SA Rare Bird News Report – 02 November 2020

Starting in the Western Cape, 2 AFRICAN PALM SWIFTS were seen flying south over Camps Bay Drive yesterday afternoon while several AFRICAN PALM SWIFTS were also reported in Swellendam yesterday afternoon. Up on the west coast, a COMMON REDSHANK was found on the mudflats of the Berg River at Kuifkopvisvanger farm in Velddrif on Saturday and was still there yesterday while the RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, now showing some lovely breeding plumage, was also still at Kliphoek Salt Pans on Kuifkopviosvanger farm yesterday as well. The AUSTRALASIAN GANNET was also still on Malgas Island in Saldanha Bay yesterday while the immature ALLEN’S GALLINULE remained on at Macassar Sewage Works yesterday as well. Further east, 2 GREATER SAND PLOVERS were found at Rooisand Nature Reserve at -34.356, 19.096 yesterday and at least 2 LESSER STRIPED SWALLOWS were still around the restaurant area at De Hoop Nature Reserve on Friday.
  
Australasian Gannet on Malgas Island© Maddie van der MerweAustralasian Gannet (on right) on Malgas Island© Graham Luden
  
Australasian Gannet on Malgas Island© Garret SkeadAllen’s Gallinule at Macassar Sewage Works© Adrius Rabie
  
Common Redshank at Kuifkopvisvanger farm© Digby CyrusRed-necked Phalarope at Kliphoek Salt Pans© Digby Cyrus
  
Greater Sand Plover at Rooisand Nature Reserve© Keith HamiltonGreater Sand Plover at Rooisand Nature Reserve© Pieter Verster
  
In the Eastern Cape, the 3 EURASIAN OYSTERCATCHERS were still at the Gamtoos River mouth this morning while a BROWN SNAKE EAGLE was seen at the Van Stadens River mouth, west of Port Elizabeth, on Saturday.
  
Brown Snake Eagle at the van Stadens River mouth© André Strydom
  
Moving up the coast into Kwazulu Natal, there was some local excitement when a single RED KNOT was found at the Umgeni River mouth in Durban on Saturday which was still there yesterday. With several birders working the area, it was no surprize that other good birds would be found and there was a single HARTLAUB’S GULL also found at the Umgeni River mouth yesterday while the EURASIAN CURLEW was also confirmed as still being present in Durban Bay opposite Wilson’s Wharf yesterday. Other good birds included the BRONZE-WINGED COURSER still at Spioenkop Nature Reserve near Ladysmith on Saturday, an EASTERN BRONZE-NAPED PIGEON found at Mbona in the Karkloof yesterday and a LESSER SPOTTED EAGLE seen at Cumberland Nature Reserve this morning. Further north, a female HARLEQUIN QUAIL was found in the grasslands outside Mtunzini on Saturday while there were also still 3 AFRICAN CRAKES present in the same area on Saturday too and an AYRES’S HAWK EAGLE was seen flying over Mvubu Lodge in Richard’s Bay this afternoon. There was also plenty of excitement when an immature CRAB PLOVER dropped in at the St Lucia estuary at -28.388, 32.422 on Friday, but it was fairly short-lived unfortunately and was missing again later that afternoon and has not been reported subsequently. However, there was some consolation when a juvenile SOOTY TERN was found there this afternoon. The CASPIAN PLOVERS were still at Mpempe Pan too with 4 birds reported there this afternoon. And, from a provincial perspective, perhaps the best recent record was a single SOUTHERN CARMINE BEE-EATER seen outside Cottage 15 at Mantuma Camp in Mkuze Game Reserve on Saturday. It would seem that this is only the 4th ever confirmed record for the province with Digby Cyrus confirming that the previous records were in January 1971 and January 1978 at Ndumo Game Reserve and in January 2018 at Phinda Private Game Reserve.
  
Red Knot at Umgeni River mouth© Ian GordonRed Knot at Umgeni River mouth© Decklan Jordaan
  
Red Knot at Umgeni River mouth© Michael WrightHartlaub’s Gull at Umgeni River mouth© Marco Franchini
  
Lesser Spotted Eagle at Cumberland Nature Reserve© Gareth PreissBronze-winged Courser at Spioenkop Nature Reserve© Decklan Jordaan
  
Ayres’s Hawk Eagle at Mvubu Lodge© Georg JacobsJuvenile Sooty Tern at the St Lucia estuary© Rowan Jordaan
  
Crab Plover at the St Lucia estuary© Jody de BruynCrab Plover at the St Lucia estuary© Ian Ferreira
  
Southern Carmine Bee-eater in Mkuze Game Reserve© Jessica Macrae
  
Harlequin Quail in Mtunzini© Hugh ChittendenCaspian Plover at Mpempe Pan© Darren van Eyssen
  
Into Mpumalanga where a GREEN SANDPIPER was seen along the Klaserie River in the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve at -24.202, 31.147 yesterday, a handful of COLLARED PRATINCOLES were still at Mkhombo Dam at -25.107, 28.890 on Friday and a BLACK HERON was reported near the first fairway at Skukuza Golf Course in the Kruger National Park on Friday as well.
  
Green Sandpiper along the Klaserie River© Kyle MiddletonCollared Pratincole at Mkhombo Dam© Philip Yiannakou
  
Up in Limpopo, the popular GOLDEN PIPIT continued to show intermittently at -22.822, 31.216 along the H1-7 in the Kruger National Park on Friday, but no subsequent reports of it have been received, while there was also still a pair of AFRICAN SKIMMERS present at Piesang Dam at Letaba Estates yesterday.
  
Golden Pipit along the H1-7© Michael MandyGolden Pipit along the H1-7© Casper Badenhorst
  
Golden Pipit along the H1-7© Lloyd NelsonAfrican Skimmers at Letaba Estates© Maggie du Toit
  
Namibia continued to hold on to the 2 COMMON REDSHANKS which were still at Mile 4 Salt Works in Swakopmund on Saturday while a EUROPEAN HONEY BUZZARD was reported this afternoon in Klein Windhoek. Zimbabwe chimed in with a single SLATY EGRET seen at Darwendale Dam, downstream of Lake Chivero, on Saturday while an immature EGYPTIAN VULTURE was seen at Magisihole Pan in Hwange National Park on Friday. And finally, in Mozambique, it was all about out of range LONG-TOED LAPWINGS with the pair still present at the lagoa near Casa de Cocos in Coconut Bay yesterday and another pair found at The Sanctuary on the San Sebastian Peninsula near Vilanculous on Saturday.
  
Common Redshank at Mile 4 Salt Works© Ulrich HofmannEgyptian Vulture at Magisihole Pan© Rob Rees
  
Slaty Egret at Darwendale Dam© Wendelin ZwanikkenSlaty Egret at Darwendale Dam© Piet Zwanikken
  
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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