RARE BIRDS RECORDED DURING MONTHLY COUNTS IN THE OVERBERG
Posted on the 16th May 2022
As most of you know, Birdlife Overberg started doing monthly bird counts throughout the region in April 2020. This project was started to help us all through the early stages of the pandemic when very tight travel restrictions were in place, preventing us from travelling around doing our usual birding activities.
The Club quickly realised the benefit of these counts and the data that it collected started to show there were many more species of birds in the region than first envisaged.The data showed where various rare birds to this region were more likely to be found, and at what time of year. This information is passed onto Club members and other organisations via the Club’s Rare Bird Whatsapp system, giving birders an almost instant awareness of what has been seen and where.
To illustrate the above, the following birds have all been sighted in the Overberg region during the last two years and are acknowledged as ‘rare’ birds to the area. Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Dwarf Bittern, Cinnamon-breasted Bunting, Temmicks Courser, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Long-crested Eagle, Brown Snake Eagle, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Amur Falcon, Goliath Heron, Eurasian Hobby, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Greater & Lesser Sand plovers, Saddle-billed Stork, Dusky Sunbird, Narina Trogan, Pied Wagtail, Garden Warbler, European Whinchat and, even as I type, an African Jacana has been spotted at Hawston!
These are just the rare classed birds; there have been many other scarce and uncommon visitors to our region recorded. Birds such as the Fairy Flycatcher, Grass Owl and the Pectoral Sandpiper are just as exciting.This besides all the numerous endemic and near-endemic species to be found in the region, particularly those associated with Fynbos habitats.
To crown this all many exciting pelagic species have been recorded from land or during regular cruises around Dyer Island by the Dyer Island Conservation Trust. The complete list of species recorded in the Overberg region is available from us.
So, these monthly counts and the recording and collation of data is really important and, amongst other things, goes to show what fantastic birding there is to be had in this region. If you haven’t already joined the band of birders that reports their sightings, then please do so by informing Anton via email firstname.lastname@example.org or Whatsapp at 082 550 3347.
Also, if you really want to know what is happening out there, Whatsapp me on 081 817 3223 and I’ll add you to the Overberg Rare Bird Whatsapp group. You will get instant notification of rare birds when they are seen in the Overberg.
Dwarf Bittern at Sandbaai - Brian Taylor
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater at Gansbaai - Riaan Jacobs
Long-crested Eagle at Napier - Steve Peck
Saddle-billed Stork at Pringle Bay - Jenny Parsons
African Crake at Swartrivier road - Johan van der Westhuizen
Goliath Heron at Vermont - Johan van der Westhuizen