SA Rare Bird News Report - 20 April 2009

Skip to first unread message

Trevor Hardaker

Apr 20, 2009, 5:17:24 PM4/20/09
to SA Rare Bird News,,,

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 23h15 on Monday, 20 April 2009. 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, previous reports can be viewed at



The Eastern Cape has certainly had the lion’s share of interesting reports in the last few days. Perhaps most exciting of these was the discovery today at Orient Beach in East London of the continued presence of the LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL first discovered there on 1 April 2009 (It seems to have disappeared during the interim period). I am sure there are going to be a number of local birders heading out there in the next few days to enjoy this bird.


Also of interest in the province and, particularly as a regional rarity, was a record over the Easter Weekend of a male CHESTNUT-BACKED SPARROWLARK seen along the Ubejane Loop in the Mountain Zebra National Park. Although there are some historical records of this species in the province, this is certainly the first time since the start of the second bird atlas project that this species has been recorded in the Eastern Cape with the closest SABAP2 record being in the southern Free State.


Lesser Black-backed Gull at Orient Beach © George Branford


Chestnut-backed Sparrowlark in Mountain Zebra National Park © Mike Simms


In the Western Cape, the only records of note that I have received are of a BROWN SNAKE EAGLE reported earlier today at the turn-off from the R27 (West Coast Road) towards Atlantis and a RED-BILLED QUELEA seen at De Vlei Reserve about 72km north of Ceres along the R355 over the Easter Weekend.


It seems that a number of Easter Weekend sightings are only coming through now as I have also received a report of a EURASIAN HONEY BUZZARD seen at Pafuri in the north of the Kruger National Park over that weekend.


Of unknown origin, and presumed to be an escapee, a PLUM-HEADED PARAKEET was reported near the camp site in the Karoo National Park near Beaufort West on Saturday.


Additional photos of a number of rarities can be viewed in the rarities gallery on


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


See my wildlife photos at




Trevor Hardaker and John Graham

Pelagics, rarity photos, listing clubs and more




Get the latest rarity news by joining at:




Reply all
Reply to author
0 new messages