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Wed, 02/06/2013 - 11:22 -- abc_admin

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

from ABC Bulletin 23.1

In September 2015, a BirdQuest group led by Mark Van Beirs managed to observe a roosting female Congo Peafowl Afropavo congensis in Lomako-Yokokala Faunal Reserve, Equateur Province. In December, a large group of Mottled Swifts Tachymarptis aequatorialis was seen well after heavy rain near Lokofa, in Salonga National Park, far from their known range. Several White-headed Robin Chats Cossypha heinrichi were observed in Bombo-Lumene Hunting Reserve, including at a new site, on 6 December.

from ABC Bulletin 22.1

In July–December 2014, the following noteworthy species were reported from Sakania, in the extreme south-east of Katanga Province, near the border with Zambia. The first record of Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii for the country was an adult photographed on 15 October. An adult Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa photographed on 7 September may constitute the first record for Katanga; the species is not mentioned in Louette & Hasson (2011. Birds of Katanga). An adult Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres on 19 September was also a first provincial record.

The second Katanga record of Black Stork Ciconia nigra was an adult photographed on 20 July; the first was seen at the same site in 2013. Sanderling Calidris alba sightings involved two juveniles on 19 October (photographed), an adult on 9–20 November (photographed) and a second adult on 20–23 November; there is just one previous record for the province: of the two specimens reported by Schouteden (1971. La Faune Ornithologique de la Province du Katanga) and held in the Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium, only one had been correctly identified (M. Louette in litt. 2014).

Other records of note included a very early Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava on 20 September (three days prior to the earliest record in Dowsett et al. 2008. The Birds of Zambia). Heavy passage of Common House Martins Delichon urbicum culminated in a peak count of 800 on 28 September. A Black-winged Pratincole Glareola nordmanni was seen on 22 November. In Bombo-Lumene Hunting Reserve, east of Kinshasa on the Batéké Plateau, territorial White-headed Robin Chats Cossypha heinrichi were seen at three different locations on 21 August; one was mist-netted two days later. Also there were Miombo Wren Warbler Calamonastes undosus and Black-collared Bulbul Neolestes torquatus

from ABC Bulletin 21.2

In April 2014, an indigobird Vidua imitating the song of Peters’s Twinspot Hypargos niveoguttatus was photographed near Sakania, in extreme south-eastern Katanga Province, near the border with Zambia, and identified as Zambezi (=Green) Indigobird Vidua codringtoni; the species was first found at this site in April 2013 and constituted an addition to the country list. In Bombo-Lumene Game Reserve, an Important Bird Area east of Kinshasa, a Dark Chanting Goshawk Melierax metabates and an Ayres’s Eagle Hieraaetus ayresii were observed on 7 June.

from ABC Bulletin 21.1

In September 2013, the following noteworthy species were recorded at Sakania, in extreme south-eastern Katanga Province, near the border with Zambia. A Black Stork Ciconia nigra photographed on 22nd appears to be the first for the province: the species is not mentioned in Louette & Hasson (2011. Birds of Katanga), whilst a Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus on 2nd is apparently just the second record for Katanga, the first having been photographed on the Lulua River at Tshibamba on 13 October 2008. A Lark-like Bunting Emberiza impetuani was present again on 15th; presumably the same individual was photographed at this locality in May.

from ABC Bulletin 20.2

Two Eleonora's Falcons Falco eleonorae were observed at Twangiza, South Kivu, on 7 - 8 March 2013; this appears to be the first sight record for the country, following recent records of satellite-tracked individuals. A Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix, quite scarce this far south, was also there. A Lark-like Bunting Emberiza impetuani was photographed at Sakania, Katanga, on 19 May; this apparently constitutes only the second record of this irruptive vagrant from arid south-west Africa, the first dating from 1922, when five specimens were collected at Kananga, West Kasai, on 23-30 September (cf. Chapin 1954. The birds of the Belgian Congo. Part 4). At the same locality, male Zambezi (=Green) Indigobirds Vidua codringtoni were seen and heard (among others their imitation of Peter's Twinspot Hypargos niveoguttatus) on 7 and 14 April, probably two different individuals; this is an addition to the country list: it does not figure on the ABC checklist of DRC, but is known from neighbouring Zambia.

from ABC Bulletin 19.1

During a visit to southernmost Bandundu Province on 12–18 November 2011, several species were found outside or at the very edge of their known range, amongst them several new to the province. The following were observed within 20 km of Dungu Mayala, Domaine de Chasse de Swa Kibula (07°24’S 17°28’E): Anchieta’s Barbet Stactolaema anchietae, Miombo Pied Barbet Tricholaema frontata, White-breasted Cuckooshrike Coracina pectoralis, Groundscraper Thrush Psophocichla litsitsirupa, Black-necked Eremomela Eremomela atricollis, Chirping Cisticola Cisticola pipiens (common), Böhm’s Flycatcher Muscicapa boehmi (fairly common) and Retz’s Helmetshrike Prionops retzii. Blue-breasted Kingfisher Halcyon malimbica was observed in gallery forest and Brazza’s Martin Phedina brazzae was common in savanna. Streaky-headed Seedeater Serinus gularis of the race benguellensis was recorded west of Mayala; this is a new taxon for the country. Along the Kwango River, a Hartlaub’s Duck Pteronetta hartlaubi was seen. Further north, at 07°08’S 18°55’E, Pale-billed Hornbills Tockus pallidirostris were recorded.

A visit to Katanga in November 2011 produced several noteworthy records. In Upemba National Park (=NP), the following were recorded: Great Snipe Gallinago media (at least four near Lusinga), African Grass Owl Tyto capensis, Angola Lark Mirafra angolensis (a few), Blue Swallow Hirundo atrocaerulea (seen on three days west of Lusinga), Fülleborn’s Longclaw Macronyx fuellebornii (common), Dambo Cisticola Cisticola dambo (one of the commonest cisticolas in the Lusinga area), and Brown-headed Apalis Apalis alticola (common around Lusinga).

The little-known Kundelungu NP held, among others, African Grass Owl, Anchieta’s Barbet (a pair), Black-backed Barbet Lybius minor (a pair), Angola Lark (a few), Fülleborn’s Longclaw (common), Rosy-breasted Longclaw Macronyx ameliae (two pairs), Tabora Cisticola Cisticola angusticauda (a few), Brown-headed Apalis, Anchieta’s Sunbird Anthreptes anchietae (several in bird flocks in miombo), Chestnut-backed Sparrow Weaver Plocepasser rufoscapulatus (nest building), and Bar-winged Weaver Ploceus angolensis (a pair with a juvenile in a mixed-species flock).

An African Pitta Pitta angolensis was being offered for sale on the market in Kinshasa on 14 October 2006; according to the seller the bird came from Basankusu.

In Salonga National Park, in December 2005, a Congo Peacock Afropavo congensis was initially glimpsed and 16 days later - during which 170 km of forest trails were walked - another was seen well. In early 2006, the species was heard at several localities in relatively undisturbed forest between the Lomami and the Tshuapa rivers south-west of Kisangani, in Yawende Looloo, Opala territory, Oriental Province. The birds, which are locally known as 'litono', called late in the evening and at night. A Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida was found in a flock of c.20 White-winged Terns C. leucopterus on the Congo River, near Kinshasa's nautic club, on 5 April 2006. Brazza's Martin Phedina brazzae was recorded in Salonga National Park, in December 2005.

There are few recent sightings but the latest addition to the country’s list is the humble Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita, two birds singing in Kinshasa on January 7th 1989 (Vogelwelt 2002:109). Congo Peacocks Afropavo congensis, locally known as 'Lopekele', were seen and heard on a few occasions between February and May 2003 in primary rainforest near the Lokoro river in the south-west of Salonga National Park at the study area of a Bonobo project. A dead bird was found near the trail on 26th May.

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