SA Rare Bird News Report - 17 October 2016

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Trevor Hardaker

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Oct 17, 2016, 2:01:39 PM10/17/16
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This is the Southern African Rare Bird News Report issued at 20h00 on Monday, 17 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 http://groups.google.co.za/group/sa-rarebirdnews

 

 

Based on the number of records starting to come through, it would appear that the "rarity season" is slowly starting to gain some momentum...

 

Starting in the Western Cape, a pelagic trip out of Simon's Town on Saturday turned up a SOUTHERN ROYAL ALBATROSS as well as no fewer than 5 WANDERING ALBATROSSES while another one yesterday had a probable brief SPECTACLED PETREL. Elsewhere in the province, there seem to be a reasonable amount of interest for birders. On the west coast, the RED-NECKED PHALAROPE at Kliphoek Salt Pans in Velddrif remained in place throughout the weekend and was still there earlier today whilst a COMMON REDSHANK was discovered at Geelbek in the West Coast National Park yesterday. The male KNOB-BILLED DUCK at Avondson farm near Bergsig wine estate was still there yesterday, two EUROPEAN HONEY BUZZARDS were reported over the Houwhoek Pass flying in the direction of Elim on Friday while, over in the Overberg, a JACOBIN CUCKOO was reported from the camp site at Bontebok National Park yesterday.

 

 

Wandering Albatross on pelagic trip

© Cliff Dorse

Southern Royal Albatross on pelagic trip

© Cliff Dorse

 

 

Common Redshank at Geelbek

© Trevor Hardaker

Red-necked Phalarope at Velddrif

© Linda du Plessis

 

 

Knob-billed Duck at Avondson farm

© Pieter la Grange

Knob-billed Duck at Avondson farm

© Tony Kent

 

 

Knob-billed Duck at Avondson farm

© Karen Powell

Knob-billed Duck at Avondson farm

© Basil Boer

 

 

In the Eastern Cape, the COMMON REDSHANK was back at the bridge over the Chatty River in Port Elizabeth yesterday after having been awol for quite some time (and still present there today as well) while, up at Ngciyo Pans, there was some excitement on Saturday when at least 3 RED-HEADED QUELEAS were located there. These birds drew some local interest and were still in place yesterday while the pair of WAHLBERG'S EAGLES on Table farm near Grahamstown were also still around on the weekend and a single YELLOW-BILLED STORK was reported flying over the Nahoon River in East London earlier today.

 

 

Common Redshank along the Chatty River

© Alf Taylor

Red-headed Quelea at Ngciyo Pans

© Jorrie Jordaan

 

 

Heading up the coast into Kwazulu Natal, a pelagic trip out of Durban yesterday struck gold again with yet another BARAU'S PETREL, at least now the 70th individual to have been recorded in Southern Africa, while the same trip also produced 2 or 3 BLACK-BELLIED STORM PETRELS as well, still regarded as a regional rarity in the province. Elsewhere, the RUFOUS-BELLIED HERON at the Sappi wetlands in Stanger was on show throughout the weekend as well.

 

 

Barau’s Petrel on pelagic trip

© Niall Perrins

Barau’s Petrel on pelagic trip

© David Allan

 

 

Black-bellied Storm Petrel on pelagic trip

© Niall Perrins

Black-bellied Storm Petrel on pelagic trip

© David Allan

 

 

Rufous-bellied Heron at Sappi Stanger

© Decklan Jordaan

Rufous-bellied Heron at Sappi Stanger

© Niall Perrins

 

 

Across into Gauteng where the action was also starting to hot up a little. The GREEN SANDPIPER at Vlei bridge in Rietvlei Nature Reserve kept people entertained throughout the weekend, although its appearances were a little erratic while the AFRICAN FINFOOT that has been seen intermittently around Otter bridge was reported there again on Friday. Elsewhere, it was all happening at Roodeplaat Dam where both a PINK-BACKED PELICAN and a WHIMBREL were located there on Friday with the WHIMBREL continuing to show to birders and still present there earlier today. Also of local interest, at least 2 BAR-TAILED GODWITS were reported from the northern end of the Blesbokspruit on Friday.

 

 

Green Sandpiper at Rietvlei Nature Reserve

© Sue Goodman

Green Sandpiper at Rietvlei Nature Reserve

© Deon Hoon

 

 

Green Sandpiper at Rietvlei Nature Reserve

© Ian White

African Finfoot at Rietvlei Nature Reserve

© Deon Hoon

 

 

Pink-backed Pelican at Roodeplaat Dam

© Corrie van Wyk

Whimbrel at Roodeplaat Dam

© Corrie van Wyk

 

 

Whimbrel at Roodeplaat Dam

© Amanda Walden

Whimbrel at Roodeplaat Dam

© Duane Fischer

 

 

Into neighbouring Free State where there was some local excitement yesterday with the discovery of an AFRICAN JACANA at Loch Lomond in Bethlehem.

 

Over in Mpumalanga, there was some local excitement on Friday when a WHITE-EARED BARBET was reported at Tomahawk farm along the R570 from Malelane to Jeppe's Reef (still present there today), seemingly the first ever record for the province, while a CAPE BATIS at Lower Sabie in the Kruger National Park on Saturday was also a good local record. Mkhombo Dam was also full of surprises with birding there yesterday producing a RUDDY TURNSTONE, a WHIMBREL and a COLLARED PRATINCOLE.

 

And finally, in Mozambique, a frustratingly brief view was had yesterday at Tofo of what was described as a "dark LITTLE EGRET". It would pay for birders in the region to keep their eyes open as this may well refer to a possible Dimorphic Egret... we will just have to wait and see what comes of this!

 

 

African Jacana at Loch Lomond

© Martin Potgieter

Collared Pratincole at Mkhombo Dam

© Ian White

 

 

Ruddy Turnstone at Mkhombo Dam

© Ian White

Whimbrel at Mkhombo Dam

© Ian White

 

 

White-eared Barbet near Malelane

© Stuart Butcher

White-eared Barbet near Malelane

© Robert Wienand

 

 

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

Trevor

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TREVOR HARDAKER

Cape Town, South Africa

 

 

Follow our local exploits in the field at:

http://hardakerwildlife.wordpress.com/

 

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