Dear SARBN subscribers
Today will be my last day helping out with SARBN for now, and Trevor will be taking over again. From tomorrow, please send all reports to Trevor.
Thank you very much for all the reports and updates you've sent to me during the last few weeks. It's been an exciting season of rarities so far, and I hope many more will follow.
Starting in the EASTERN CAPE, the SOOTY GULL remained at Kei Mouth over the last few days, and was still there this morning. The BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER at Kei mouth was also present today, as were the GREATER SAND PLOVER and PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER at Hamburg.
The latter was reported most recently at -33.281, 27.478. The last record I received for the PECTORAL SANDPIPER was on 9 Jan. Elsewhere in the province, a WHITE-BACKED VULTURE was reported from the Kariega River on 7 Jan.
In the WESTERN CAPE, the BAIRD'S SANDPIPER remained at Strandfontein and was reported yesterday from S5. The RED-NECKED PHALAROPE was also seen yesterday at Strandfontein, and at least one SAND MARTIN was present over a number of days, including today. At Kliphoek
salt pans in Velddrif, the AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER was still present today, accompanied by GREATER SAND PLOVER and RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, both reported last on 10 Jan. Also up the west coast, a BLACK-CHESTED SNAKE EAGLE was seen near Hopefield yesterday, and
the YELLOW-BILLED STORK remained on the Berg River near Velddrif. Another GREATER SAND PLOVER was seen at Uilenkraal mond on 9 Jan. A GOLIATH HERON was seen at Reflection Eco Reserve near Sedgefield yesterday morning. EUROPEAN ROLLERS were reported from the
Suurbraak area, as well as between Gansbaai and Pearly Beach on 8 Jan., and near Riviersonderend today. EUROPEAN HONEY BUZZARDS were seen over the Braille trail at Kirstenbosch yesterday, and at George Dam Visarend trail today.
In the FREE STATE, an excellent local record came in the form of a SLATY EGRET seen at Soutpan near Sasolburg on 8 Jan at -26.848, 27.818, and Soutpan held onto at least one BAILLON'S CRAKE on 7 Jan (at -28.762, 26.051) and 10 Jan. DWARF BITTERN, GREATER PAINTED-SNIPE,
DUSKY LARK and YELLOW-BILLED STORK also present in the area between 9 and 10 Jan. A LONG-CRESTED EAGLE was seen in the vicinity of Kopano Nokeng at -29.074, 26.331 on the Maselspoort road on Friday. At least one WESTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL was seen near Bethlehem
at -28.193, 28.310 on 9 Jan.
In KWAZULU-NATAL, St Lucia delivered a SOOTY TERN on 9 and 10 Jan, as well as a GREATER SAND PLOVER on 9 Jan. The MADAGASCAN CUCKOO was still present at Hluhluwe Game Reserve on 10 Jan, although always easier to hear than see, which is apparently now complicated
by Hilltop being under quarantine (therefore no guide available). If you are planning a visit, please consider contacting the lodge in advance to find out whether the guide is available. That being said, I have reports from various observers that the bird
can be readily seen from the road with a bit of time and patience. Elsewhere in the province, RUFOUS-BELLIED HERONS were reported from Umgavusa Dam near Gingindlovu on 9 Jan (speak to Ashton on 0828994542 to arrange access), and at Nsombisa Pan on the eastern
shores on 8 Jan. The GULL-BILLED TERN was seen again at Nibela on 8 and 9 Jan, and at least one CASPIAN PLOVER was seen at Mpempe pan on 8 Jan. LESSER SPOTTED EAGLES were reported at Cedara and Tesa (8 Jan). There was a GREY-HEADED KINGFISHER at Leopard Mountain,
Manyoni private game reserve on 8 Jan, and a EUROPEAN NIGHTJAR at Luleka on the same day. A pair of LESSER MOORHENS were discovered at a vlei opposite the Karkloof conservation centre on 9 Jan, and still present yesterday, and a DWARF BITTERN was seen at a
private estate near Salt Rock on 8 Jan.
In LIMPOPO, a group of ORANGE-WINGED PYTILIAS was found near Punda Maria today, at -22.698, 31.069, and the LESSER JACANA and LESSER MOORHENS remained at the pan near the R36. A GREEN SANDPIPER was seen in Polokwane Game Reserve at Aloe ridge dam at -23.942,
28.462 on 9 Jan.
In MPUMALANGA, at least two CASPIAN PLOVERS were seen on 9 Jan, 3.2km north of Crocodile Bridge on the western side of the road, and a GREEN SANDPIPER was seen at a private reserve near Hoedspruit yesterday.
In the NORTHERN CAPE, an immature GREY-HEADED KINGFISHER was seen in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park along the Twee Rivieren / Mata Mata road on 6 Jan. Also in the park, a HADEDA IBIS was present at Dikbaardskolk yesterday. A BRONZE-WINGED COURSER was reported
from Mokala Game Reserve on 6 Jan.
In GAUTENG, a EUROPEAN HONEY BUZZARD was seen between Skeerpoort and Hekpoort on 8 Jan.
In the NORTH-WEST PROVINCE, DUSKY LARK and LESSER MOORHENS remained at Kgomo-Kgomo until at least 9 Jan.
In NAMIBIA, a LESSER MOORHEN was seen at Naankuse lodge at the first Omuramba bridge on 9 Jan, and there no less than 3 EUROPEAN HONEY BUZZARDS over Klein Kuppe, Windhoek on 10 Jan.
And finally, but perhaps most significantly, an adult RED-NECKED BUZZARD was seen in northern Botswana near Santawani, south of Moremi south gate on 9 Jan, at -19.519, 23.622. Just in case you missed the photos of this striking and beautiful bird in the alert
I sent out, I've re-attached one of them to this email, (c) Henry Parsons.