‘Mega’-rarity at Strandfontein

Hermanus Bird Club

A Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin (Rooistert-wipstert or Cercotrichas galactotes), a bird never before recorded in Southern Africa, has been located near the Strandfontein water purification works near Cape Town yesterday (Sunday 17 July).

Scrub robin The Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin, photographed by Trevor Hardaker.

The bird, which is described by Trevor Hardaker as “an absolute mega of the highest quality”, has already attracted more than 150 twitchers from all over the country today, and more are expected tomorrow.

Hardaker announced the discovery on his SA Rare Birds News service. Peter Steyn and André Demblon made this “rather astonishing find” on Sunday morning, he wrote.

“It is a species that migrates into Africa, normally as far south as Kenya. It is superficially similar to the Kalahari Scrub Robin, but the facial patterning is subtly different, the wing pattern is different, the tail pattern differs in that it has a darkish T-bar extension up the middle of the tail and, most obviously…

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