SA Rare Bird News Report - 04 February 2019

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Trevor Hardaker

Feb 4, 2019, 1:01:03 PM2/4/19



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 20h00 on Monday, 04 February 2019.


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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Just a reminder that this will be my last formal report for a few weeks, but I will try and keep the important news flowing while I am away. As usual, let's have a look at the scarcity reports received over the last few days first.




·         One between Dirkiesdorp and Heyshope Dam (Mpumalanga) this morning.

·         One in Klein Windhoek (Namibia) today.

·         One at Waterfall Estate in Midrand (Gauteng) yesterday.

·         One 15km north of Maputo (Mozambique) yesterday.

·         One on the Burchell's Coucal Eco Trail in Amanzimtoti (KZN) on Saturday.



European Honey Buzzard in Klein Windhoek

© Neil Thomson

European Honey Buzzard on the Burchell’s Coucal Eco Trail

© Tyron Dall



On to the rest of the news and, starting in the Western Cape, at least 5 SAND MARTINS were present around Pan P1 at Strandfontein Sewage Works on Saturday afternoon while a LESSER GREY SHRIKE was reported at Danger Point at -34.629, 19.303 on Saturday as well. The EUROPEAN ROLLER near George Airport was also still around this morning but, perhaps the most bizarre record in recent days was of a RED-TAILED TROPICBIRD found after a heavy storm in Calitzdorp in the middle of the Little Karoo on Friday afternoon. It was apparently exhausted and subsequently taken into care where it is being nursed back to health.


Up in the Northern Cape, a report has been received of a male CHESTNUT WEAVER in the Blauputz Valley near Augrabies Falls National Park on Saturday which would seem to be only the 8th known record of this species in South Africa.


In the Eastern Cape, the ICTERINE WARBLER was still in a Grahamstown garden yesterday.



Red-tailed Tropicbird in Calitzdorp

© Photo supplied via SANCCOB



Moving up the coast into Kwazulu Natal, the GOLDEN PIPIT was still at Mavela Game Lodge in Manyoni Private Game Reserve today, the EURASIAN OYSTERCATCHER was still at St Lucia estuary today and the SOOTY FALCON was also still attracting attention in Mbazwana this afternoon as well. The Sappi wetlands in Stanger still had a LESSER MOORHEN and a WESTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL present there this morning while the private farm dam in Port Edward also still held the LESSER JACANA (still there today), ALLEN'S GALLINULE and at least 2 LESSER MOORHENS yesterday. A CORN CRAKE in Nkonka Reserve in Kloof this afternoon was also a good local find.



Golden Pipit at Mavela Game Lodge

© Margaret Maciver


Golden Pipit at Mavela Game Lodge

© Neithard Graf von Dürckheim

Golden Pipit at Mavela Game Lodge

© Leon Bruggemann



Eurasian Oystercatcher at St Lucia

© Bart Fokkens



Sooty Falcon at Mbazwana

© Neithard Graf von Dürckheim

Lesser Jacana in Port Edward

© Stan Culley



Allen’s Gallinule in Port Edward

© Stan Culley

Lesser Moorhen in Port Edward

© Stan Culley



In the Free State, a female RED-FOOTED FALCON was found on the S188 on the northern side of Golden Gate National Park at -28.425, 28.651 yesterday.


Across in Gauteng, the GREY WAGTAIL was still at Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens yesterday whilst the SLATY EGRET remained on at Gnu Valley farm in Muldersdrift yesterday as well. Other notable records included a SPOTTED CRAKE seen at Marievale Bird Sanctuary on Friday and a RED-FOOTED FALCON flying over the Leeuwkop Golf Course at -26.015, 28.064 on Friday as well. Another good local record for the province was an adult WHITE-BACKED NIGHT HERON reported from Cedar Lakes Estate in Fourways on Friday evening.


Moving into Mpumalanga, a LESSER JACANA was reported at Wakkerstroom wetland on Friday while a flock of BLACK-WINGED PRATINCOLES at Fickland Pan in Wakkerstroom on Friday also caused some local excitement. Also of local interest, a CORN CRAKE was reported yesterday on the farm Wagendrift near Sulphur Springs in Piet Retief.



Grey Wagtail at Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens

© Willie van den Heever

Slaty Egret at Gnu Valley farm

© Anthony Paton



Slaty Egret at Gnu Valley farm

© Wouter van Spijker

Slaty Egret at Gnu Valley farm

© Andrew Buitendach



Spotted Crake at Marievale Bird Sanctuary

© Krista Oswald

Black-winged Pratincole at Fickland Pan

© Mike Maxted



Up in Namibia, the YELLOW-THROATED LEAFLOVES were still around in the gardens of Caprivi Houseboat Safari Lodge in Katima Mulilo on Friday while a WOODLAND KINGFISHER was reported from Monte Christo farm about 30km north of Windhoek on Saturday.


Across in Zimbabwe, a SPOTTED CRAKE was found at Ballantyne Park in Harare on Friday and was still present there yesterday.


And finally, in Mozambique, a LESSER-TYPE CUCKOO, not conclusively identified to species level, so either a Madagascar or Asian Lesser Cuckoo, was seen yesterday in Sabie Game Park on the South African border on Saturday while there were also 2 AFRICAN CRAKES reported from there on Saturday as well, a good record for the country.



Woodland Kingfisher at Monte Christo farm

© Neil Thomson

Spotted Crake at Ballantyne Park

© Piet Zwanikken



Spotted Crake at Ballantyne Park

© Albert McLean

Spotted Crake at Ballantyne Park

© James Ball



Spotted Crake twitchers at Ballantyne Park

© Piet Zwanikken



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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