Working for birds in Africa


Wed, 02/06/2013 - 15:10 -- abc_admin

Sooty Tern Sterna fuscata, Ile aux Cocos, Rodrigues

Image Credit: 
Jacques de Speville

Brown Noddy Anous stolidus, Ile aux Cocos, Rodrigues

Image Credit: 
Jacques de Speville

The following largely unconfirmed records have appeared in recent Bulletins of the African Bird Club and are for information only.

from ABC Bulletin 25.1

A Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni photographed on Gabriel Island on 24 November 2017 would be the first record for Mauritius (www.hbw. com/news/first-country-reports); the species is a vagrant to the Malagasy region, with a few records from Seychelles and one from Comoros (Safford, R. J. & Hawkins, A. F. A. eds. 2013. The Birds of Africa. Vol. 8).

from ABC Bulletin 24.1

An Intermediate Egret Ardea intermedia near Port Louise on 28 December 2016 would be the first record for Mauritius (per www.hbw. com/news/first-country-reports); the only other records for the Malagasy region mentioned by Safford & Hawkins (2013. The Birds of Africa. Vol. 8) are two from Seychelles

from ABC Bulletin 18.2

An adult non-breeding Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii was photographed on mudflats between Port Sud Est and Parc Tortue on 27 May 2010. The only previously reported observations are of one at Port Sud Est on 25 April and two at Baix aux Huitres on 27 April 1999.


During a cruise from Durban, South Africa, to Mauritius and back, from 29 December 2007 to 7 January 2008, the following were recorded in the seas of Réunion and Mauritius: six Mascarene Black Petrels Pterodroma aterrima, ten Trindade Petrels P. arminjoniana (both light and dark forms), 20 Barau’s Petrels P. baraui, hundreds of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters Puffinus pacificus, 20 White-tailed Tropicbirds Phaethon lepturus at Black River Gorge, Mauritius, a Subantarctic Skua Catharacta antarctica in a large mixed flock comprising mainly Sooty Terns Sterna fuscata, a Roseate Tern S. dougallii in Port Louis harbour with a few Common Terns S. hirundo, hundreds of Lesser Noddies Anous tenuirostris at sea and at l’Île aux Cerfs, and 40–50 Brown Noddies A. stolidus.

Two adult and two immature White-faced Whistling Ducks Dendrocygna viduata were seen flying over Flic en Flac village in the Black River district on 13 September 2007. These birds were released from a local bird park and are frequently observed in the area; they are also breeding in the wild now and appear to have hybridised with Fulvous Whistling Ducks D. bicolor. White-faced Whistling Ducks are not known to have been native on Mauritius. Birds were introduced (from Madagascar?) in the 19th century, and prospered until well into the 20th century, but were rare by 1952 and disappeared, perhaps due to hunting, soon after.

A juvenile Shy Albatross Diomedea cauta brought in by a fisherman at Mahebourg on 19 August was the first record for Mauritius. A White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus at Terre Rouge Estuary on 16 January was the second for the island. Cyclonic weather in Jan/Feb resulted in several records of Barau’s Petrel Pterodroma baraui including 30 off Pointe aux Caves in one hour on 18 February. Biologists were able to make landings on Serpent Island in Nov 1992 and Sept 1993 and found c250,000 pairs of Sooty Terns Sterna fuscata plus Brown Anous stolidus and Lesser Noddies A. tenuirostris and a small but important number (50 pairs) of Masked Boobies Sula dactylatra.

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