Working for birds in Africa


Wed, 06/02/2013 - 11:01 -- abc_admin

The following largely unconfirmed records from the Bulletin of the African Bird Club and are for information only.

from ABC Bulletin 21.2

A Böhm’s Spinetail Neafrapus boehmi flew over Dzanga Bai, in the ‘Aires Protegés de Dzanga Sangha’, on 16 February 2014, with several Sabine’s Spinetails Rhaphidura sabini; it was noticeably smaller with a shorter tail than the latter.

from ABC Bulletin 19.2

Several Grant’s Bluebills Spermophaga poliogenys were seen in Dzanga-Ndoki National Park in May 2012, of which one male was photographed. This is apparently only the second site in the country where the species has been recorded, the first being Ngotto Forest. Additionally, the species is known from adjacent Lobéké National Park in Cameroon and Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in Congo-Brazzaville.

from ABC Bulletin 19.1

Records from September 2011 include the following. What is apparently the first Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus for the country was photographed at Dzanga Baï on 13th. Two groups of European Honey Buzzards Pernis apivorus, of three and ten individuals respectively, were seen west of Mbaiki on 14th. A Wahlberg’s Eagle Aquila wahlbergi was observed near Ngotto Forest on 2nd with a white individual near Loppo on 3rd. A Buff-spotted Flufftail Sarothrura elegans was calling at Sangha Lodge on 11th and 12th. At Dzanga Baï, an adult Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula was seen on 13th, a pair of Forbes’s Plovers C. forbesi and five Wood Sandpipers Tringa glareola on 5th and 13th, and c.10 European Bee-eaters Merops apivorus on 13th. A pair of White-fronted Black Chats Myrmecocichla albifrons was seen in savanna just outside Ngotto Forest (Buffle Rouge Lodge) on 2nd.

Breeding evidence included a juvenile Yellow-whiskered Greenbul Andropadus latirostris near Sangha Lodge on 5th, an adult Rufous Flycatcher Thrush Stizorhina fraseri with a dependent juvenile in Ngotto Forest on 4th, pairs of Banded Prinias Prinia bairdii with dependent juveniles at Sangha Lodge on 10th and at Baï Hoku Camp on 12h, an adult Yellow-footed Flycatcher Muscicapa sethsmithi with a dependent juvenile at Sangha Lodge on 4th, and a Red-headed Picathartes Picathartes oreas colony near Sangha Lodge with an adult nest-building and another at a nest containing two eggs on 7th.


A Latham's Forest Francolin Francolinus lathami was seen near gallery forest in an area known as Zamza (08°02'52"N 21°23'38"E), in the north, on 30 March 2010; this is well north of the species' known range as indicated in Borrow & Demey (2004. Field Guide to the Birds of Western Africa).

Records from the period July 2006 - June 2007 from around Djoubissi, c.70 north of Bambari, Ouaka Prefecture, in the centre of the country, include one Ovambo Sparrowhawk Accipiter ovampensis on 19 August and two on 1 October, a Red-chested Flufftail Sarothrura rufa on 20 May, a pair of  Brown-chested Lapwings Vanellus superciliosus apparently on territory on 27 March, with other records in July - May, a Ross’s Turaco Musophaga rossae on 16 May, the last Common Swifts Apus apus migrating on 2 June, 30+ Pallid Swifts A. pallidus on 8 April, single Black-headed Bee-eaters Merops breweri on 10 November and 19 December, four Black-and-white-casqued Hornbills Bycanistes subcylindricus on 10 January, eight on 9 April and two on 11 April, two Yellow-billed Barbets Trachyphonus purpuratus on 27 May, a female Blue Cuckoo-shrike Coracina azurea on 15 May, at least one Little Grey Greenbul Andropadus gracilis on 27 May, a Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus on 13 January, a Heuglin’s Wheatear Oenanthe heuglini on 27 March, one Buff-throated Apalis Apalis rufogularis on 29 October and at least four on 27 May, an Icterine Warbler Hippolais icterina on 22 October, a Green Crombec Sylvietta virens on 15 May, a Green Hylia Hylia prasina on 15 May and at least four on 27 May, single Red-bellied Paradise Flycatchers Terpsiphone rufiventer on 19 August and 27 May, two Shrike Flycatchers Megabyas flammulatus on 27 May, Brown Illadopsis Illadopsis fulvescens on 29 October and 6 May, a pair of Pygmy Sunbirds Hedydipna platurus nest building on 26 December, a first-winter Lesser Grey Shrike Lanius minor on 16 - 18 March, several Baglafecht Weavers Ploceus baglafecht on various dates throughout the period, small numbers of Heuglin’s Masked Weavers P. heuglini throughout with at least four breeding pairs, a Chestnut-breasted Negrofinch Nigrita bicolor on 29 October, and a Brown-rumped Bunting Emberiza affinis on 23 July.

In the capital Bangui, a pair of Bat Hawks Macheiramphus alcinus can be observed easily from the Bangui Hotel on the riverfront (at dusk they often perch on the building) and Rufous-tailed Palm Thrush Cichladusa ruficauda is a common garden bird.

Records from the period March - July 2006 from around Djoubissi, c.70 north of Bambari, Ouaka Prefecture, in the centre of the country, include 20 Pallid Swifts Apus pallidus on 18 April, with 50 on 26 April, a Black-casqued Hornbill Ceratogymna atrata on 7 April, two Common Redstarts Phoenicurus phoenicurus on 30 March and a Brown-rumped Bunting Emberiza affinis on 23 July. In the Pouloubou area, c.80 km south-southeast of Bambari, between the towns of Alindao and Mingala, four pairs of Brown-chested Lapwing Vanellus superciliosus were found in suitable breeding habitat, on 17–27 March. In the same area in March, the following species were observed, adding to our knowledge of their distribution (cf. maps in Borrow & Demey, 2004, Field Guide to the Birds of Western Africa): Ross’s Turaco Tauraco rossae (one on 23rd), Thick-billed Cuckoo Pachycoccyx audeberti (one on 23rd, 25th and 26th), Swallow-tailed Bee-eater Merops hirundineus (one on 16th, four on 23rd, two on 25th), Black-casqued Hornbill (two on 25th), Speckled Tinkerbird Pogoniulus scolopaceus (one on 22nd), African Pitta Pitta angolensis (one on 19th), Honeyguide Greenbul Baeopogon indicator (one on 18th), Winding Cisticola Cisticola galactotes (two on 24th), Collared Flycatcher Ficedula albicollis (one on 18th, three on 19th, four on 23rd, two on 26th), Black-winged Oriole Oriolus nigripennis (one on 18th, three on 23rd) and Shining Drongo Dicrurus atripennis (two on 23rd).

The following records, from the period May 2005-January 2006, are from around the village of Djoubissi, c.70 km north of Bambari, Ouaka prefecture, in the centre of the country. Additions to the country list are Alpine Swift Tachymarptis melba, observed on 15 May, and Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina, seen on 13-14 November, whereas Great Snipe Gallinago media, found on 14 September, and White Wagtail Motacilla alba, remaining during 4-14 November and 29 November-9 January at least, are rarely recorded vagrants.

Other interesting records, compared to the known distribution of these species (cf. maps in Borrow & Demey, 2004, Field Guide to the Birds of Western Africa) include the following (records are of single birds, unless otherwise indicated): Saddle-billed Stork Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis (15 July), Common Quail Coturnix coturnix (8 December), Spotted Thick-knee Burhinus capensis (7 May), Ross’s Turaco Musophaga rossae (28 December and 6 January), Pallid Swift Apus pallidus (20 on 22 November and 150 on 29 November), Black-headed Bee-eater Merops breweri (two on 23 December and 2 January), Speckled Tinkerbird Pogoniulus scolopaceus (11 November), Speckle-breasted Woodpecker Dendropicos poecilolaemus (two on 8 May, one on 12 November), Grey-rumped Swallow Pseudhirundo griseopyga (multiple records), White-throated Blue Swallow Hirundo nigrita (two on 29 July), Ansorge’s Greenbul Andropadus ansorgei (11 November, at least four on 1 December), Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus (multiple records, including five on 31 October), Common Rock Thrush Monticola saxatilis (2 January), Foxy Cisticola Cisticola troglodytes (2 January), Buff-throated Apalis Apalis rufogularis (two on 11 November, one on 1 December), Shrike Flycatcher Megabyas flammulatus (two on 11 November and 1 December), Brown-crowned Tchagra Tchagra australis (5 May), Purple Glossy Starling Lamprotornis purpureus (multiple records), Heuglin’s Masked Weaver Ploceus heuglini (multiple records, including a breeding pair), Compact Weaver Pachyphantes superciliosus (two on 22 May) and Brown-rumped Bunting Emberiza affinis (2 January).

The following records are from the area around the village of Djoubissi, c.70 km north of Bambari, in the centre, from the period September 2004-March 2005. Additions to the country list are Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus, recorded on 7 November (one) and 9 November (two), Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia, on 5 December, Isabelline Shrike Lanius isabellinus, on 1 December, and Wattled Starling Creatophora cinerea, on 12 December.

Other interesting records, as compared to the distribution maps in Field Guide to the Birds of Western Africa (Borrow & Demey 2004), include Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus on 28 November and 27 February, Montagu's Harrier C. pygargus on 12 December, 4, 11 and 17 February and 6 March, Fox Kestrel Falco alopex on 17 February, Spotted Thick-knee Burhinus capensis, four records in November and February (at least four pairs in the area), Great Snipe Gallinago media on 27 October and 1 November, Ross's Turaco Musophaga rossae (common resident), Black-headed Bee-eater Merops breweri, six records in November and February (at least three pairs), Swallow-tailed Bee-eater M. hirundineus on 13 (two) and 26 February, Grey-rumped Swallow Pseudhirundo griseopyga (common), Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica, four records in November–December, White Wagtail Motacilla alba on 25-26 November and 2 December, Golden Greenbul Calyptocichla serina on 9 November (three), White-browed Robin Chat Cossypha heuglini on 4 February, Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus, three records, Common Rock Thrush  Monticola saxatilis on 12 December, Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis, uncommon, Lemon-bellied Crombec Sylvietta denti, two records, Common Whitethroat Sylvia communis on 12 December, and a male Collared Flycatcher Ficedula albicollis in breeding plumage on 20 March.

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