Working for birds in Africa

First confirmed record of Squacco Heron for São Tomé and Príncipe

pp 90-91

Première observation confirmée du Crabier chevelu Ardeola ralloides pour São Tomé et Príncipe.

Le 2 juillet 2012, un Crabier chevelu Ardeola ralloides a été photographié sur l’estuaire de la rivière Papagaio, à Santo Antonio, Príncipe. Il s’agit de la première mention confirmée de l’espèce pour São Tomé et Príncipe

On 2 July 2012, I noticed a medium-sized heron on the mudflats of the Papagaio estuary, Santo Antonio, Príncipe (01°38’26”N 07°25’30”E). The bird remained not far from the shoreline for c.5 minutes before flying off east along the south side of Santo Antonio Bay. The head, hindneck, back, flanks and upper belly were streaked tawny. The throat was white, as were the wings, although partially concealed by the back plumes when perched. The relatively stout bill was pale green-yellow with a hint of a black tip (Fig. 1). The distance did not permit me to distinguish the colour of the eyes or the lores. In flight, the bird had a white rump and a relatively short white tail (Fig. 2). I identified it as a Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides. Owing to the poor quality of the images, its age can only be hypothesised as a first-year.

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