SA Rare Bird News Report – 17 September 2020

Starting in the Western Cape, the RED-NECKED PHALAROPE was still present at Kliphoek Salt Pans on Kuifkopvisvanger farm in Velddrif on Saturday while a BLACK-CHESTED SNAKE EAGLE was seen along the R27 near the Silverstroomstrand turn-off on Tuesday. Other lingerers included the GREEN-BACKED HERON still around Texel Close in Marina da Gama on Friday, the GOLIATH HERON still at Distell Dam in Stellenbosch on Sunday, another GOLIATH HERON seen again at a farm dam east of Philadelphia on the R304 at -33.702, 18.675 on Saturday and the other GREEN-BACKED HERON also still at Island Lake in Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve near Robertson on Sunday too. Moving eastwards, the FULVOUS WHISTLING DUCK was still on the dam between Swellendam and Buffeljagsrivier at -34.036, 20.524 on Friday while, over on the Garden Route, a SQUACCO HERON was seen again in the channel between Rondevlei and Langvlei near Wilderness yesterday, several LESSER STRIPED SWALLOWS were present at the bridge on the N2 over the Goukamma River near Sedgefield on Monday and the YELLOW-THROATED PETRONIA was still coming to the feeders at Reflections Eco-Reserve near Wilderness until at least Saturday.
  
Red-necked Phalarope at Kliphoek Salt Pans© Lamorna Georgiades
  
Up in Northern Cape, there was some local surprize when a GREY PLOVER was found in Prieska on Sunday. The Eastern Cape turned up some exciting provincial birds at the Wild Coast Sun on Saturday with both a GREY WAXBILL and a GOLDEN-TAILED WOODPECKER being seen. According to locals, it has been at least a decade since the last Waxbill sighting in the province while the Woodpecker is only the second confirmed record for the province.
  
Grey Plover in Prieska© Bets BotesGrey Waxbill at the Wild Coast Sun© Stewart MacLachlan
  
Grey Waxbill at the Wild Coast Sun© Corne ErasmusGrey Waxbill at the Wild Coast Sun© Jorrie Jordaan
  
Grey Waxbill at the Wild Coast Sun© Larry McGillewie
  
Golden-tailed Woodpecker at the Wild Coast Sun© Corne ErasmusGolden-tailed Woodpecker at the Wild Coast Sun© Barry Kurten
  
Moving up the coast into Kwazulu Natal, a FRIGATEBIRD species was seen heading north from Blythedale Beach yesterday. Views were inconclusive and the species could not be confirmed, but it was thought to possibly be a Lesser Frigatebird. Elsewhere, a HARTLAUB’S GULL was present at the Umgeni River mouth yesterday and a single LESSER FLAMINGO was found on a farm dam at New Hanover, 30km north of Pietermaritzburg, on Monday and was still there yesterday. Unfortunately, it appeared rather weak and was eventually taken to a rehabilitation centre yesterday. Other lingerers still causing some local excitement included the GREY-HEADED KINGFISHER still around the Fairbreeze Mondi offices in Mtunzini today and the BURCHELL’S COURSERS still present on Galway farm near Normandien yesterday (where as many as 4 adults and at least one chick have now been seen together).
  
Burchell’s Courser in Normandien© Dave SandersBurchell’s Courser in Normandien© David Hoddinott
  
Burchell’s Coursers in Normandien© Avril Eshmade
  
Grey-headed Kingfisher in Mtunzini© Ian GordonGrey-headed Kingfisher in Mtunzini© Danielle Johnston
  
Grey-headed Kingfisher in Mtunzini© Terry StallardGrey-headed Kingfisher in Mtunzini© Robert Graham
  
Grey-headed Kingfisher in Mtunzini© Stewart ClarkeHartlaub’s Gull at Umgeni River mouth© Mike O’Donaghue
  
Lesser Flamingo in New Hanover© Horst VoigtsLesser Flamingo in New Hanover© Gareth Preiss
  
Into the Free State where a BLACK-RUMPED BUTTONQUAIL was seen at Seekoeivlei Nature Reserve near Memel at -27.555, 29.611 yesterday. In Mpumalanga, at least one CHESTNUT-BANDED PLOVER was still at Leeupan near Leandra at -26.562, 29.001 on Saturday. Gauteng chimed in with a rather out-of-place BLACK STORK seen in Midrand at -25.939, 28.059 on Tuesday afternoon while the SLATY EGRET was still moving between Walkhaven Dog Park and Gnu Valley farm in Muldersdrift until at least Monday.
  
Slaty Egret at Gnu Valley farm© Willie VictorBlack Stork in Midrand© Robin van Aardt
  
Over in the North-west Province, the popular LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was still at Rockwall Dam near Rustenburg on Saturday while the LONG-CRESTED EAGLE was also still around Olifantsnek Dam on Sunday.
  
Lesser Black-backed Gull at Rockwall Dam© Shaun McGillewieLesser Black-backed Gull at Rockwall Dam© Helen Badenhorst
  
Lesser Black-backed Gull at Rockwall Dam© Bernard Tabane
  
Long-crested Eagle near Olifantsnek Dam© Shaun McGillewieLong-crested Eagle near Olifantsnek Dam© Helen Badenhorst
  
Up in Limpopo, it was all happening in the Kruger National Park with 2 LESSER FLAMINGOS found at the Punda Maria hide on Saturday that were still there on Tuesday and the AFRICAN SKIMMERS still at Sable Dam until at least Tuesday as well where up to 3 individuals have been seen together.
  
Lesser Flamingos at Punda Maria© SANParks WebcamLesser Flamingos at Punda Maria© Erika Vorster
  
African Skimmers at Sable Dam© Ingrid de BruynAfrican Skimmer at Sable Dam© Jono Savadier
  
And finally, in Namibia, an AFRICAN CRAKE was found in the gardens of Ondundu Lodge in the Huab River valley on Tuesday and was still present there yesterday while a COMMON REDSHANK was present at Mile 4 Salt Works in Swakopmund on Monday.
  
African Crake at Ondundu Lodge© Johann Veldsman
  
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 regardsTrevor
 
TREVOR HARDAKER
Cape Town, South Africa

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