HEADLINE NEWS Perhaps the most popular bird of the review period was southern Africa’s 16th Baird’s Sandpiper. Found at Strandfontein Sewage Works, it remained there for quite some time and many twitchers took the opportunity to see it. This species was originally added to the southern African list based on a specimen collected in Walvis Bay in October 1863! (That specimen is now in the St Petersburg Museum in Florida, USA.) There was then a break of more than 100 years before the next one was seen in October 1984 at Olifantsbos in the Cape Point section of Table Mountain National Park. Subsequent records were in October 1985 on the Berg River in Velddrif; December 1992 in Mkhuze Game Reserve; September 1997 in Matusadona National Park in Zimbabwe; May 1998 at Geelbek in the West Coast National Park; September 1998 in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park; December 1999 at Strandfontein Sewage Works; September 2000 in Sossusvlei in Namibia; December 2000 in the Kruger National Park; December 2001 at Marievale Bird Sanctuary (this individual returned for several seasons);
September 2002 at Kenhardt Sewage Works; October 2004 on the Berg River in Velddrif; December 2008 at Wadrif Salt Pan north of Elands Bay; and, most recently, in October 2018 at Van Stadens lagoon near Port Elizabeth.
Another very popular twitch was southern Africa’s 25th Golden Pipit. It was located along the H1-7 between Shingwedzi and Punda Maria in the Kruger National Park and remained in the general area for a few days.
While a Ross’s Turaco found at Hippo Lodge in Katima Mulilo was less obliging and only offered erratic appearances, the long-staying Ross’s Turaco at Taranga Safari Lodge, west of Rundu, was still attracting attention months after it was first located there.
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Canon’s R6 and R5 camera bodies
FORCE of nature
During the past five or so years, Cape-based photographer Peter Chadwick has focused his conservation work on supporting counter-poaching efforts, developing conservation and re-introduction strategies for high-risk and endangered species and cultivating marine and terrestrial conservation teams. While doing this work throughout the African continent and the Western Indian Ocean, Peter has used his conservation photojournalism to raise awareness and garner support for the various causes he works on. A multiaward-winning cameraman, he is a Senior Fellow and Executive Member of the International League of Conservation Photographers.
Coral trees (Erythrina species) are found in tropical and subtropical areas around the world, including in southern Africa where nine species occur.
proudly SOUTH AFRICAN
Founded in February 2020, the South Africa Listers’ Club is a community of birders who have recorded 300 or more species within the borders of South Africa. As a protector of the country’s birds, BirdLife South Africa is enthusiastic about encouraging a #ProudlySouthAfrican approach to birding.
Accipiters and Cape Buzzards breeding on the Cape Peninsula
The Magic Beaks Of Stone Birds
Discovering an ancient avian superpower
Hidden Treasure Verreaux's Eagle-Owl
Despite being the largest owl species in the region and sporting characteristic bright pink eyelids, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owls Bubo lacteus can be surprisingly difficult to find in the wild. It was a colleague of mine, Callum Evans, who first pointed out an eagle-owl nest to me on 1 August 2020 in Mawana Game Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal. I had seen an adult and a sub-adult in the vicinity a few days before and had thought there might be a nest somewhere, but I hadn’t been able to locate it.
What's In A Name?
Introducing the Blue-billed Teal and Fynbos Buttonquail
The Place Of Wonder
Birding in iSimangaliso Wetland Park and St Lucia
Madagascar What's So Special?
A typical person knows nothing about Madagascar beyond an awareness of the animated movies of that name and a resulting conviction that the country gives refuge to penguins. Africans do slightly better.