Rarities and Interesting Sightings, Lanioturdus 55_4

by Neil Thomson

Swakopmund’s resident Black Sparrowhawk was photographed by Anton Jooste on 16 August 2022. An undated report from Anton Jooste mentioned the presence of a pair of Lizard Buzzards at Rössing mine.
One of these birds was injured and had to be put down. Also, an older record from the same source of which I was only recently made aware – a Western Yellow Wagtail was seen by Anton Jooste near Swakopmund on 02 April 2022.

Dayne Braine reported a Bradfield’s Hornbill at Overland Lodge some 10 km south of the Andersson Gate to the Etosha National Park on 19 August 2022. This is significantly to the west of any SABAP2 records for this species. Ulrich Hofmann found a rather out of range Rufous-bellied Heron at Farm Kakuse north west of Tsumeb on 24 August 2022.

On 27 August 2022 an out of range (and out of season) Woodland Kingfisher was seen at Goanikontes (Birding Namibia WhatsApp Group post). Dayne Braine saw Swakopmund’s long staying Black Sparrowhawk again on 30 August 2022 and once more on 01 September. The bird was subsequently reported again on 12, 13 and 16 September. Colandri Reyneke reported a Bluecheeked Bee-eater at Onguma east of Namutoni on 30 August 2022. This species has not been recorded in that area in SABAP2. Mark von Maltzahn posted a picture of a Saddle-billed Stork seen near Kombat on 31 August 2022 on the Birds of Namibia Facebook page.

Western Yellow Wagtail © Anton Jooste

An African Paradise Flycatcher was seen in Kramersdorf, Swakopmund, on 30 August 2022 and reported again on 14 September. This is quite possibly the same bird that was seen in Swakopmund on 07 June. The rather lost Allen’s Gallinule which was reported at Swakopmund Retirement Village on 14 August 2022 was seen there again by Erwin Koepp on 01 September. Christien Boshoff informed me of a pair of Orange breasted Bushshrikes seen in the Otavi vicinity on 03 September 2022. Eckart Demasius found a Caspian Plover at Sossusvlei on 14 September 2022.

Friedrich Nauhaus saw two White Storks at Sossusvlei on 18 September 2022. A White Stork was seen in this vicinity over the winter. It is thus uncertain whether these were birds on southward migration or overwintering birds. Günther Friederich reported the presence of a Black-collared Barbet in Grootfontein on 21 September 2023. This is well south of the normal range of this species. A Yellow-billed Stork was reported near Sossusvlei on 23 September 2022 by Avril Green. On 26 September 2022 Colandri Reyneke found a Southern Carmine Bee-eater about 10 km north of Mariental. It seems likely that this bird was an “overshooter”, i.e. a bird that has overshot its breeding grounds on the northern rivers and continued southwards.

A Northern Carmine Bee-eater, a MEGA for Namibia and only the third known record for this species in southern Africa, was found near Nunda River Lodge on 28 September 2022 (Birding Namibia WhatsApp Group post). The bird was present until at least 31 October 2022 and was possibly attempting to breed with a Southern Carmine Bee-eater. Christiane Maluche found a single Caspian Plover at Klein Namutoni waterhole on 11 October and a Threebanded Courser at the same location the following day. It later transpired that a pair of Three-banded Coursers was present there until at least 30 October but their breeding attempt unfortunately failed.

At least two White-backed Ducks were seen at Gross Barmen on 23 October 2022 (Birds of Namibia Facebook post). Madina Fourie saw a Caspian Plover near Mahangu Safari Lodge on 24 October 2022. At least four Glossy Ibises were reported at the Walvis Bay sewage ponds on 31 October 2022 (Birding Namibia WhatsApp Group post). In addition, Trevor Hardaker’s SA Rare Bird News Reports mention the following rarities etc. seen in Namibia since late August 2022: Yellow-throated Leafloves were reported at Caprivi Houseboat Safari Lodge on 31 August, 17 September and 10 and 22 October 2022. Taranga Safari Lodge’s long staying Ross’s Turaco was seen again on 17 September and 07, 11, 15 and 24 October 2022.

A Dickinson’s Kestrel was seen in the Hoanib River valley about 10 km from the coast on 18 September 2022. A Pectoral Sandpiper was found at Goas waterhole in the Etosha National Park on 18 September 2022. An African Crake was reported in Walvis Bay on 23 September 2022. Nunda River Lodge continued to produce MEGAS when a pair of Variable Sunbirds was discovered there on 06 October 2022 and were still there until at least 25 October. This is only the second record of this species in Namibia. Swakopmund’s Black Sparrowhawk was seen again on 14 October 2022. A single Fulvous Whistling Duck was reported at Gammams Water Care Works on 14 October 2022.


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