Working for birds in Africa


Wed, 06/02/2013 - 11:48 -- abc_admin

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

from ABC Bulletin 26.2

Records from November 2018–May 2019 include the following. A flock of c.15 African Spoonbills Platalea alba was seen in Akanda National Park, north-east of Libreville, on 4 November (Fig. 22); the species is regular in small numbers here. A Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus was photographed in the same park on 23 February (Fig. 23). At least five Yellow-billed Oxpeckers Buphagus africanus accompanying African Buffalos Syncerus caffer at Pointe Denis / Pongara, on the Libreville estuary, on 20 January, and another two at the coastal site of Nyonié, south of Libreville, on 17–18 March (Fig. 24), were outside their known range. An Osprey Pandion haliaetus at Nyonié on 19–20 May was a rather late date. Three male and two female House Sparrows Passer domesticus were found near Libreville airport on 11–25 May; the first for the country were observed at Mayonami, a village on the Nyanga River near Gamba, Ogooué Maritime Province, in May 2017, followed by two individuals in Lékoni town in mid-July 2018 (cf. Bull. ABC 25: 94 & 26: 109) (LS).

from ABC Bulletin 26.1

Noteworthy records from the north of the country in mid-July 2018 include 15 Common Moorhens Gallinula chloropus at Oyem, c.40 Ethiopian Swallows Hirundo aethiopica roosting at Bitam (Fig. 13), and c.150 Preuss’s Cliff Swallows Petrochelidon preussi 15 km north of Oyem (Fig. 14). Further south, two Tit-hylias Pholidornis rushiae were observed at ‘Bateke Nord’ private reserve, c.15 km north of Lékoni, and two House Sparrows Passer domesticus in Lékoni town (SD). The first Cuckoo-finch Anomalospiza imberbis for Gabon, a juvenile, was observed in Lope National Park on 12 August (DH).

from ABC Bulletin 25.1

On 20 May 2017 several male and female House Sparrows Passer domesticus were observed at Mayonami, a village on the Nyanga River near Gamba, Ogooué maritime Province (Fig. 16; RE). This appears to be the first record for the country: the species is not listed in the ABC checklist for Gabon.

from ABC Bulletin 24.2

An immature Marabou Stork Leptoptilos crumenifer was photographed in the logging zone south of Monts de Cristal National Park on 4 July 2016 (EN); this is just the fourth record for the country, with previous ones in the north-east (two in January 1971) and at the coast (one in the Port Gentil area, date uncertain, and another near Mayonami, Gamba, in July 1990). Two pairs of Ethiopian Swallows Hirundo aethiopica were breeding in the outskirts of Libreville on 22 April 2017—this is possibly the first certain breeding record (ML).

from ABC Bulletin 24.1

A belated report was received of the first African Grass Owl Tyto capensis for Gabon, photographed at Lekoni on 13 August 2014 (DH).

from ABC Bulletin 21.1

In July 2013, c.60 Greater Flamingos Phoenicopterus roseus (a recent addition to the Gabon list) and c.50 Lesser Flamingos Phoeniconaias minor were observed at the Moka River on 13th. A male Verreaux’s (=Gabon) Batis Batis minima was nest-building along the Bélinga Road on 21st; the nest is hitherto undescribed.

from ABC Bulletin 18.2

A leucistic Common Bulbul Pycnonotus barbatus was regularly seen north-east of Libreville in October - December 2010; it was always accompanied by a bird with a normal plumage.


A Wilson’s Phalarope Phalaropus tricolor was photographed at Cape Lopez on 10 October 2009.

The following records from the south-west, all outside the range indicated on the distribution maps in Borrow & Demey (2004. Field Guide to the Birds of Western Africa), are from late December 2009–January 2010. An adult Allen’s Gallinule Porphyrio alleni was observed near Moupia, south of Franceville, on 11 January and a juvenile at Gare de Moanda on 14th. A Black-collared Lovebird Agapornis swindernianus, perhaps loosely associated with numerous Red-headed Lovebirds A. pullarius, was seen in Moanda town on 6 January. About 250 African River Martins Pseudochelidon eurystomina were perched on wires in Bakoumba, south-west of Moanda, on 3 January, whilst singles, in the company of other hirundines, were seen at Moyabi, near Moanda, on 7th, at Mounana on 8th, and at Lekoni bridge, on the Franceville–Okondja Road at Onvouri-Oulinga, on 10th. Several Mountain Wagtails Motacilla clara were on a stream just west of Kessala along the Franceville–Kessala road on 9 January. A pair of Violet-tailed Sunbirds Anthreptes aurantium was observed at Eaux Claires near Lekoni on 29 December and several Reichenbach’s Sunbirds Anabathmis reichenbachii in swamps at the outskirts of Moanda on 3 January and at Franceville on 9th. Several Yellow-billed Oxpeckers Buphagus africanus were seen on African Buffalos Syncerus caffer near Moupia, south of Franceville, on 11 January. On 31 December, a small flock of Zebra Waxbills Sporaeginthus subflavus was recorded outside Lekoni town.

A Broad-billed Sandpiper Limicola falcinellus was observed on a sand bar at the Moka River mouth on 3 August 2007. At Mikongo, Lopé National Park, a Brown Nightjar Caprimulgus binotatus was found on 24–25 July; this is apparently the first record for this site. Also there, some unidentified swifts Apus sp. were once again encountered; they are blacker and smaller than Common Swift A. apus and frequently fan their tail whilst gliding - they are possibly Fernando Po Swifts A. sladeniae, although this form is supposed to be as large as Common Swift. A small flock of at least six Red-billed Queleas Quelea quelea frequented the grounds of Ipassa research station on 27 - 29 July; these appear to be the first for the area.

A Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus was seen on a sandbar at the mouth of the Moka River on 22 July 2006; the species was first recorded in Gabon in 2000 and appears to be a regular vagrant at this locality. A juvenile Yellow-throated Cuckoo Chrysococcyx flavigularis was being fed by a pair of Grey-throated Flycatchers Myioparus griseigularis in the Ipassa Reserve, Makokou, on 13 October; this is the first record of a host species for this cuckoo. A Uganda Woodland Warbler Phylloscopus budongoensis was seen well along the Bélinga Road, in the Makokou area, on 30 July; the precise status and distribution of this species in the country is poorly understood.

A White Stork Ciconia ciconia was seen near Port Gentil in November 2005. A remarkable record is that of two males and a female Pennant-winged Nightjar Macrodipteryx vexillarius captured on video as they were flying around an oil platform, 10 miles west off Pointe Iguele, on the Gabon coast, at 02°35’S, in mid-July.

Four European Nightjars Caprimulgus europaeus were on the outskirts of Lambaréné on 30 November 2004. A male Eastern Wattled Cuckoo-Shrike Lobotos oriolinus was seen foraging in a small tree along the Bélinga road in September 2004; this is a rarely seen species throughout its range. At least two Dja River Warblers Bradypterus grandis were singing daily in Langoue Bai, Ivindo National Park, on 15-18 October 2004.

The following records are from September 2003. Five Broad-billed Sandpipers Limicola falcinellus were foraging on the mudflats at the Moka River mouth on 5th. The identity of some medium-sized black swifts Apus sp. seen well en route to Ndjolé and whose habit of fanning their tails whilst gliding was notable, remains unknown; they may have been Fernando Po Swift A. (barbatus) sladeniae. A group of at least three Grey Waxbills Estrilda perreini were seen at Lékoni on 1st; this is a new locality for the species in Gabon and apparently only the third record for the country; it was first collected in the south-west in 1952 and two were reported from Tchibanga in 1992.

An exploratory visit to the Omboué area and the newly established Iguéla National Park, Ogooué Maritime Province, from 13 to 18 September, produced hundreds of Rosy Bee-eaters Merops malimbicus and 300+ African River Martins Pseudochelidon eurystomina. The waterways held White-crested Tiger Heron Tigriornis leucolopha, Hartlaub’s Duck Pteronetta hartlaubii, African Finfoot Podica senegalensis (common) and both Pel’s Scotopelia peli and Vermiculated Fishing-owls S. bouvieri. Black-headed Bee-eaters Merops breweri were seen on the savanna edges. A Rufous-tailed Palm-Thrush Cichladusa ruficauda in the gardens at Omboué represents an extension of the known range along the coast from the Gamba area. Also in Omboué, Loango Weaver Ploceus subpersonatus was found breeding.

Two Terek Sandpipers Xenus cinereus were seen at Mondah Bay on 3 March 2003. A Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia was claimed from Libreville on 14 March; the bird, which appeared to be exhausted, was found at night in the car park of a supermarket in the city centre; this would be the first record of the species in Gabon. A Zenker’s Honeyguide Melignomon zenkeri was reported from M’Passa reserve on 6 March.

Verreaux's Batis Batis minima was tape-recorded in the Gamba area in the south-west in March 2002. What was thought to be this species was also tape-recorded in Moukalaba-Doudou National Park, on the north-eastern shore of Ndogo Lagoon in April 2003; these are new sites for this scarce species.

Records from August 2001 include the following.

A Black Egret Egretta ardesiaca, a rare species in Gabon, was seen on the Moka River mudflats on 31st. A Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus was at the Moka River mouth on 31st; the species appears to have been encountered several times in the last two years and these sightings would constitute the first records for the whole of western Africa. Also there were nine Terek Sandpipers Xenus cinereus. A single Böhm's Spinetail Neafrapus boehmi was seen flying past the edge of Ipassa Reserve just before dusk on 25 August; there are only a few records of this species in Gabon, all from the Makokou area in the north-east, and its status remains unclear. At the same locality, a Black Dwarf Hornbill Tockus hartlaubi had white tips to the coverts typical of the race granti, whereas it is the nominate form, which lacks white which supposedly occurs here. A pair of Black-backed Barbets Lybius minor were seen at Lékoni on 27th; they resembled the supposedly extra-limital race macclounii, with white head-sides and a white V on the blackish upperparts, although only nominate minor, with head and mantle typically grey-brown, or hybrids supposedly occur in Gabon.

A flock of c50 South African Cliff Swallows Hirundo spilodera was seen at Lékoni on 26 August; this is a rare intra-African migrant to Gabon. A pair of Red-chested Swallows H. lucida was found breeding in a culvert at Ndjolé on 18 August and a single was seen in the Lopé area; this species has only recently been discovered in the country. A party of four Fiery-breasted Bush-Shrikes Malaconotus cruentus, presumably two pairs, observed in the Réserve de la Lopé on 18th, were apparently involved in territorial display, with much hooting, bill-snapping and head pointing upwards. Two pairs of the little-known Loango Weaver Ploceus subpersonatus were seen at the Moka River. A pair of Yellow-capped Weavers P. dorsomaculatus was observed at the nest at Ipassa reserve, Makokou, on 21st; the nest, which has not been previously described, consisted of a ball-shaped structure with a short, loosely woven entrance tunnel below the sphere and was built around a fork of a hanging branch of an isolated tree at a height of c33 m.

A pair of Black-throated Apalis Apalis jacksoni, found on 27 August 2000 along the Franceville road 55 km from Makokou, constitutes a range extension and the third site for the species in country. Three Red-capped Crombecs Sylvietta ruficapilla were seen at Lékoni. A singing Uganda Woodland-Warbler Phylloscopus budongoensis was recorded 9 km east of the Booué junction along the N4 on 21 August; a new site for this species.

Copyright © African Bird Club. All rights reserved.
UK registered charity 1184309


Web site designed and built by