We are receiving increased reports and photographs of Lesser Striped Swallows in the Western Cape Province. The birds breeding on the bridge on the N2 between Sedgefield and Knysna at the turnoff to the Goukamma reserve probably indicate that this species will become a regular summer visitor to our region. It will be interesting to find out whether the pair photographed by Carin Malan at Arabella Estate yesterday will be breeding.
Based on several recent enquiries regarding the difference between Lesser and Greater striped swallows I hereby include the bullet points taken from the PowerPoint presentation on the summer migrants section of the Flight Higher course and two images illustrating the difference:
GREATER STRIPED SWALLOW/ GROOTSTREEPSWAEL
NB: White cheek/ Breast lightly streaked/ Size: Larger/ 95% of striped swallows in the WC will be Greater Striped Swallow (This is probably now changing)/ Summer migrant
LESSER STRIPED SWALLOW/ KLEINSTREEPSWAEL
NB: Orange cheek/ Breast heavily streaked/ Size: Smaller/ Recent arrival in WC (Rare – although this seems to be changing)/ Summer migrant