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Wed, 02/06/2013 - 15:17 -- abc_admin

These are largely unconfirmed records published in recent Bulletins of the African Bird Club for information only.

from ABC Bulletin 23.1

In June–December 2015, the following were reported. A ten week study of seabirds by Dominic Rollinson, mostly off Inhambane Province, yielded interesting records, including three firsts for Mozambique: Swinhoe’s Storm-petrel Hydrobates (Oceanodroma) monorhis on 7 and 22 September and 3 October (at c.22–23°S 36–37°E); Matsudaira’s Storm-petrel H. matsudairae on 8 August and 20 September (23–24°S 35–36°E) and Leach’s Storm-petrel H. leucorhous on 6 September (21°S 36°E). Additionally, single Matsudaira’s / Swinhoe’s Storm-petrels were noted on 29 September and 17 October. A White-faced Stormpetrel Pelagodroma marina was observed on 6 October (23°S 36°E). Black-bellied Storm-petrels Fregetta tropica were seen almost daily between 12 September and 13 October, with up to 30 individuals in a day (22–23°S 35–37°E). A Jouanin’s Petrel Bulweria fallax flew past on 5 October (23°S 36°E). Surprisingly, just one Tropical Shearwater Puffinus bailloni was recorded (on 3 August at 26°S 35°E) and just one tropicbird, a Red-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon rubricauda (on 11 September at 23°S 36°E). Sooty Tern Onychoprion fuscatus was the commonest species, often in feeding flocks hundreds strong, with eight Bridled Terns O. anaethetus on 27–29 August (20°S 36°E). About ten Arctic Terns Sterna paradisaea were observed on 2–5 August (26°S 35°E). Great Frigatebirds Fregata minor were seen almost daily with a total of c.250 counted; on one occasion c.50 flew above the boat. On the other hand, just one Lesser Frigatebird F. ariel was noted (on 10 September at 23°S 36°E). There were 20 sightings of Red-footed Boobies Sula sula; birds would often perch on the mast for days whilst periodically hunting flying fish. Two South Polar Skuas Stercorarius maccormicki stayed around the vessel on 1–4 August (26°S 35°E). Finally, several Mascarene Martins Phedina borbonica rested on the boat on 27 September (22°S 36°E) before presumably heading off to Madagascar.

Other records from the period include the following. Greater Frigatebirds were observed near the Ponta da Barra lighthouse on 6 July (one); over Linene Island near Vilanculous on 30 September (one), with another three just offshore of that location a few days previously, and a total of 11 flying over Paindane Resort towards Barra in early October. A pelagic trip out of Maputo on 13 June found the notably large number of 400 Flesh-footed Shearwaters Ardenna carneipes following a trawler, along with four Brown Skuas S. antarcticus. Another trip on 3 October yielded up to eight Black-bellied Storm-petrels (the first recorded off Maputo since a singleton in the 1970s), a Tropical Shearwater and a large flock of >800 Sooty Terns. A Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus was found at Maputo Bay on 25 November— possibly the same individual that was present there earlier in the year. A Common Noddy Anous stolidus was roosting amongst other terns on the northern coast of Inhaca Island on 12 December. The first Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis for Mozambique was discovered in Maputo on 10 September and last seen on 28 Septemberc. A European Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus was located at Inhamitanga on 3 December. A Lesser Jacana Microparra capensis and a Red-chested Flufftail Sarothrura rufa were found at Maputo Golf Club on 13 December. In July, a population of Green Tinkerbirds Pogoniulus simplex was discovered south of the Save River and north of Inhassoro. A male Whinchat Saxicola rubetra and a female Eurasian Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla were found on Mount Gorongosa on 29 November and were both present until at least 18 December; this appears to be only the 20th Whinchat and approximately the 23rd Blackcap for southern Africa.

from ABC Bulletin 22.2

The following records are from January - May 2015. A pelagic trip off the Barra Peninsula on 21 April produced >30 Greater Frigatebirds Fregata minor, at least one adult male Lesser Frigatebird F. ariel, many Sooty Terns Onychoprion fuscatus, a Brown (=Southern) Skua Stercorarius antarcticus (possibly only the fourth record for Mozambique), and several Black-bellied Storm-petrels Fregetta tropica. An immature Greater Frigatebird flew south along the beach at Inhassoro on 13 April. Another Brown Skua was seen from shore at Praia da Rocha, 10 km south of Tofo, on 5 May. Observations made during a pelagic trip from Maputo on 10 May included a European Storm-petrel Hydrobates pelagicus (a very uncommon species in these waters and also a very late date), a Brown Skua, a Sabine’s Gull Xema sabini (probably <10 records for the country), and two Sooty Terns.

Single European Honey Buzzards Pernis apivorus were reported from ‘Coutada 12’ on 8 February, Panda on 20 March, Mphingwe on 25 March, and Chemba on 26 March. Lesser Moorhens Gallinula angulata were seen on the Limpopo floodplain at Lake Sacativa on 19 March and 19 April and an African Crake Crex egregia was there on 20 March. A large flock of Crab-plovers Dromas ardeola was on the beach at Pomene in late January, whilst an immature was on Inhaca Island on 31 January. A Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus was at Inhambane estuary on 20 April and a Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva at Ponta da Barra on 20 March. The fourth Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris for Mozambique (and the sixth for southern Africa) remained at Ponta da Barra, near Inhambane, from 6 March until at least 21st; previous records, all from the same site, are from December 2004, September 2008 and May 2014, with two more from South Africa (one visiting West Coast National Park for several seasons from late 2000 to late 2003) and Namibia (Walvis Bay, November 2008). A second calendar year Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus was observed at Maputo on 2 February and possibly the same bird from 6 May to at least 17th. A Black Tern Chlidonias niger, possibly only the second for the country, was reported near Inhaca Island on 31 January.

Exceptional floodwater near Maputo produced records of five Cape Shovelers Anas smithii (third record for the country and the first since 1973), two Lesser Jacanas Microparra capensis, Greater Painted-snipe Rostratula benghalensis and White-throated Swallow Hirundo albigularis (a very poorly known species in Mozambique), all on 8 February, plus two Black Herons Egretta ardesiaca on 6 May. Three Northern Carmine Bee-eaters Merops nubicus reported near the Ruvuma Delta, in the north, prompted additional recent reports of this species hitherto undocumented for Mozambique.

A Short-tailed Pipit Anthus brachyurus was at the Chacane Wetlands, near Panda, on 24 April. A Basra Reed Warbler Acrocephalus griseldis was discovered along the Rio Maria road, just north of Beira, on 3 February, with another at the Grown Energy farm near Sena on 7 February and two more at the bridge over the Zangue River south of Catapu on 9 February; at the latter site one was still present in the first week of March. 

from ABC Bulletin 22.1

The following records are from October–December 2014. Pelagic trips out of Maputo produced at least ten Sooty Terns Onychoprion fuscatus on 2 November and a Black-naped Tern Sterna sumatrana, an east coast vagrant, as well as a probable Tropical Shearwater Puffinus bailloni on 22 November. During a fishing trip out of Maputo on 26 November four European Storm-petrels Hydrobates pelagicus, a rare species on the east coast, and three Sooty Terns were observed.

Single European Honey Buzzards Pernis apivorus were reported at Sena on 11 November, between Caia and Gorongosa on 12 November, over the Pungwe River floodplain, inland of Beira, on 6 December and at Catapu the next day. A Crab-plover Dromas ardeola was present at Ponta da Barra on 4 November. A Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo Cercococcyx montanus was photographed near Mphingwe camp, in central Mozambique, in December; although the species is probably observed annually, it is very infrequently photographed and often incorrectly identified. A flock of >20 Olive Bee-eaters Merops superciliosus was located in Machangulo Private Nature Reserve, just north of Maputo Special Elephant Reserve, on 7 October, well south of the species’ range currently shown in most field guides, although it is suspected to be more regular in this area than previously thought. A Böhm’s Bee-eater M. boehmi flew over the Gorongosa National Park access road on 14 December. A probable Basra Reed Warbler Acrocephalus griseldis was seen at the Zangue River bridge, south of Catapu, on 13 December. 

from ABC Bulletin 21.2

Records from January - June 2014 include the following. The first Red-tailed Shrike Lanius phoenicuroides for Mozambique and the southern African sub-region was photographed north of Sena, on the southern banks of the Zambezi River, on 14 January.

Pelagic trips out of Maputo produced a probable Bulwer’s Petrel Bulweria bulwerii and a European Storm-petrel Hydrobates pelagicus on 23 January, and a Tropical Shearwater Puffinus bailloni as well as a tropicbird Phaethon (probably a White-tailed Tropicbird P. lepturus) in late May. A Cape Cormorant Phalacrocorax capensis - an extremely rare bird in the country - was at Ponta do Ouro on 29 June. During a seawatch at Maputo on 6 April two immature Sooty Terns Onychoprion fuscatus and an Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus were noted, the latter a rather unusual species for this area. The influx of European Honey Buzzards Pernis apivorus in southern Africa was also noticeable in Mozambique, with singles reported from Magude on 7 January, near Gorongosa on 11 January, Mapingwe on 13 January, c.20 km north of Maputo on 2 February, near Inharrime on 19 February, 2 March (two) and 4 April, and Gorongosa National Park on 1 April.

On 13 June, an African Oystercatcher Haematopus moquini was observed at Ponta Malongane - this is unusually far north for the species. Southern Africa’s fifth Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris was located at Ponta da Barra on 29 April; previous records were from West Coast National Park, South Africa, in late 2000 (which returned to the same location for several seasons and was last reported in late 2003), Barra Peninsula, Mozambique, in December 2004 (one) and September 2008 (up to three), and Walvis Bay, Namibia, in November 2008 (one). An African Skimmer Rynchops flavirostris was found in a tern roost east of Linene Island, in the Bazaruto Archipelago near Vilanculous, on 13 January; this species is very rare in the south of the country. Several Böhm’s Bee-eaters Merops boehmi first reported in early January near Villa de Sena, Chemba District, were still present until late April at least; this is only the third record for southern Africa, the previous ones of Mount Gorongosa in December 1972 and one at Gorongosa National Park in August 2009. A Basra Reed Warbler Acrocephalus griseldis was located at the Zangue River on 23 March.

from ABC Bulletin 21.1

Records from October - December 2013 include the following. A pelagic trip out of Maputo on 9 November produced a Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus, a White-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon lepturus a Black Tern Chlidonias niger (apparently the first record for the country) and an Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea. At least two Arctic Terns were reported on a trip into Maputo Bay on 25 November, a particularly unusual species in this area. A Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus was reported from Benguerra Island on 20 October.

A European Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus was observed near Goba on 8 December. A remarkable find was a Short-tailed Pipit Anthus brachyurus near Maputo on 25 October. Some Common Mynas Acridotheres tristis were reported from Maputo on 7 October. The presence of Red-throated Twinspots Hypargos niveoguttatus in the University Botanical Gardens in Maputo on 22 October was surprising and the possibility of escapes cannot be ruled out. On 24 November, a male Cuckoo Finch Anomalospiza imberbis was also reported from Maputo - an excellent record for the country.

from ABC Bulletin 20.2

Records from February - June 2013 include the following. No fewer than seven White-faced Storm-petrels Pelagodroma marina were seen from a ship passing through Mozambique waters on 7 May; there are only seven previous claims of this species in southern African waters. At least two Tropical Shearwaters Puffinus bailloni and two distant frigatebirds Fregata sp. were also observed. A Red-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon rubricauda flew over Casa Barry in Tofo on 7 April. A Striped Crake Amaurornis marginalis was seen in the Nkomati floodplain in late February. Up to five European Honey Buzzards Pernis apivorus were reported from the Unguana area in March. At Inhambane, a group of 20 Crab-plovers Dromas ardeola, 18 adults and two immatures, were present on 22 March. A Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus was observed in Maputo Bay on 9 June - a most unusual date for this species. A noddy Anous sp. was reported from a pelagic trip out of Maputo on 25 April; features visible in the photographs suggest it was a Lesser A. tenuirostris rather than a Brown Noddy A. stolidus, although the latter cannot be ruled out.

In March, the recently discovered population of Eastern Green Tinkerbirds Pogoniulus simplex near Unguana attracted many South African birders; the species was regarded as probably regionally extinct. A Basra Reed Warbler Acrocephalus griseldis was observed near the bridge over the Zangue River from 22 February until at least the end of the month. In Maputo, a Variable Sunbird Cinnyris venustus was located in the grounds of Cafe Acacia on 18 April - an unusually southerly location for the species. Also there in April were an African Fireflnch Lagonosticta rubricata and a Cape Bunting Emberiza capensis, two other slightly out-of-range species.

Belated news concerns a Bohm's Bee-eater Merops boehmi photographed at the campsite in Gorongosa National Park on 9 August 2009; the only previous record for the southern African subregion dates from December 1972, when two were seen c. 40 km north-west of Mount Gorongosa. 

from ABC Bulletin 20.1

An African Black Oystercatcher Haematopus moquini was reported from the Limpopo River mouth, Xai-Xai district, in August 2012. Two Black-naped Terns Sterna sumatrana were seen in a large mixed tern flock at Pomene on 20 - 21 October. An Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina was photographed at Rio Savane on 25 December.

from ABC Bulletin 19.2

A European Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus was reported from Manjakaze on 10 January 2012.

from ABC Bulletin 19.1

Reports from September - October 2011 include a European Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus in the Pomene area on 31 October, a Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus at Beira on 1–3 September, and a probable Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus at Maputo Bay on 8 October. Several sightings of African Quailfinches Ortygospiza atricollis reported from the Rio Savanne area, north of Beira, indicate that the species is resident there and the distribution maps should be updated.

From ABC Buletin 18.2

At least three Great Bitterns Botaurus stellaris were seen along the Limpopo River floodplain near Xai Xai on 13 March; there are very few records this far south in the country. As has become the norm in recent years, a large flock of Crab-plovers Dromas ardeola was present at Ponta da Barra in February. Several exhausted Sooty Terns Sterna fuscata were reported from the coast, e.g. at Guinjata Bay and at Paindane, in late May; strong winds appear to have blown these birds inshore. A Speckle-throated Woodpecker Campethera scriptoricauda was observed west of Chinizua on 6 January. A Basra Reed Warbler Acrocephalus griseldis was seen and sound-recorded on 8 March at Nhamapaza River bridge, c.120 km north of Gorongosa on the road to Caia.

_______

In the second half of June 2010 some interesting species were reported from a coastal vlei at Paradise View, c.35 km north of Xai-Xai. Two unseasonal Baillon's Crakes Porzana pusilla were present, as well as an Allen's Gallinule Porphyrio alleni, whilst a Dickinson's Kestrel Falco dickinsoni also frequented the area. A Brown (Subantarctic) Skua Catharacta antarctica, presumably blown in by a storm, might represent the northernmost record of this species on southern Africa's east coast.

A Madagascar Pratincole Glareola ocularis recorded both near Quissanga and on Ibo Island, just north of Pemba in Quirimbas National Park, in the north, on 30 September and 1 October, appears to be the first for the country and is apparently also the southermost record in Africa.

A White-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon lepturus was reported c.26 nautical miles off Ponto d'Oura in early May 2010. On 15 March at Catapu, a worm-infested Cordyla tree in the forest held no fewer than nine cuckoo species including a Madagascar Cuckoo Cuculus rochii and two Lesser Cuckoos C. poliocephalus.

In little-known Quirimbas National Park, Capo Delgado province, northern Mozambique, some unusual records were made in 2008–09 which were either ‘firsts’ for Mozambique or for the park. A Western Banded Snake Eagle Circaetus cinerascens was claimed from Taratibo on 24 October 2008, with two along the main road near the park headquarters at Biaque. There were also two Southern Banded Snake Eagles C. fasciolatus at Mareja and one along the road to Guludo. These two species are usually considered allopatric but apparently occur together in the park; the former would be new for the Mozambique list. On Matemo Island, a Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus was seen on 24 October 2008. A Northern Carmine Bee-eater Merops nubicus was photographed on Situ Island in February 2008, five were seen at Tandanhangue in March 2008, and more were photographed on 14 January 2009; these are the first records for Mozambique and apparently the southernmost for the species. A pair of Uluguru Violet-backed Sunbirds Anthreptes neglectus was observed at Taratibo on 25 October 2008. Gorgeous Bush-Shrikes Malaconotus quadricolor (=Telophorus viridis) are quite common at Nemau and on Ibo Island, although not mapped for this area on distribution maps.

Other noteworthy records from the north-east include two European Honey Buzzards Pernis apivorus at Lake Kagevero, one at Bilibiza on 30 May 2008 and one at Tandanhangue on 15 April 2009, a Horus Swift Apus horus at Pemba on 9 April 2009, two Mascarene Martins Phedina borbonica at Marerja on 2 June 2008, and a Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe south of Pemba on 16 October 2009 (very few previous records for the country, all from the south. About 100 African Paradise Flycatchers Terpsiphone viridis congregated at Pemba on 9 April 2009.

More southern records, for the period September–December 2009, include the following. Single Eurasian Honey Buzzards Pernis apivorus were reported from the Panda area in early November and near Inhamitanga in December. A Western Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus was recorded at Gorongosa National Park in September. At Inhambane, Crab Plovers Dromas ardeola were seen again in September and early November. The Panda area also produced a Common Redshank Tringa totanus in early November. A ‘Lesser’ Cuckoo Cuculus sp. was reported near Chinuzua in December; unfortunately, the bird was not calling nor did it respond to any playback, and the photographs will not enable positive identification: Asian Lesser Cuckoo C. poliocephalus and Madagascar Cuckoo C. rochii are indeed extremely difficult to separate reliably.

Records in December 2008 - May 2009 include the following. In May, two Great Crested Grebes Podiceps cristatus were found on a large pan c.10 km south-east of Inhambane; this is a very rare vagrant in Mozambique. A dark-morph Red-footed Booby Sula sula was reported close inshore at Ponta da Barra, near Inhambane, on 1 March. Greater Frigatebirds Fregata minor were seen at Tofo on 30 December (two), off Linga Linga on 2 January (one), at Ponta Malangane on 26 - 27 March (one) and c.15 km offshore of Ponta da Barra on 26 May (one). A Lesser Frigatebird F. ariel was at Morrengulu on 5 January. A flock of at least 138 Crab Plovers Dromas ardeola was at Ponta da Barra on 24 - 25 January, with at least 178 still present on 26 March. A Spur-winged Lapwing Vanellus spinosus was photographed along the Chicombane - Zongoene road (24°04’02.03” 33°29’02.08”E) on 31 December 2008. An immature Brown Noddy Anous stolidus was seen at close range at Bilene lagoon, Gaza Province, along the coast north of Maputo, on 15 March, apparently heading for the ocean; although small numbers of this species occur in the Mozambique Channel in the austral summer, it is a vagrant ashore. On 18 May, a male Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe in full breeding plumage was discovered on the Sunguti River floodplain near Chibuto; this species is a rare vagrant to southern Africa, with only some 20 previous records. Also in May, a Variable Sunbird Cinnyris venustus was observed c.20 km west of Inharrime; this is much further south than the known range of the species.

In October 2008, a multidisciplinary survey of the previously virtually unexplored Mabu Mountain, northern Mozambique, was conducted. Mabu (1,700 m) rises a short distance east of Chiperone and is covered by 60 - 70 km2 of mid-altitude and Afromontane rainforest. Bird species of conservation concern observed during the survey include: Southern Banded Snake Eagle Circaetus fasciolatus (for which Mabu represents a small range extension), Cholo Alethe Alethe choloensis (common; Mabu holds one of the two most important populations of this localised species, with Mt Mulanje in adjacent Malawi), Spotted Ground Thrush Zoothera guttata (rare, despite the surprising absence of Orange Ground Thrush Z. gurneyi), Gunning’s Akalat Sheppardia gunningi (important population at 400–1,350 m), Swynnerton’s Robin Swynnertonia swynnertoni (new for northern Mozambique; not uncommon above 1,350–1,400 m), Namuli Apalis Apalis (thoracica) lynesi (rare above 1,400 m; Mabu is only the second locality known) and Dappled Mountain Robin Modulatrix orostruthus (rare above 1,400 m; Mabu represents a slight range extension south from Namuli). Mabu also holds the most important population of the endangered race belcheri of Green Barbet Stactolaema olivacea, which is common from 750 m to the peak, as the one on Mt Thyolo has been eradicated through deforestation and numbers on Namuli are low. Other species of interest include Rameron Pigeon Columba arquatrix and Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon C. delegorguei (which replace each other altitudinally), Bar-tailed Trogon Apaloderma vittatum and Grey Cuckooshrike Coracina caesia. The densities of Green Twinspot Mandingoa nitidula (very common at 400–1,550 m) are remarkably high.

Not a single Yellow-billed Kite Milvus migrans parasitus was seen in a month  spent in northern Mozambique and adjacent southern Malawi: what has happened to this bird?

Records from May - December 2008 include the following. An Eleonora’s Falcon Falco eleonorae was reported from Tsetsserra Mountain on 10 December. At Ponta da Barra, southern Mozambique, over 30 Crab-plovers Dromas ardeola were still present on 3 May, with only two remaining on 19th. Two Eurasian Oystercatchers Haematopus ostralegus were seen at the San Sebastião  Peninsula, on Bazaruto Island, on 23 November. Three Great Knots Calidris tenuirostris were photographed near White Sands on the Barra Peninsula, near Inhambane, on 20 September; there is one previous record of this vagrant at this locality, from December 2004. Three Lesser Noddies Anous tenuirostris located on a beach at Bazaruto, on 1 May, remained in the area until at least 19th, when up to five were present. Two Brown Noddies A. stolidus in a tern roost at  Inhambane were photographed on 12 December. A large flock of Mascarene Martins Phedina borbonica was observed at the Rio Savane in late June.

During a pelagic trip into the Mozambique Channel in mid-October two Jouanin’s Petrels Bulweria fallax were found 100 nautical miles north-east of Vilanculos; this constitutes the sixth record for southern Africa, all of them from the Mozambique Channel. Other noteworthy species seen include Greater Frigatebird Fregata minor, Lesser Frigatebird F. ariel and numerous flocks of Sooty Terns Sterna fuscata, some comprising up to 100 individuals.

During a two-week survey of Mt. Namuli, in northern Mozambique, in November 2007, some species of conservation interest were found at this site for the first time: Spotted Ground Thrush Zoothera guttata was observed in the two main forest patches, Manho and Ukalini - this is the first indication that the species might breed in the country, whilst White-winged Apalis Apalis chariessa was seen once in riparian forest at low altitude (1,200 m), a forest type greatly threatened at Namuli. Eastern Green Tinkerbird Pogoniulus simplex was identified at 1,350 and 1,700 m; Namuli is only the second locality for this species in Mozambique. Red-chested Flufftail Sarothrura rufa, the only flufftail species encountered on the high plateau, was common in wet, peaty grassland at 1,850 - 1,900 m. Numbers of Cholo Alethe Alethe choloensis and Green Barbet Stactolaema olivacea of the race belcheri were found to be far lower than previously suggested by Ryan et al. (1999, Bird Conserv. Intern. 9: 138–143) as they were very scarce in the large, cool forest block of Manho, and common only in the small Ukalini forest. African Black Swift Apus barbatus was the most numerous swift on the mountain and was found breeding (feeding nestlings), whilst Scarce Swift Schoutedenapus myoptilus occurred in small numbers; observed aerial mating suggests they breed later. Spot-throat Modulatrix orostruthus and Namuli Apalis Apalis thoracica lynesi were both common, with 300–500 pairs estimated for the former, and more for the latter.

Records from December 2007 - April 2008 include the following. About 200 Crab-plovers Dromas ardeola were counted at Ponta da Barra, Inhambane, on 20 January; large numbers remained throughout February and 186 were counted on 11 March; 36 were reported on 25 April. A Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva was found at the Zambezi River mouth on 9 December, with another at Ponta da Barra on 20 January; the latter remained there until 18 April at least. A Common Redshank Tringa totanus was also at Ponta da Barra on 18 April. A Black-naped Tern Sterna sumatrana was observed at Praia do Bilene on 6 April.

A trip in June - July 2007 yielded the following records. Grey-backed Sparrow Lark Eremopterix verticalis and large numbers of Lark-like Buntings Emberiza impetuani were observed in Parque Nacional do Limpopo on 29 June; both these species are apparently new for Mozambique. In woodland near Panda, a flock of 20+ Mascarene Martins Phedina borbonica was encountered on 30 June and the next day excellent views were obtained of most of the miombo specials including Olive-headed Weaver Ploceus olivaceiceps; this area, north-west of the traditional sites, has good stands of pristine Brachystegia woodland and may hold a fair number of this species. Records at Rio Save Game Reserve included Thick-billed Cuckoo Pachycoccyx audeberti and Lemon-breasted Canary Serinus citrinipectus on 3 July.

An adult Brown Booby Sula leucogaster was observed along the shore at Xai-Xai on 11 July 2007. At Rio Savanne, a Greater Frigatebird Fregata minor and a Brown Noddy Anous stolidus were located on 9 December. At least three Garganey Anas querquedula found at a small wetland south of Caia on 24 November were still there in early December.

At Vilanculos, two Greater Frigatebirds Fregata minor and a Lesser Frigatebird F. ariel were seen on 2 January 2007, with two Sooty Terns Sterna fuscata and a Lesser Noddy Anous tenuirostris there the day before. Two Crab-plovers Dromas ardeola and a Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus were at Pomene on 12 January. Crab-plovers were further reported from the Inhambane area in early April.

In March-September 2006, the following records were reported. A Greater Frigatebird Fregata minor was seen at Inhassoro on 3 September. Large numbers of Crab Plovers Dromas ardeola were observed at Inhambane on 11 March and a Common Redshank Tringa totanus was seen at Maputo the next day. A Franklin’s Gull Larus pipixcan, found at Lagoa Piti in Maputo Elephant Reserve on 25 May, was perhaps the same individual seen in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, on 18-19 May. Two Gull-billed Terns Sterna nilotica were at Rio Savane on 20 September.

During a birding trip to southern and central Mozambique in August 2006, excellent views were obtained of a Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris and of Locust Finches Paludipasser locustella at Rio Savane, a site known to hold these sought-after species. In the Panda woodlands, presently the only site south of the Zambezi where the localised Olive-headed Weaver Ploceus olivaceiceps is found, several of these miombo specialists were observed.

A Greater Frigatebird Fregata minor was seen at Ponta da Barra on 12 January, with further sightings until the 17th, and a Lesser Frigatebird F. ariel at the same site on 14 January, with another at Ponta do Ouro on 13 January. Crab Plovers Dromas ardeola were reported from Pomene on 18 November (one), from Barra Lodge, Inhambane, on 4 December (a large flock) and from Ponta da Barra on 11 January (more than 200. Six Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus were seen at Rio Maria on 1 January and two Broad-billed Sandpipers Limicola falcinellus at Ponta da Barra on 16 January.

A Franklin's Gull Larus pipixcan in full breeding plumage was observed at Lagoa Piti in Maputo Special (Elephant Reserve) on 25 May 2006; this is possibly the same bird that was reported earlier from Sodwana Bay, South Africa, and may well constitute the first record for Mozambique.

A Light-mantled Sooty Albatross Phoebetria palpebrata was found exhausted on the beach at Ponto Malangane in late June 2005. It was taken into care in South Africa and released off Cape Town when it had recovered. A flock of 30 Greater Frigatebirds Fregata minor with one Lesser Frigatebird F. ariel was at Pomene on 19-20 September. Another Lesser Frigatebird was photographed at Ponta D’Oura on 13 January 2006. Two pairs of Locust Finches Paludipasser locustella were seen in grasslands between Beira and Savane on 13 November 2005.

A Red-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon rubricauda was seen at Inhambane on 15 February 2005. In March, a European Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus was reported south of Muanza on 14th and single Western Marsh Harriers Circus aeruginosus near Rio Savanne on 13th and from Pungwe Flats on 16th. On 28th, a Brown Booby Sula leucogaster was off Pomene.

In March 2003, a Red-tailed Tropicbird Phaeton rubricauda was seen 20 km off Bazaruto Island on 23rd, and a European Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus at Gorongosa on 27th. At Pungwe wetlands, north of Beira, a Great Snipe Gallinago media and a Locust-Finch Paludipasser locustella were observed on 25-26th.

In the wake of a severe cold front that swept up the east coast of southern Africa from 8 to 10 June 2003, an exhausted Light-mantled Sooty Albatross Phoebetria palpebrata was wrecked on the beach of Praia de Xai-Xai in southern Mozambique and subsequently eaten by a local villager; this is the first record for the country. The species, which has a circumpolar distribution, is a very rare vagrant to South African waters, north to Mabibi, KwaZulu-Natal.

The following records are for 2001.

A Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla was mist-netted at Namuli in November 2001; there are very few records of this species from southern Africa and this appears to be the first for Mozambique .

A Greater Frigatebird Fregata minor and a Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris were at Rio Savanne, just north of Beira, on 7 September 2001. An out-of-range African Hobby Falco cuvierii was reported from coastal Vilanculos on 20 October. Three Sooty Terns Sterna fuscata were observed on nearby Bazaruto Island on 21 October; presumably the same birds were on Margereque Island the following day, when there were also five Crab-plovers Dromas ardeola at that locality.

Some 15 Mascarene Martins Phedina borbonica were flying south-east over miombo woodland west of Panda, southern Mozambique, on 12 July. This is the first record for the country south of the Save. Both Long-billed Tailorbird Orthotomus moreaui and African Tailorbird O. metopias were still present in montane forest patches on Serra Jeci (Njesi Plateau), Niassa Province, northern Mozambique, on 4-5 July. A pair of Long-billed Tailorbird O. moreaui was observed in the forest canopy. Several African Tailorbird O. metopias were seen and three were mist-netted. Serra Jeci is the only known locality outside Tanzania for both species, and these are the first records from the site since the birds were discovered there by Jali Makawa, Con Benson's collector, in 1945.

At least four Greater Frigatebirds Fregata minor were seen near Inhambane on 30 December 2001. An African Hobby Falco cuvierii was reported from Beira on 14 November. At Rio Savanne estuary, just north of Beira, a Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus was seen on 15 November. A Black-naped Tern Sterna sumatrana, found at the same locality the next day, constitutes the third record for the country and the eighth for southern Africa; the previous Mozambican records are of four birds at Inhaca Island and two at Bazaruto Island, while the other five records are from the KwaZulu-Natal coast, South Africa.

Map

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References

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BirdLife International (2000) Threatened Birds of the World. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

BORGHESIO, L. and GAGLIARDI, A. (2011) A waterbird survey on the coast of Quirimbas National Park, northern Mozambique. ABC Bulletin 18(1) pp 61-67.

BORGHESIO, L., AMAKOBE, B., BAKARI, S., BALIDY, H., BIASIOL, D. and MENOMUSSANGA, M. (2009) A bird survey of the Ruvuma Delta, northern Mozambique. ABC Bulletin 16(2) pp 197-203.

COHEN, C., SPOTTISWOODE, C. & ROSSOUW, J. (2006) Southern African Birdfinder: where to find 1,400 birds in southern Africa and Madagascar. Struik Publishers. 

DOWSETT-LEMAIRE, Fr., (2010) Further ornithological exploration of Namuli and Mabu Mountains (northern Mozambique), and the urgent need to conserve their forests. ABC Bulletin 17(2) pp 159-177.

FISHPOOL, L. D. C. and BAYLISS, J. (2010) Brief notes on the birds of Mount Inago, northern Mozambique. ABC Bulletin 17(2) pp 198-201.

LOTZ, C. (2012) A productive birding transect from highland Zimbabwe to coastal Mozambique. ABC Bulletin 19(1) pp 83-93. Download this paper*.

MELO, M., COVAS, R. and DIJKSTRA, Kl.-D. (2006) First records of Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla for Mozambique. ABC Bulletin 13(1) pp 80-81.

PARKER, V. The Atlas of the Birds of Central Mozambique. (2005) Published by the Endangered Wildlife Trust, Johannesburg and the Avian Demography Unit, Cape Town.

PARKER, V. The Atlas of the Birds of Sul do Save, Southern Mozambique. (1999) Published by the Avian Demography Unit, Cape Town and the Endangered Wildlife Trust, Johannesburg.

PARKER, V. chapter on Mozambique pp 627 - 638 in FISHPOOL, L.D.C. and EVANS M.I. editors (2001) Important Bird Areas in Africa and Associated Islands: Priority sites for conservation. Newbury and Cambridge, UK. Pisces Publications and BirdLife International (BirdLife Conservation Series No.11).

RYAN, P., SPOTTISWOODE, C., PARKER, V., GRAHAM, J., COHEN, C. and BENTO, C. (1999) The birds of Namuli, northern Mozambique: retracing Vincent's footsteps. ABC Bulletin 6(2) pp 138-143.

RYAN, P.G., GRAHAM, J. & SUTHERLAND, A. C. (2006) Pelagic birding trips in the southern Mozambique Channel. ABC Bulletin 13 (2) pp 197-204.

SINCLAIR, I. & RYAN, P. (2003) Birds of Africa South of the Sahara. Struik Publishers, ISBN 1-8687-2857-9.

* In order to view and print these papers, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Contacts

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African Bird Club representative

The African Bird Club is seeking to appoint a representative in this region. If you are interested in supporting and promoting the Club, have any queries or require further information relating to the ABC representatives scheme, please contact the Membership Secretary at membership@africanbirdclub.org.

Bird recorder and checklist compiler

Carlos Bento,

Museum of Natural History – UEM,

Praca Travessia do Zambeze, 104,

PO Box 257,

Maputo,

Mozambique.

E-mail: bento1968@hotmail.com

Club

Mozambique Bird Club
Carlos Bento (Secretary)
AV. 25 de Setembro
1514-1
Maputo
Mozambique

Conservation

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Conservation legislation in Mozambique is currently being rewritten with laws making provision for the following protected areas: National Park, Game Reserve, Partial Reserve, Faunal Reserve, Hunting and Photographic Safari area and Forest Reserve. The civil war in Mozambique put a stop to all conservation efforts within the country, with new initiatives slowly taking effect since the war ended in 1992.

New conservation programmes in Mozambique focus on community-based management, which ensures that local communities benefit directly from the conservation of sensitive areas. Transfrontier Parks have also been developed in Mozambique whereby areas are linked with conservation areas in adjacent countries (e.g. Kruger National Park) to form large transfrontier parks.

A big conservation threat in Mozambique is the deforestation of sensitive woodland habitats. Wood is used to make charcoal and for logging purposes, while slash-and-burn agricultural practices are also having a major impact.

Books & Sounds

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With birding such a big pastime in southern Africa, there is a well established birding literature available. Not only are there great field and sound guides but also many second-level publications dealing with birds from particular species groups.

The major field guides for most of the southern Africa region are the SASOL and Newman's guides and various photographic guides with some specific ones for different countries. The SASOL guide is excellent - its illustrations are fantastic and the text succinct yet authoritative.

The Southern African Birdfinder: Where to find 1,400 bird species in southern Africa must rank as one of the best 'Where to' guides for a region. It contains detailed information on sites, clear maps and directions and great photos. With a very slick layout this book is an essential addition to any trip in southern Africa. Highly recommended.

 

Book image: 
Book info: 
Sasol Birds of Southern Africa (4th edition), Ian Sinclair, Phil Hockey, Warwick Tarboton & Peter Ryan, Struik, Softback.
Book description: 

4th edition. The best field guide to the region with over 200 colour plates and numerous distribution maps. The Southern African region is Botwana, Lesotho, southern Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.

This fourth edition has been greatly improved by the addition of group introductions, calendar bars showing species' occurrence and breeding periods, a section on 'how to use this book', as well as sonograms depicting the calls of tricky bird groups. The newly designed plates are meticulously illustrated, with labels pinpointing key differentiating features. Distribution maps show the relative abundance of a species in the region and also indicate resident or migrant status.

Written by top birders, this authoritative and comprehensive identification guide is invaluable to all birders. 464 pages.

Book image: 
Book info: 
Newman's Birds of Southern Africa, Ken Newman, New Holland, Softback.
Book description: 

Commemorative Edition.

Sadly, Ken Newman passed away in 2006. This commemorative edition of his book has been revised by Vanessa Newman, Ken's daugter and incorporates the latest taxonomic changes. 510 pages.

Book image: 
Book info: 
Roberts Bird Guide, Hugh Chittenden, John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Softback.
Book description: 

At last! a field guide version of Roberts Birds of Southern Africa VIIth Edition featuring large, clear illustrations, distribution maps as well as a "breeding bar" indicating breeding season. Covers over 950 species including all the recent splits. 456 pages.

Book image: 
Book info: 
Birds of Africa South of the Sahara, Ian Sinclair & Peter Ryan, New Holland, Softback.
Book description: 

Second edition, including 500 new images and 400 updated distribution maps. Unrivalled coverage of African birds in a single volume. 2129+ species covered with an additional 101 vagrants briefly described. Revised to reflect the latest changes in taxonomy. Species descriptions give precise identification features highlighting differences between similar species as well as briefly reporting habitat, status and call. Annotated illustrations portray distinctive plumages as well as diagnostic flight patterns and major geographic variants where applicable.

Book image: 
Book info: 
A Photographic Guide to Birds of Southern Africa, Ian Sinclair, New Holland, Softback.
Book description: 

Covers 500 species in a user-friendly format and includes distribution maps and an 'occurrence bar'. 144 pages.

Book image: 
Book info: 
Complete Photo Field Guide Birds of Southern Africa, Ian Sinclair & Peter Ryan, Struik, Softback.
Book description: 

Comprising the most comprehensive collection of photos of southern African birds in one volume, this field guide describes and illustrates all 958 bird species found in the region plus an additional 17 species from Antarctica, the Southern Ocean & associated islands. 432 pages.

Book image: 
Book info: 
Sasol Birding Map of Southern Africa, Ian Sinclair and Trevor Hardaker, Struik, Map.
Book description: 

2002. Includes over 200 birding sites in Southern Africa, as well as many game and nature reserves, towns, and routes. Each site description gives details of habitat type and the birds it attracts. Includes in-depth profiles on 8 of the region's major sites.

Book image: 
Book info: 
Southern African Birdfinder: Where to find 1400 bird species in southern Africa, C Cohen & C Spottiswoode, assisted by J Rossouw, New Holland, Softback.
Book description: 

2006. The ideal companion to all the local bird field guides. After an introduction to birding in the southern African region, the authors identify and describe more than 330 birding sites and associated birds across South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Madagascar and, the little-documented but increasingly popular, areas of Angola, Mozambique, Zambia and Malawi. All sites are ranked into one of three categories of priority: essential (the regions best); excellent (top sites but expendable to a time-limited visitor) and local interest (ideal for those looking for new areas to explore). All sites include practical details of access, best times to visit, habitat diversity and general natural history.

Includes a fold-out map of the entire region that features all routes. A quick guide to finding the region's top 100 birds and an annotated checklist conclude the book.

"Written by three of the most experienced birders in the region, they have poured their experience into its production and this really shows in the level of detail and coverage." - Martin Fowlie, BTO

Book image: 
Book info: 
The Birds of Southern Mozambique, Phillip A Clancey, African Bird Book Publishing, Softback.
Book description: 

New revised and updated edition of A Handlist of the Birds of Southern Mozambique, first published in 1970-71. More an avifauna than a field guide, it provides distribution (with maps), range and habitat preferences for all recorded species. In addition, there are new illustrations of species, a gazetteer of place names, and indices of generic and specific names. 49 colour plates and 39 maps. 312 pages.

Visiting

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Birding tours

Birding Ecotours, Letaka Safaris, Safari Consultants and Safariwise organise tours to Mozambique.

Trip reports

The birds of Namuli, northern Mozambique: retracing Vincent's footsteps by Peter Ryan, Claire Spottiswoode, Vincent Parker, John Graham, Callan Cohen and Carlos Bento, from Bulletin of the African Bird Club, volume 6.2, September 1999.

See the Namuli feature article.

A trip report for Southern and Central Mozambique can be found at http://www.birding.co.za/news35.htm

Logistics

Mozambique is an extremely poor country with limited infrastructure away from the major towns and cities, hence a keen sense of adventure and sound preparation is essential for any birders planning a visit to the region. Foreign nationals will need a visa to enter Mozambique, which can be obtained from any Mozambican embassy.

Flights: LAM has flights inside Mozambique, connecting Maputo, Beira, Tete and other cities. In the past, flights have been frequently delayed or cancelled; baggage is frequently lost or tampered with, though this has improved in recent times. There are also twice-weekly flights between the capital and the Bazaruto Archipelago. There are several private charter airlines that go just about anywhere you like. There are regular flights from Beira to Johannesburg.

Travel: Birders travelling away from the coast in Mozambique need to be largely self-sufficient in terms of camping equipment, water and extra fuel, and preferably travel in convoys of more than one vehicle, ideally including at least one four-wheel-drive. Also ensure that you are properly equipped with long tow-ropes, spades, an axe for clearing fallen trees (more common than one might imagine), and preferably mud channels and high-lift jack during the wet season.

Car Hire: The bus is about the best means of getting around Mozambique. There are buses running between major towns usually once a day at least. There are three main private companies and each has express lines (which means less slow, not particularly quick). Where the roads are well maintained, this is a good way to go. Where the roads are in rough shape (and that includes nearly all rural areas), you'll probably have to use converted passenger trucks called chapa-cems (short for 'tin one-hundreds' and usually just called chapas) to get around.

Currency: It is possible to change currency at the borders however you should beware of tricksters who will quote a value but give you less currency than promised. We found that at the Forbes Border Post at Mutare, it was necessary to count the currency carefully and reject it if it was an incorrect amount. 

Safety

WARNING Mozambique is now much safer than in the past as long as simple precautions such as not driving at night nor camping near cities are adhered to. Please do not drive on old tracks or go walking near possibly mined railway lines or abandoned buildings, as landmines remain a concern, although it is possible to enquire locally (Portuguese is essential and a phrase book is recommended) as to which areas are well-established to be safe.

Guidebooks, travel companies and websites provide much of the advice one needs, but key points warrant repetition here: (1) be aware of the risk of malaria and seek current advice, sleep in a sealed tent or under a net and take prophylaxis as recommended; (2) always ensure you have sufficient water and some method of purification (even if this comprises a pot and a campfire for boiling); (3) do not underestimate the danger of being in the sun for too long, ensure you use sun-block, drink plenty of water and wear a hat; (4) be aware of the risk of AIDS; (5) ensure that you take a reasonably-equipped first-aid pack with you including supplies of hypodermic and suturing needles. See the following 2 websites for the latest safety and travel information: US Travel and UK FCO.

Hotspots

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Mount_Namuli_Mozambique

Mozambique Mount Namuli

Image Credit: 
Claire Spottiswoode

The following extracts are taken from "Southern African Birdfinder: where to find 1,400 birds in the southern third of Africa and Madagascar" by Callan Cohen, Claire Spottiswoode and Jonathan Rossouw, released by Struik Publishers in 2006. 

Inhaca island This beach and mangrove-fringed island, an hour's boat ride across Maputo Bay, is the site of some the world's most southerly coral reefs and offers good birding in its mangroves, freshwater swamps, mudflats and dune forest. Most notably, a selection of key tropical coast species are reliably found here. Specials: Osprey Pandion haliaetus, Sooty Falcon Falco concolor, Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii, Yellowbill Ceuthmocares aereus, Mangrove Kingfisher Halcyon senegaloides, Eastern Olive Sunbird Cyanomitra olivacea.

Panda is a town a short way inland from the southern Mozambique coast, close to a relict and dwindling patch of miombo woodland, which is presently the only site south of the Zambezi for a localised miombo specialist, the Olive-headed Weaver Ploceus olivaceiceps. Since Clancey first reported their presence here in the early 1960s, none were seen until they were rediscovered by Vincent Parker during the course of fieldwork for the Mozambique Atlas Project in 1996. A population of 100 breeding pairs is estimated to occur in the Panda woodlands, as well as a good selection of other miombo and thicket species. Specials: Mascarene Martin Phedina borbonica, Southern Hyliota Hyliota australis, Red-faced Crombec Sylvietta whytii, Neergaard's Sunbird Cinnyris neergaardi, Olive-headed Weaver Ploceus olivaceiceps, Black-eared Seedeater Serinus mennelli.

Vilankulo and the Bazaruto Archipelago Vilankulo is a village on the mainland coast opposite the famously beautiful Bazaruto archipelago, and offers good coastal and wetland birding in addition to providing a base for pelagic trips. The smaller and less touristy village of Inhassouro, 50 km north along the coast, is quieter and more picturesque than Vilankulo, and also worth a visit. Specials: Crab-plover Dromas ardeola, Madagascar Bee-eater Merops superciliosus, Mascarene Martin Phedina borbonica Lemon-breasted Canary Serinus citrinipectus.

Save Woodlands The roadside mixed woodland along the EN1 north and especially south of the Save River is magnificent and provides great coastal woodland and thicket birding. It is worth stopping and birding anywhere between Vilankulo and Inchope, but one site particularly worth investigating is Save Pan. To reach it, turn off to the south-west onto a small track 13 km south of the Save River bridge (GPS 21º12.45's, 34º40.17'E), and continue for 1.5 km along this track to the edge of a picturesque pan which can at times be largely obscured by reeds. Madagascar Pond Heron Ardeola idae has been seen here in winter in addition to the commoner Rufous-bellied Heron A. rufiventris, African Pygmy Goose Nettapus auritus and Lesser Jacana Microparra capensis. The woodland between the pan and the tar road provides Yellowbill Ceuthmocares aereus, Narina Trogon Apaloderma narina, Mangrove Kingfisher Halcyon senegaloides, Western Nicator Nicator chloris, Eastern Bearded Scrub-Robin Cercotrichas quadrivirgata, Green-capped Eremomela Eremomela scotops, Red-faced Crombec Sylvietta whytti, Pale Batis Batis soror, Livingstone's Flycatcher Erythrocercus livingstonei, Gorgeous Bush-Shrike Telophorus viridis, Plain-backed Anthreptes reichenowi, Neergaard's Cinnyris neergaardi and Purple-banded Sunbird C. bifasciatus. Grey-headed Parrots Poicephalus (robustus) suahelicus overfly shrilly at dawn and dusk. Both Chestnut-fronted Prionops scopifrons and Red-billed Helmet-Shrikes P. caniceps occur commonly, and hence also Thick-billed Cuckoo Pachycoccyx audeberti, the latter's brood parasite. African Cuckoo Hawk Aviceda cuculoides and Dickinson's Kestrel Falco dickinsoni are unusually plentiful between Vilankulo and Inchope; while driving also keep an eye open for Racket-tailed Roller Coracias spatulatus.

Mount Gorongosa is an extensively forested, 1,863 m massif which rises abruptly from the plains of central Mozambique, and is legendary as the only site south of the Zambezi for Green-headed Oriole Oriolus chlorocephalus (the distinctive sub-species is endemic). The rough drive and hike to the montane forest is also rewarded by great scenery and numerous other montane forest and tropical lowland specials. This tried-and-tested yet tiring undertaking requires about two-three days from the main Beira road and back, a capable vehicle and reasonable level of fitness. Specials: Pallid Honeyguide Indicator meliphilus, Green-headed Oriole Oriolus chlorocephalus, Swynnerton's Robin Swynnertonia swynnertoni, Chirinda Apalis Apalis chirindensis, African Moustached Warbler Melocichla mentalis, a subspecies of Marsh Tchagra Tchagra minuta anchietae considered by some authorities to be a sull species Anchieta's Tchagra Tchagra anchietae, Magpie Mannikin Spermestes fringilloides, Lesser Seedcracker Pyrenestes minor.

Rio Savanne The floodplains associated with the mouth of the Savane river, a mere hour's drive north of Beira, have produced very exciting birding over the last few years. This area also boasts a well-organised resort where secure camping and accommodation are available. Specials: African Blue Quail Coturnix adansonii, Lesser Black-winged Lapwing Vanellus lugubris, Mangrove Kingfisher Halcyon senegaloides, Short-tailed Pipit Anthus brachyurus, Locust Finch Paludipasser locustella.

Chinizuia Forest 'Chinizuia', an area of woodland along a small track from Muanza to the Chinizuia River, provides some of the best lowland miombo and forest birding in southern Africa. Here a host of lowland forest specials may be seen along a 2 km stretch of track through riverine forest. However, this area is under intense threat from loggers (previously excellent forests further south, in the vicinity of Dondo, have already been virtually destroyed) and its days are probably numbered. Specials: Southern Banded Snake Eagle Circaetus fasciolatus, Crested Francolin Francolinus sephaena rovuma, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo Cercococcyx montanus, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill Bycanistes brevis, African Broadbill Smithornis capensis, African Pitta Pitta angolensis, Reichenow's Campethera scriptoricauda and Green-backed Woodpeckers C. caillautii, Mascarene Martin Phedina borbonica, Tiny Greenbul Phyllastrephus debilis, White-chested Alethe Alethe fuelleborni, East Coast Akalat Sheppardia gunningi, Yellow-bellied Hyliota Hyliota flavigaster, Chestnut-fronted Helmet-Shrike Prionops scopifrons, Plain-backed Sunbird Anthreptes reichenowi and Lesser Seedcracker Pyrenestes minor.

Mount Namuli The Namuli Massif is undoubtedly the most scenically spectacular and biologically exciting locality in Mozambique. It is a vast and rugged massif, capped by the sheer, 500 m high granite dome of Monte Namuli (at 2,412 m the second highest peak in Mozambique) and supporting several substantial patches of montane forest and beautiful montane grassland, punctuated by tree ferns and orchids. Though the scenic beauty of the massif cannot be overstated, for birders perhaps its star attraction is a species occurring nowhere else in the world, the attractive and locally common Namuli Apalis Apalis lynesi (but note that it is shown on the ABC checklist as a subspecies of Bar-throated Apalis Apalis thoracica lynesi), as well as Dappled Mountain-Robin Arcanator orostruthus and Cholo Alethe Alethe choloensis, that respectively occur otherwise only in the Udzungwas of Tanzania and a few forest fragments in southern Malawi. Specials: Bar-tailed Trogon Apaloderma narina, Green Barbet Stactolaema olivacea, Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica, Dappled Mountain-Robin Arcanator orostruthus, Cholo Alethe Alethe choloensis, Olive-flanked Robin-Chat Cossypha anomala, Namuli Apalis Apalis (thoracica) lynesi, Evergreen-Forest Warbler Bradypterus lopezi, Eastern Double-collared Sunbird Cinnyris mediocris, Bertram's Weaver Ploceus bertrandi.

Njesi Plateau The Njesi Plateau, also known as Serra Jeci on some modern maps, is a low (1,600 m), rambling and patchily forested plateau north of Lichinga, the capital of remote Niassa Province. Though topographically less spectacular than the Namuli Massif, Serra Jeci is ornithologically nearly as exciting, being the only site outside of Tanzania where African Tailorbird Orthotomus metopias and especially the critically endangered Long-billed Tailorbird O. moreaui occur. Collected here in 1945, the tailorbirds remained ignored until a 2001 expedition revisited the massif. An expedition to Serra Jeci should not be taken lightly, but is almost guaranteed to turn up many exciting finds. Specials: Stierling's Woodpecker Dendropicos stierlingi, Orange Ground-Thrush Zoothera gurneyi, African Orthotomus metopias and Long-billed Tailorbirds O. moreaui, Evergreen-Forest Warbler Bradypterus lopezi, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher Eliminia albicauda, Olive-headed Ploceus olivaceiceps and Bertram's Weavers P.bertrandi.

Species

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Country checklist and status

You can download and print a checklist for Mozambique.

The birdlife of Mozambique is poorly known and as yet, there is no definitive checklist for the country. Approximately 690 bird species have been recorded in Mozambique, with 8 of the 10 families endemic to the African continent being represented and only one endemic species, the *Namuli Apalis Apalis (thoracica) lynesi, being restricted to the region. More than 530 species breed within the country.

The Mozambique Bird Atlas Project was started in December 1994 and covered the southern areas of the country between the Sabe River and the KwaZulu Natal border in South Africa for the first three years. Subsequently, the survey has concentrated on the northern part of the country. Records can be sent to Vincent Parker - see contact section for address. Bird Numbers 5:15-16 December 1995 and ABC Bulletins 3:2 75-76, 4:1 10, 6:2 86.

Endemic species

*Namuli Apalis Apalis (thoracica) lynesi

* Although some authorities raise Namuli Apalis Apalis lynesi to full species level, it is recorded in the African Bird Club checklist as a subspecies of Bar-throated Apalis Apalis (thoracica) lynesi.

Near endemic species (found in 3 countries at most)

Stierling’s Woodpecker Dendropicos stierlingi
Swynnerton’s Robin Swynnertonia swynnertoni
East Coast Akalat Sheppardia gunningi
Brown Scrub-Robin Cercotrichas signata
Cholo Alethe Alethe choloensis
Kretschmer’s Longbill Macrosphenus kretschmeri
Long-billed Tailorbird Orthotomus moreaui
African Tailorbird Orthotomus metopias
Briar Warbler Oreophilais robertsi
White-winged Apalis Apalis chariessa
Chirinda Apalis Apalis chirindensis
Dappled Mountain-Robin Arcanator orostruthus
Uluguru Violet-backed Sunbird Anthreptes neglectus
Neergaard’s Sunbird Cinnyris neergaardi
Southern Tchagra Tchagra tchagra
Zanzibar Bishop Euplectes nigroventris
Lesser Seedcracker Pyrenestes minor
Pink-throated Twinspot Hypargos margaritatus

The following has been raised to full species status by some authorities but is treated as a subspecies by the African Bird Club.

Malawi Batis Batis (capensis) dimorpha

Threatened species

Madagascar Pond Heron Ardeola idae Vulnerable
Slaty Egret Egretta vinaceigula Vulnerable
Cape Vulture Gyps coprotheres Vulnerable
Lappet-faced Vulture Torgos tracheliotus Vulnerable
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni Vulnerable
Corncrake Crex crex Vulnerable
Wattled Crane Bugeranus carunculatus Vulnerable
Blue Swallow Hirundo atrocaerulea Vulnerable
Swynnerton’s Robin Swynnertonia swynnertoni Vulnerable
East Coast Akalat Sheppardia gunningi Vulnerable
Cholo Alethe Alethe choloensis Endangered
Long-billed Tailorbird Orthotomus moreaui Critical
Namuli Apalis Apalis (thoracica) lynesi Vulnerable
White-winged Apalis Apalis chariessa Vulnerable
Dappled Mountain-Robin Arcanator orostruthus Vulnerable

The lists of endemic, near endemic and threatened species have been compiled from a number of sources including the African Bird Club, BirdLife International, and Birds of the World Version 2.0 1994-1996, Dr. Charles Sibley and Thayer Birding Software, Ltd.

Important Bird Areas

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 14:27 -- abc_admin

Two distinct bird communities exist in Mozambique with the boundary between them coinciding more or less with the Zambezi river. North of the Zambezi, birdlife is largely shared with that of East Africa whilst south of the Zambezi, it is characteristic of South Africa.

Four Endemic Bird Areas (EBAs) overlap with Mozambique: South African forests; South-East African coast; Eastern Zimbabwe mountains; and Tanzania-Malawi mountains. The four Mozambican species of the South-East African coast EBA all have more than half of their global populations within Mozambique: Rudd's Apalis Apalis ruddi; Neergaard's Sunbird Cinnyris neergaardi; Pink-throated Twinspot Hypargos margaritatus; and Lemon-breasted Canary Serinus citrinipectus.

Three major biomes meet in Mozambique: Afrotropical Highlands which holds 30 of the 226 restricted range species; East African Coast with 25 of the 36 restricted range species and Zambezian with 26 of the 67 characteristic species.

The long coastline with extensive intertidal flats, major lowland rivers and flood-plains and the abundance of marshes and lakes all make the country important for waterbirds. The coastal habitats provide wintering grounds for large numbers of Palearctic migrants.

There are 15 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) designated by BirdLife International in Mozambique covering approximately 13,890 km2 - see reference (i). One site is fully protected, 5 are partly protected and the remaining 9 are unprotected. The IBAs are as follows:

Maputo Special Reserve
Changelane river gorge
Panda Brachystegia woodlands
Bazaruto archipelago
Pomene
Chimanimani Mountains
Zambezi river delta
Gorongosa Mountain and National Park
Mount Namuli
Mount Chiperone
Moebase region
Furancungo woodlands
Headwaters of the Cahora Bassa Dam
Netia
Njesi plateau

For further details, download the country IBAs from BirdLife International.

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