Working for birds in Africa

First record of Pectoral Sandpiper for Mozambique

pp 72-74

Première mention du Bécasseau tacheté Calidris melanotos pour le Mozambique.

Le 14 janvier 2017 un Bécasseau tacheté Calidris melanotos adulte en plumage d’hiver a été photographié à Maputo, Mozambique. Bien que l’espèce, qui niche en Amérique du Nord et dans le nord-est de la Sibérie, soit accidentelle mais assez régulière en Afrique australe, ceci constitue la première donnée pour le Mozambique.

On 14 January 2017 at 07.00 hrs, Jude Allport, Rob Lindsay-Rae and I were searching for waders on the northern outskirts of Maputo, Mozambique. Whilst waiting for the tide to recede in the bay, we found an area of grassland, recently flooded as a result of road construction blocking a drainage channel at 25°53’44”S 32°39’18”E. Twenty-five Little Stints Calidris minuta, 15 Curlew Sandpipers C. ferruginea, eight Ruff C. pugnax, eight Common Greenshanks Tringa nebularia and 15 Wood Sandpipers T. glareola were foraging in the rank grass. After c.15 minutes a small group of waders flew in, causing all of the feeding birds to rise and join them in a single flock. Among them was a bird that I initially thought to be a female Ruff, but it appeared more pot-bellied and broader winged, with an odd jinking flight. When I noticed a clearly demarcated dark breast, I realised it was probably a Pectoral Sandpiper C. melanotos. Fortunately, the whole group landed c.50 m away with the bird in question in full view. We watched it at length and photographed it (Figs.  1–2), confirming all of the features of Pectoral Sandpiper. After c.20 minutes the flock took off and settled out of sight c.400 m to the west. The bird was searched for again later that day and the following morning, but was not relocated

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