These are largely unconfirmed records published in recent Bulletins of the African Bird Club for information only.
from ABC Bulletin 26.2
A Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata at Macaneta, near Maputo, on 21 February–20 April, was the second record (third individual) for Mozambique (Fig. 30; GA et al.); the bird was at the same site where the first two individuals for the African continent stayed in February–April 2018 (cf. Bull. ABC 25: 240–241). Also there were up to two Pectoral Sandpipers C. melanotos on 23 January–23 March (EM, GA et al.), a Great Snipe Gallinago media on 21 March (Fig. 31; GA) and a pair of Long-toed Lapwings Vanellus crassirostris in late March (SO et al.). Two European Storm-petrels Hydrobates pelagicus were seen on a pelagic trip from Maputo on 31 March (GA & OH). Two African Crakes Crex egregia were reported from Sabie Game Park, on the South African border, on 3 February (GA).
An unidentified tropicbird Phaethon sp., thought to probably be a Red-tailed Tropicbird P. rubricauda, was seen at Tofo on 12 March (GA). Around Vilanculos, large numbers of Greater Fregata minor and Lesser Frigatebirds F. ariel were observed in mid March, at the time of Cyclone Idai, with 35 of both species combined over the San Sebastian Peninsula on 14th and 52 there on 15th (with at least another 20 over Vilanculos town); on 16th just two remained (DGi). Approximately 300 Crabplovers Dromas ardeola, c.40% of them immatures, were seen on the San Sebastian Peninsula on 16–17 March (DGi & CR), with a single immature at the Inhambane estuary on 8 April (GR). Seven Eurasian Oystercatchers Haematopus ostralegus were on Magaruque Island, near Vilanculos, on 5 January, four on the San Sebastian Peninsula on 9 January (DGi), and one in Maputo Bay on 9 June (GA). Up to eight birds showing characters of Steppe Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus alboaxillaris were seen at Inhambane 11–12 March (GA & GR).
Two Lesser Black-backed Gulls Larus fuscus fuscus (Baltic Gull) were in Maputo Bay: a third-calendar-year until 6 January and a secondcalendar-year on 10 January–26 March (Fig. 32). Also there, on 17 February, was what appeared to be a Hartlaub’s Gull Chroicocephalus hartlaubii, which would constitute just the second record for the country (Fig. 33; GA). A Gullbilled Tern Gelochelidon nilotica flew downriver at Macaneta on 6 January (GA). A Black-rumped Buttonquail Turnix nanus was seen in Maputo Special Reserve on 8 April (OH).
A European Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus was observed 15 km north of Maputo on 3 February (per TH). At Macaneta, a Mascarene Martin Phedina borbonica was found on 18–19 May (Fig. 34; GA), with a Pearl-breasted Swallow Hirundo dimidiata (possibly the first confirmed record for the country) and a White-throated Swallow H. albigularis (only c.3 previously documented records) on 19th (OH); on 22 May an adult and an immature White-throated Swallow were present (GA). Single Basra Reed Warblers Acrocephalus griseldis were reported north of Gorongosa National Park on 17 February and at the bridge over the Zambezi River at Caia on 27 February (per TH). A singing Fawn-coloured Lark Calendulauda africanoides was found at Licuati Forest Reserve on 5 January, south of its known range (GA & OH).
from ABC Bulletin 26.1
Brief surveys of Mounts Socone and Lico, situated close to each other and between Mounts Namuli and Mabu in north-west Mozambique in May 2018, discovered East Coast Akalat Sheppardia gunningi in forest on Mount Socone (Fig. 23), a new locality for this Near Threatened species. Recordings were made at the same site of an apalis consistent with the thoracica group; although the singing bird was not seen, the location suggests it was probably Namuli Apalis Apalis lynesi, and a warbler with a bright yellow belly seen briefly was suspected to be this species. If confirmed, Mount Socone would become only the third known locality for this Near Threatened species. Other species observed at the edge their range, or just beyond it, as mapped in the standard literature, included Red-chested Flufftail Sarothrura rufa, Little Rush Warbler Bradypterus baboecala, Yellow Weaver Ploceus subaureus and Lesser Seedcracker Pyrenestes minor—all at a wetland near the base of Mount Lico—and African Black Swift Apus barbatus—flocks of >100 displaying together around Mount Lico suggested they nested there (LF & THo). In the period July–December 2018 the following were reported.
A Great (Eurasian) Bittern Botaurus stellaris was at the Chakane wetlands, south of Panda, on 21 July; although the species is known from the area in summer, a winter record is quite unusual. A Malagasy Pond Heron Ardeola idae was in Gorongosa National Park on 1 August; the species was rarely observed in recent winters. Greater Frigatebirds Fregata minor were seen at Vilanculos on 6 August (one), at Barra (one) and Coconut Bay (two) on 15 August, and off the San Sebastian Peninsula on 19 September (one). An adult female Lesser Frigatebird F. ariel was at Barra on 17 August and an immature along the beach at Rolieze Lodge, in Macaneta, on 4 December. A large group of frigatebirds Fregata sp. flew over Barra, with a another four at Casa de Cocos, on 8 September.
A Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus of the nominate race (‘Baltic Gull’) was in Maputo on 31 December. A group of up to 15 Crab-plovers Dromas ardeola were near Vilanculos in November, with c.80 off the San Sebastian Peninsula in late December. A group of 15 Chestnut-banded Plovers Charadrius pallidus also there on 11 August was noteworthy. Two Eurasian Oystercatchers Haematopus ostralegus were near Vilanculos on 11 November; one was on Benguerra Island on 28 November. The fourth Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos for Mozambique was at Macaneta on 10–11 and 21 November, with southern Africa’s 28th White-rumped Sandpiper C. fuscicollis also there from 22 September until 19 October. Two Gull-billed Terns Gelochelidon nilotica were on the San Sebastian Peninsula on 12 August.
An adult Damara Tern Sternula balaenarum at the same site in late September would be the first for Mozambique if accepted. Two Arctic Terns Sterna paradisaea and one Roseate Tern S. dougallii were seen at sea north of Inhaca Island on 18 October, with a juvenile Sooty Tern Onychoprion fuscatus also there on 24 November. A Corn Crake Crex crex at Macaneta on 8 December and a male Pennantwinged Nightjar Caprimulgus vexillarius in Maputo Arboretum on 9 December were surprising records. An African Hobby Falco cuvierii flew over Maputo on 9 December (Fig. 24), with two on 11 December. Southern Africa’s 22nd Whinchat Saxicola rubetra was found south of Muanza along the road to Dondo on 11 November. A Common Whitethroat Sylvia communis was observed at Chimanimani National Reserve on 29 November (Fig. 25) and a Basra Reed Warbler Acrocephalus griseldis near Chembe on 9 December (per GA & TH).
from ABC Bulletin 25.1
In the period July–December 2017, two species that are apparently new to the country were reported: a juvenile Ruppell’s Vulture Gyps rueppelli, photographed by a camera trap in Gorongosa National Park on 15 November and an immature Hartlaub’s Gull Chroicocephalus hartlaubii observed in Maputo docks on 26 December (Fig. 22). Species observed in the waters c.70 km north-east of Bazaruto Island on 21–22 October included a Great Frigatebird Fregata minor and several Sooty Terns Onychoprion fuscatus, whilst a Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe landed on the boat on 21st. Another pelagic, travelling south through the Mozambique Channel, on 11 November produced >500 Sooty Terns, c.30 Great Frigatebirds surrounding a trawler and a Jouanin’s Petrel Bulweria fallax between Beira and Punta da Barra; the latter is extremely rare in the subregion. Twelve Arctic Terns Sterna paradisaea were seen at sea north of Inhaca Island, off Maputo, on 24 July. A Tropical Shearwater Puffinus bailloni was found on the beach at Zimilene near Xai Xai on 16 July and an Antarctic Prion Pachyptila desolata on a beach on the Machangulo Peninsula, in the south of the country, on 31 July. A Soft-plumaged Petrel Pterodroma mollis was found moribund at Tofo on 13 September. A juvenile Lesser Frigatebird Fregata ariel was observed in Maputo Bay on 15 October and again on 19–22 November. At least two Great Frigatebirds were at Catembe, in Maputo Bay, on 21 November. An out-of-range Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris was seen at Inhambane on 26 December. A Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica seen at a bridge on the EN4 just outside Maputo on 28 November is the sixth record for southern Mozambique.
An adult and an immature Crab-plover Dromas ardeola were at Inhasorro on 9 December. In Gorongosa National Park, two Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa were observed along the Sungue River on 24 November— possibly just the second confirmed record for the country—and a Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus on 5–12 December. Three birds showing the features of Steppe Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus alboaxillaris were photographed at Inhambane on 3 August—apparently the only records from southern Africa from the period. A European Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus was at Coutada 12 and a Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus at Macaneta on 12 December.
A male Northern Wheatear stayed in Gorongosa National Park on 12–30 July. A Spotted Ground Thrush Geokichla guttata, discovered at Dunes de Dovela Lodge, near Inharrime, Inhambane Province, on 7 June remained until 8 August at least. Black-headed Apalis Apalis melanocephala is now resident at the latter site; this represents a southward range extension. A pair of Cutthroat Finches Amadina fasciata was found in the gardens of Cardoso Hotel in Maputo on 9 December—a noteworthy record for the south of the country (per TH, GA & MMa)
from ABC Bulletin 24.2
In January–June 2017 the following were reported. The first Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos for Mozambique was discovered in Maputo on 14 January; full details will be published in this journal (GA). Pelagic trips from Tofo produced a Greater Frigatebird Fregata minor and a few Sooty Terns Onychoprion fuscatus on 1 March and the 22nd White-faced Storm-petrel Pelagodroma marina for southern Africa on 28 March. A least eight Sooty Terns were present in Maputo Bay on 16 February. In the aftermath of tropical storm Dineo, >60 frigatebirds were observed at Tofo on 17 February, most of them Greater Frigatebirds, with at least one male Lesser Frigatebird F. ariel, whilst a single Greater Frigatebird was reported from Portuguese Island the next day. A Red-footed Booby Sula sula was seen from the shore at Tofo on 28 February, with a probable Brown Booby S. leucogaster also there on 27 and 29 March. Four African Oystercatchers Haematopus moquini at Pomene in the first week of May were well out of range.
An African Skimmer Rynchops flavirostris was roosting with terns at Bilene on 17 June. Two European Honey Buzzards Pernis apivorus flew over Ponte Mamoli, in the south, on 3 January. Three Basra Reed Warblers Acrocephalus griseldis on Maputo Golf Course on 12 March represent a very southerly record. A Spotted Ground Thrush Geokichla guttata was located at Dunes de Dovela, Inhambane Province, on 7 June; this is a very rare species in the country, although it is suspected to occur more or less regularly in Maputo Special Reserve (per TH).
from ABC Bulletin 24.1
In August–December 2016 the following were reported. A pelagic trip off the Barra Peninsula on 29 August yielded four Great Frigatebirds Fregata minor and up to 40 Sooty Terns Onychoprion fuscatus, with the highlight being a White-faced Storm-petrel Pelagodroma marina, only the 21st to be recorded in southern Africa. A cruise in the Mozambique Channel in mid November produced several interesting sightings, including three Great Frigatebirds, three Red-footed Boobies Sula sula, many Sooty Terns, a small group of Brown Noddies Anous stolidus, a Tropical Shearwater Puffinus bailloni and two distant tropicbirds Phaethon sp. Single Great Frigatebirds were reported at Inhambane on 9 September and 23 October, and a Lesser Frigatebird Fregata ariel at the San Sebastian Peninsula on 7 December. A rather surprising find was that of an African Penguin Spheniscus demersus on the beach in front of Inhaca Island in early December; unfortunately, the bird was injured and subsequently died. A flock of 36 Crab-plovers Dromas ardeola was present on the San Sebastian Peninsula on 4 December, whilst a single Crabplover and a Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva were at the Rio Maria estuary on 10th. Two Green Sandpipers Tringa ochropus were noted at Coutada 11 on 6 December. An immature Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus of the nominate race was observed in central Maputo on 6 November. European Honey Buzzards Pernis apivorus were reported from Mount Sanga on 19 November; Gorongosa Camp on 25 November; Triunfo, Maputo, on 28 November (two); Unguana on 4 December; Coutada 11 on 7 December (two); the Zambezi River at Sena on 11 December; and Mungari Camp in Coutada 11 on 12 December.
Southern Africa’s second Grasshopper Buzzard Butastur rufipennis was discovered on the floodplain at Coutada 11 near Mungari Camp on 9 December. A Black Saw-wing Psalidoprocne pristoptera of the race orientalis, sometimes treated as a separate species, Eastern Saw-wing, was identified in Maputo on 5 November, well south of its normal range. Two out-of-range Red-billed Oxpeckers Buphagus erythrorhynchus were located on the San Sebastian Peninsula on 4 December (per TH & GA). Noteworthy records from surveys conducted as part of a biological assessment of Mount Sanga, Mount Chitagal and the Njesi Plateau, Niassa Province, on 5–23 November, included two species new to Mozambique, both found on Mount Chitagal: Dark Batis Batis crypta and Rwenzori Nightjar Caprimulgus rwenzorii guttifer (sometimes split as Usambara Nightjar).
Long-billed Tailorbirds Artisornis moreaui were common on all three mountains (representing extensions to their known range; Fig. 22), with African Tailorbirds A. metopias also common on Mount Chitagal and the Njesi Plateau (but absent from Mount Sanga). Records of Dapple-throat Arcanator orostruthus (Mount Chitagal; Fig. 23) and Vincent’s Bunting Emberiza (capensis) vincenti (Mount Chitagal and Mount Sanga; Fig. 24) represent important range extensions for these taxa, whereas minor range extensions were noted for Green Twinspot Mandingoa nitidula, Mountain Bulbul Arizelocichla nigriceps and Southern Citril Crithagra hyposticta. Several sightings of Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla on the Njesi Plateau represent the third record for Mozambique. Bertram’s Weaver Ploceus bertrandi was also recorded (SJ & GJ per GA).
Also in Niassa Province were the third Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina for Mozambique (Fig. 25) and Vincent’s Bunting at Mount Mariti, a minor range extension. Of note were Taita Falcons Falco fasciinucha in Niassa Reserve and on Mount Mbatamila, south-west of Mecula (Fig. 26) (CSp). Concerted searches for Steppe Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus alboaxillaris resulted in sightings of possibly up to seven individuals exhibiting the characters of this form in Inhambane Bay, plus at least one in Maputo Bay, in the period August–October (for a full account of the discovery of this taxon in Mozambique, see pp. 26–37) (GA, GR, NP, MBy, MW).
from ABC Bulletin 23.2
In December 2015–June 2016 the following were reported. The most interesting record from the period was the discovery of two Whimbrels Numenius phaeopus of the distinctive subspecies alboaxillaris, Steppe Whimbrel, in Maputo Bay, on 10–12 February, which were tentatively sexed as male and female; the female remained in the area until 28 February and the male until 24 March. This is the first record in Africa of this taxon since 1965; full details will be published in a future Bull. ABC (GA). A cruise through the Mozambique Channel from Durban in early February, produced four Red-footed Boobies Sula sula, a Barau’s Petrel Pterodroma baraui, a Brown Noddy Anous stolidus and hundreds of Sooty Terns Onychoprion fuscatus. A Brown Noddy was seen on Inhaca Island, near Maputo, on 11 December. An immature Lesser Frigatebird Fregata ariel flew along the Maputo coastline on 20–21 February (per TH) and 12 June (Fig. 18; AW). Four Greater Frigatebirds F. minor were seen 12 km off Ponto da Barra on 18 June (Fig. 19; GA). On the Bazaruto archipelago, a large flock of c.90 Crab-plovers Dromas ardeola and two Eurasian Oystercatchers Haematopus ostralegus were on the São Sebastião Peninsula on 11 April. At least one Crab-plover was present at Pomene on 17 April and two Eurasian Oystercatchers in Maputo Bay on 16 May. No fewer than three Lesser Black-backed Gulls Larus fuscus were found together in Maputo Bay on 16 January, all of them thought to be of the nominate race (Baltic Gull, Fig. 20; GA); one was also there on 21 February, and 12 and 14 June (per TH). Around mid January, the area north-west of Inhassoro produced some noteworthy species, including Striped Crake Amaurornis marginalis, Dwarf Bittern Ixobrychus sturmii, Lesser Moorhen Gallinula angulata, Ayres’s Eagle Hieraaetus ayresii, Thrush Nightingale Luscinia luscinia and Broad-tailed Paradise Whydah Vidua obtusa (possibly the first record south of the Save River). A Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo Cercococcyx montanus was calling regularly 4 km west of the EN1 between Vilanculos and Inhassoro on 27 January, rather far south for this species. European Honey Buzzards Pernis apivorus were noted near Unguana on 11 January (two), north-west of Inhassoro on 20 January (two) and in the Inhassoro area in late January (up to four). A Basra Reed Warbler Acrocephalus griseldis was discovered along the Pungwe River near Chitengo Camp, in Gorongosa National Park, on 4 April. The Whinchat Saxicola rubetra and female Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla, found on Mount Gorongosa on 29 November 2015, were still present until at least late December. A Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea was located at the Grown Energy farm at Sena on 12 December and a Cinnamon-breasted Bunting Emberiza tahapisi on the São Sebastião Peninsula near Vilanculous on 21 December (per TH).
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.