SA Rare Bird News Report – 26 October 2020

Starting in the Western Cape, a pelagic trip out of Hout Bay on Saturday delivered some good birds with both a juvenile SOUTHERN ROYAL ALBATROSS and a SPECTACLED PETREL being seen on the trip. There were also still quite a few locals visiting the Macassar Sewage Works over the weekend as well with the ELEGANT TERN still on view there yesterday and the immature ALLEN’S GALLINULE showing until at least Saturday. Late this afternoon, that same site delivered yet another good bird when a single BLACK TERN was found there. Elsewhere, the KNOB-BILLED DUCK was still near the Old Friends hide at Rietvlei Wetland Reserve yesterday, a single AFRICAN PALM SWIFT was reported in Malmesbury at -33.469, 18.724 on Friday afternoon and another 3 birds were seen close by at -33.459, 18.701 this morning, GOLIATH HERONS were reported at a farm dam near Riebeeck Kasteel at -33.337, 18.761 on Saturday and about 10km south of Bredasdorp at -34.640, 20.053 on Saturday as well (still present there yesterday) while a CAPE VULTURE was seen near the turn-off to Platbos Forest just inland of Gansbaai yesterday and a LESSER STRIPED SWALLOW was still present at De Hoop Nature Reserve around the restaurant area on Friday. Over on the Garden Route, the pair of DARK-CAPPED BULBULS were still around Aqua Marina Guest House in Hill Street in Mossel Bay today and now have 2 chicks that have fledged and are moving around with them while, also of local interest, a FULVOUS WHISTLING DUCK was found north of George Airport at -33.974, 22.365 on Saturday, the GOLIATH HERON was still hanging around the Swartvlei estuary area in Sedgefield yesterday and the YELLOW-THROATED PETRONIA was still coming to the feeders at Reflections Eco-Reserve near Wilderness until at least Friday.
Southern Royal Albatross on pelagic trip© Rob BowieSouthern Royal Albatross on pelagic trip© Trevor Hardaker
Spectacled Petrel on pelagic trip© Rob BowieSpectacled Petrel on pelagic trip© Dana Goldberg
Goliath Heron south of Bredasdorp© Sharon BrinkGoliath Heron south of Bredasdorp© Heyne Brink
Lesser Striped Swallow at De Hoop Nature Reserve© Pieter VersterGoliath Heron on the Swartvlei estuary in Sedgefield© Mark Heysteck
Fulvous Whistling Duck north of George Airport© Justin PonderFulvous Whistling Duck north of George Airport© Mark Heysteck
In the Eastern Cape, the PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER was still in Port Alfred and showing well on Saturday. Please keep in mind that local have said that the area where the bird is hanging out in not all that safe and it is better to drive to the end of van der Riet Street and walk left from there to the river and then view across the river to the opposite bank where the bird seems to be hanging out at low tide. Moving up the coast into Kwazulu Natal, a pelagic trip out of Durban on Saturday also delivered the goods with 2 BARAU’S PETRELS seen on the trip. Other good birds included an AYRES’S HAWK EAGLE seen over Linwood Drive in Pietermaritzburg yesterday, a LESSER SPOTTED EAGLE seen at Cumberland Nature Reserve on Saturday and still there yesterday, a TEMMINCK’S COURSER seen at Duzi Turf next to Darvill Bird Sanctuary in Pietermaritzburg on Friday while at least 2 AFRICAN CRAKES were still holding on in the grasslands outside Mtunzini this morning. Elsewhere, 4 CASPIAN PLOVERS were reported at Mpempe Pan yesterday, a LESSER MOORHEN was reported from the same site this morning and 2 RUFOUS-BELLIED HERONS were still present at Nsombiza pan on the Eastern Shores of iSimangaliso Wetland Park on Friday as well.
Pacific Golden Plover at Port Alfred© Tim CockcroftPacific Golden Plover at Port Alfred© Hugh Retief
Pacific Golden Plover at Port Alfred© Sabrina ElliottBarau’s Petrel on pelagic trip© Clive Curtis
Rufous-bellied Herons at Nsombiza Pan© Cary Kroeger
From Gauteng comes some incredible news of a male PENNANT-WINGED NIGHTJAR reported last night on a private plot near the Seringveld Conservancy. The bird was apparently seen hawking insects around a floodlight. This is bound to be a very popular bird if it stays and access can be arranged, so further details will be provided if and when they are received. As I am not directly involved with any communications and negotiations with the landowner, I am reliant on others to let me know what gets arranged and will only post news here once I actually receive it, so it’s not going to help asking me for further details in the interim as, unfortunately, I don’t have any… Also of interest in the province, a male NARINA TROGON was seen again at Loskop Dam Nature Reserve in the vegetation between the Lick hide and the Lily hide on Saturday. In Mpumalanga, a BLACK HERON was reported around lunchtime today from Mazithi Dam between Satara and Tshokwane in the Kruger National Park, still a pretty uncommon species in the park. Limpopo was not to be outdone and produced Southern Africa’s 25th GOLDEN PIPIT found along the H1-7 between Shingwedzi and Punda Maria in the Kruger National Park at -22.826, 31.219 on Saturday. Apart from a few individuals that have been quite showy over an extended period, this species has a historical reputation of being rather tough to twitch in the subregion, so it was rather reassuring to hear that the bird was still present in the same area earlier today and, hopefully, this bodes well for anyone else hoping to connect with it. Elsewhere, a GREEN SANDPIPER was reported along the Mutale River in the Makuleke Concession near Pafuri in the Kruger National Park yesterday and the BLACK HERON was also still at Crookes Corner today.
Golden Pipit along the H1-7© Anne CousinsGolden Pipit along the H1-7© Richter van Tonder
Into Namibia where a EUROPEAN HONEY BUZZARD was seen at Amanzi Trails in Noordoewer yesterday. And finally, in Mozambique, it was confirmed that there were still a pair of LONG-TOED LAPWINGS present at one of the lagoas near Casa de Cocos in Coconut Bay throughout the weekend and the exciting news is that these birds have now bred there and currently have 3 small chicks with them.
European Honey Buzzard at Amanzi Trails© Colleen de VilliersLong-toed Lapwing near Coconut Bay© Gary Rowan
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
Trevor Hardaker
Posted by TREVOR HARDAKER Cape Town, South Africa.    

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