban yesterday feeding with Red-backed Mannikins whilst a BLACK HERON has been present on the northern bank of the Illovo River estuary for the last 5 days as well.
Red-necked Phalarope at Kliphoek Salt Pans
© Linda du Plessis
Jacobin Cuckoo in Hartenbos
© Michael de Nysschen
African Cuckoo Hawk on Normandien Pass
© Rina Pretorius
Red-billed Buffalo Weaver at Mavela Lodge
© Andre Bernon
Over in Gauteng, at least one WESTERN MARSH HARRIER was still present at Marievale Bird Sanctuary near Nigel on Tuesday whilst the AYRES' HAWK EAGLES were also still performing well over Weskoppies Hospital in Pretoria on the same day too. Also of interest, a EUROPEAN HONEY BUZZARD was also still showing well this week at Rietvlei Nature Reserve until at least yesterday.
In Mpumalanga, the Mkhombo Dam attractions were still on view earlier today with at least the LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, BLACK-TAILED GODWIT, several GREY PLOVERS, CASPIAN PLOVER and the GREAT WHITE PELICAN all still present. Also of interest, at least a couple of GREEN SANDPIPERS were present at the Sweni hide (located where the S37 meets the Sweni River about 5 km from Nwanetsi picnic site) in the Kruger National Park on Tuesday whilst a EUROPEAN HONEY BUZZARD was located near Berg en Dal camp in the park this morning as well.
And finally, Mozambique hogs the report again with the best record recently with an adult female EURASIAN BLACKCAP that was seen on Mount Gorongosa on Saturday in the same patch of forest where one goes to look for the Green-headed Orioles. This is probably only around the 23rd record ever for the Southern African subregion of this species, so still pretty much a mega in most people's books.
European Honey Buzzard at Rietvlei Nature Reserve
© Amanda Boyle
Lesser Black-backed Gull at Mkhombo Dam
© Terry Finney
European Honey Buzzard near Berg en Dal
© Manuela Krog
Black-tailed Godwit at Mkhombo Dam
© Terry Finney
Caspian Plover at Mkhombo Dam
© Terry Finney
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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