Posted on the 31st January 2022

We report on just a few interesting and sometimes vagrant species recorded in the region during the first month of the year. LARK-LIKE BUNTINGS are not often seen in our area with the result that Ross’s observation of the species at Spitskop is noteworthy. Trevor Hardaker had recently announced that SA Rare Bird News will not report on sightings of EUROPEAN HONEY BUZZARDS in future. Johan’s sighting of the species was however the first report of it at Onrus. Two further fairly rare sightings for the area were the SABINE’S GULL seen by Pieter at the Hermanus New Harbour and the SAND MARTIN recorded by Lester at the Rooisand Nature Reserve. EUROPEAN ROLLERS were recorded at various sites throughout the Overberg. All sightings of this species should be reported as its numbers are apparently declining in southern Africa and BLSA is launching a project to investigate this issue. As far as rare and vagrant species go the best sightings were undoubtedly the RED-BACKED SHRIKE found at Bredasdorp and the immature SADDLE-BILLED STORK reported from the Grootvadersbosch area.

The De Mond Nature Reserve once again came up trumps with both the FULVOUS WHISTLING DUCK and CASPIAN PLOVER being recorded during the period under review. The sighting of a COMMON SCIMITARBILL did however catch us all by surprise – and astonishing record for the Overberg region. We will also post a report and images by Steve Peck when he recently took some clients to the reserve.

It is also interesting that several species were reported from specific areas for the first time (as far as we know). The FYNBOS BUTTONQUAIL found by Mike at Rotary Way adds importance to this site from a birding tourism perspective, particularly as far as the Fynbos and other endemics are concerned. One wonders whether these birds will return to the area adjacent to Arabella Estate and the Rooisand Nature Reserve after the recent fire. The BLACK CUCKOO-SHRIKE reported by Dean from Greyton is also noteworthy as most previous records were only from the Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve. The BLACK STORK seen by Eugene at the Nuwejaars River Bridge is yet another new record for that area.

The AMUR FALCONS photographed by Johan along the Swartrivier Road were the furthest west that this species has been recorded. Reports of CAPE VULTURES wandering around the region keep on coming in, the one seen by Steve at Stanford serving as an excellent example. Steve further added two new species to his garden list at Napier: SPOTTED FLYCATCHER and a BROWN-BACKED HONEYBIRD fledgling being fed by KAROO PRINIAS.

The monthly lists of birds recorded in the Overberg region are often producing fascinating results and wonderful vagrant sightings with the result that we would like to encourage all birders in the region to report sightings, together with the location to Keep in mind that the complete lists of birds recorded in the region during January, all species recorded in the region since the onset of the pandemic, as well as the birds recorded in Onrus and Vermont can be studied elsewhere on this website. Also note that we regularly post images taken by club members in monthly photo galleries.
31 January 2022.

Cape Vulture. Image by MC Botha
Brown-backed Honeybird. Image by Carin Malan










European Roller












Immature Saddle-billed Stork previously seen at Pringle Bay. Image by Jenny Parsons
















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