SA Rare Bird News Report – 19 October 2020

Starting in the Western Cape, there was some big excitement when an ELEGANT TERN was found in a large Tern roost at Macassar Sewage Works yesterday morning. This obviously drew quite a few birders to the area, so it was not surprizing that something else was going to be found at the same site and, in this case, it turned out to be an immature ALLEN’S GALLINULE, only the 5th ever record for the province (previous records from Rondevlei Nature Reserve, the Berg River in Velddrif, Strandfontein Sewage Works and, most recently, in August 2015, found walking around in Bellville whereafter it was taken into care and released at Strandfontein Sewage Works again 3 days later). It was certainly a classic case of the Patagonia Picnic Table Effect in full swing – Google that if you don’t know what it means…J Elsewhere, a single SAND MARTIN was found at Rondevlei Nature Reserve on Saturday and 2 LESSER CRESTED TERNS were reported from Rooi Pan opposite the Strandkombuis Restaurant in Yzerfontein this morning, while lingerers included the DOUBLE-BANDED COURSERS still south of Moorreesburg at -33.273, 18.626 on Saturday, the RED-NECKED PHALAROPE still at Kliphoek Salt Pans on Kuifkopvisvanger farm in Velddrif on Saturday and the YELLOW-THROATED PETRONIA still coming to the feeders at Reflections Eco-Reserve near Wilderness this morning.
Elegant Tern at Macassar Sewage Works© Stanislav NovotnyElegant Tern at Macassar Sewage Works© Jacques Malan
Elegant Tern at Macassar Sewage Works© David Winter
Allen’s Gallinule at Macassar Sewage Works© Pieter VersterAllen’s Gallinule at Macassar Sewage Works© Joel Radue
Allen’s Gallinule at Macassar Sewage Works© David WinterRed-necked Phalarope at Velddrif© Helmo van der Schyff
In the Northern Cape, an adult EGYPTIAN VULTURE was seen over Nossob camp in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park on Friday. Into the Eastern Cape where the 3 EURASIAN OYSTERCATCHERS were still at the mouth of the Gamtoos River on Saturday, a GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO was found on a farm near Mondplaas Ponds close to the Gamtoos River on Saturday and 2 YELLOW-BREASTED PIPITS were seen about 25 km north-east of Dordrecht, in the McKayskop area, on Saturday as well.
Eurasian Oystercatcher at the Gamtoos River mouth© Riana Hayes
Yellow-breasted Pipit near Dordrecht© Japie ClaassenGreat Spotted Cuckoo near Mondplaas Ponds© Joseph Bird
Moving up the coast into Kwazulu Natal, a single BARAU’S PETREL caused much excitement on pelagic trip out of Durban yesterday and a GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO seen at Manyoni Private Game Reserve yesterday was also of local interest. Other lingerers included the CRIMSON-BREASTED SHRIKE still present on the farm north of Ladysmith on Friday, an AFRICAN CRAKE still in the grasslands outside Mtunzini on Saturday and the RUFOUS-BELLIED HERON still present at Nsombiza pan on the Eastern Shores of iSimangaliso Wetland Park on Saturday as well. In the Free State, a GROUNDSCRAPER THRUSH was seen in Welkom yesterday. Mpumalanga offered an AFRICAN OPENBILL seen near Leandra at -26.401, 28.895 on Saturday. Up in Limpopo, a single LAPPET-FACED VULTURE was seen roosting on pylons with 2 White-backed Vultures along the N1 just north of Piernaarsrivier at -24.977, 28.351 on Friday while the Kruger National Park offered up several BLACK HERONS with one seen fishing at Mingerhout Dam on the Letaba River north of Letaba camp on Thursday, the previously reported bird still at Pioneer Dam at Mopani on Thursday afternoon and another seen along the river in front of Shingwedzi camp on Friday. Across into Zimbabwe where a EUROPEAN HONEY BUZZARD was reported in Mazvikadei on Friday. And finally, in Namibia, the ROSS’S TURACO was seen again at Hippo Lodge in Katima Mulilo on Saturday.
Barau’s Petrel on Durban pelagic trip© Calvin HarrisAfrican Crake in Mtunzini© Terry Stallard
Barau’s Petrel on Durban pelagic trip© Albert McLean
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 HARDAKERCape Town, South Africa    

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