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Wed, 02/06/2013 - 15:50 -- abc_admin

The following largely unconfirmed records have been published in recent Bulletins of the African Bird Club for information only.

from ABC Bulletin 23.1

Mottled Spinetail Telacanthura ussheri was recorded on Pemba Island on 8 September 2015 and Yellow-vented Eremomela Eremomela flavicrissalis at Ndutu Lodge, in Ngorongoro Conservation Area, on 3 October.

from ABC Bulletin 20.1

An Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana was observed at Seronera Lodge, in the Serengeti, in October 2012; this is the first record for Tanzania. During a trip in October 2012 almost all of the Eastern Arc endemics were observed, among which the trickiest probably include Udzungwa Forest Partridge Xenoperdix udzungwensis (seven individuals seen on three out of four days in the Luala Valley on 18th–21st), Usambara Eagle Owl Bubo vosseleri (one seen well at Amani on 11th), Usambara Hyliota Hyliota usambarae (a pair foraging in the treetops below Amani on 12th) and Uluguru Bushshrike Malaconotus alius (one observed in the Ulugurus on 25th).

from ABC Bulletin 19.2

The following reports are from August 2011 - March 2012. A Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus was photographed in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area on 22 February; there are fewer than ten certain records for Tanzania. An immature Ayres’s Hawk Eagle Hieraaetus ayresii was seen c.15 km beyond Lake Manyara towards Arusha on 29 February. At least five Western Banded Snake Eagles Circaetus cinerascens were observed along the Nguya River in December - March; two performed undulating display flights together in March. Also there, two pairs of Crowned Eagles Stephanoaetus coronatus, each with a single juvenile, were observed at their nests, which were 3 km distant from each other, in August - March; there appear to be few records for these two raptors in western Tanzania. An immature Levant Sparrowhawk Accipiter brevipes was photographed in the Ngorongoro crater on 22 November. A perched Barbary Falcon Falco pelegrinoides was observed in the Seronera area of Serengeti National Park (=NP) on 21 February; there are only three records for the country to date, but the species may be more frequent than the literature suggests. A juvenile Lesser Moorhen Gallinula angulata was seen at Speke Bay on 20 February; the species is rather uncommon in the north and there is only one previous record from this site. A Lesser Jacana Microparra capensis was on Lake Longil, Arusha NP, on 18 February; there are only three previous records from the park. Thirty Black-winged Pratincoles Glareola nordmanni flew north over Speke Bay Lodge, Lake Victoria, on 26 February. No fewer than 25 Red-necked Phalaropes Phalaropus lobatus were counted at Saadani Salt Works on 30 January, with 28 at Bagamoyo on 5 February; there are only six previous records for Tanzania. Two Slender-billed Gulls Larus genei photographed at Lake Eyasi on 20 February represent the fourth record for Tanzania. A pair of Rufous-crowned Rollers Coracias naevius was displaying near Seronera Lodge, Serengeti NP, on 21 - 22 February; there are very few breeding-season records. Sharpe’s Starling Pholia sharpii was singing, displaying and nest-building in the Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge grounds on 25 - 27 February.

from ABC Bulletin 18.2

Records from February 2011 include the following. Of most interest were at least 23 Little Terns Sterna albifrons at Speke’s Bay, Lake Victoria, on 9 - 10th, an unprecedented number at this site. Apparently Little and Saunders’s Terns S. saundersi in non-breeding plumage cannot be reliably separated, but a summer-plumaged individual was identified as a Little Tern. An African Cuckoo Hawk Aviceda cuculoides was near the entrance to Arusha National Park on 7th and a pair of Egyptian Vultures Neophron percnopterus at Olduvai Gorge Museum on 15th. At Speke’s Bay, a group of eight Heuglin’s Coursers Rhinoptilus cinctus was seen, whilst five White-fronted Plovers Charadrius marginatus on 10th is a high count. A Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa was in Lake Manyara National Park on 8th. A pair of Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrikes Campephaga quiscalina was at Elephant Caves, Gibbs Farm, on 17th. Four Short-tailed Larks Pseudalaemon fremantlii were in the Serengeti between Seronera and Naabi on 12th and an Olive-tree Warbler Hippolais olivetorum was in the Olduvai Gorge Museum area on 15th.

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What appears to be a juvenile Short-toed Snake Eagle Circaetus gallicus was photographed in Arusha National Park on 1 December 2010. On Lukuba Island, a gull observed on 4 October was claimed to be a Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis. Three Slender-billed Gulls Larus genei photographed at Lake Manyara on 25 September apparently represent the third record for the country. Two White-thighed Hornbills Bycanistes albotibialis were seen in Minziro Forest on 29 May.

A Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla was photographed in Arusha National Park on 11 January 2010; this is apparently the first for the country and it may well constitute the southernmost record for this species in Africa.

A visit to the East Usambara Mountains in early January 2009 produced records of several localized species such as Spot-throat Modulatrix stictigula, Green-headed Oriole Oriolus chlorocephalus and the endemic race usambaricus of Eastern Double-collared Sunbird Cinnyris mediocris, which is sometimes recognised as a separate species ‘Usambara Double-collared Sunbird’. On 30 January, two pairs of Spike-heeled Larks Chersomanes albofasciata of the isolated race beesleyi sometimes treated as a separate species ‘Beesley’s Lark’, were seen at Angyata Osugat, north of Arusha. To the south, a Bearded Vulture Gypaetus barbatus was seen soaring over the lower slopes of Mt Meru. The first Black Tern Chlidonias niger for Tanzania was photographed in a large mixed tern flock with Lesser Crested Terns Sterna bengalensis, Roseate Terns S. dougallii and Saunders’s Terns S. saundersi on the small Mazive Island, Pangani, on 21 March 2009.

A small tern, seen in flight and at rest in the company of Chlidonias terns and Gull-billed Terns Sterna nilotica at Speke’s Bay lodge, Lake Victoria, on 26 February 2008, was either a Little Tern S. albifrons or Saunders’s Tern S. saundersi; both species are rarely observed inland. Two Grey Wagtails Motacilla cinerea were observed at a pool near Ngorongoro Crater Sopa Lodge on 4 March; this Palearctic migrant is generally uncommon in Tanzania.

There were several reports of European Bee-eaters Merops apiaster in early September, with the first from Ruaha National Park (07°30’S) on 6th, over Singida (04°45’S) on 9th, over Arusha (04°25’S) on 10th and south-east of Bahi Swamp (06°15’S) on 11th; this is some 3–4 weeks earlier than usual.

Records from February - May 2007 include the following. Two Black Storks Ciconia nigra were in the Grumeti area of the Serengeti on 12 February and five in Tarangire NP (=National Park) on 9 March; there has been an increase in observations of wintering birds in the past 15 years. Three Red-necked Falcons Falco chicquera at Lake Ndutu on 16 February were at the edge of the species’ range in Tanzania. An Amur Falcon F. amurensis in the Seronera area of the Serengeti on 14 February is an unusual date. Interesting inland records from Speke’s Bay Lodge, on the south-eastern shore of Lake Victoria, included a group of five White-fronted Plovers Charadrius marginatus on 26 February, two Terek Sandpipers Xenus cinereus on 12 and 27 February, and an adult Common Tern Sterna hirundo in almost full breeding plumage on 12 February. A Long-tailed Skua Stercorarius longicaudus was photographed at Lake Ndutu on 4 May; this is only the second record for the country, the first being of a bird observed off Zanzibar. A juvenile Levaillant’s Cuckoo Clamator levaillantii was being fed by a pair of Arrow-marked Babblers Turdoides jardinei at the entrance to Tarangire NP on 23 February. Single White-throated Bee-eaters Merops albicollis were noted at Olduvai Gorge Museum on 17 February and 4 March. A pair of Grey Penduline Tits Anthoscopus caroli was observed at its nest with young c.4 miles west of Olduvai Gorge Museum on 17 February and 4 March. A single Yellow (African Golden) Weaver Ploceus subaureus was studied closely in Tarangire NP on 8 March; this is a significant extension of its known range and well outside its normal habitat.

An immature male Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus was observed in the Serengeti on 26 June 2005.

Records from March 2006 include the following. At least 200 Black-necked Grebes Podiceps nigricollis were counted on Lakes Ndutu and Masek on 17-18th; the species appears to occur erratically and in response to rain. A Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk Accipiter rufiventris was seen over the Ngorongoro Crater on 11th and a pair over Serena Lodge on 13th; this species appears to be rare in northern Tanzania. Groups of Lesser Kestrels Falco naumanni were observed from Tarangire to the Serengeti, with 250+ in the Seronera River area on 16th. A male Hartlaub’s Bustard Eupodotis hartlaubii was seen in the Serengeti on 16th; there appears to have been a recent influx of this species into the Serengeti and the question is whether this is a new or a previously overlooked phenomenon. Two Bronze-winged (Violet-tipped) Coursers Rhinoptilus chalcopterus were found at Ndutu on 17-18th. Two Black-winged Pratincoles Glareola nordmanni were with a flock of Collared Pratincoles G. pratincola over the lake at the Ngoitokitok picnic site in the Ngorongoro Crater on 11th; this Palearctic migrant is a rare visitor to this part of Tanzania. A Common Sand Martin Riparia riparia was seen at Ndutu on 18th. An Upcher’s Warbler Hippolais languida was identified in Tarangire on 9th. Also there was a Barred Warbler Sylvia nisoria on 8th, with another at Olduvai Gorge on 11th. A Common Whitethroat S. communis and a male Semi-collared Flycatcher Ficedula semitorquata were seen at Naabi Hill, Serengeti, on 3rd.

Records from 2005 include the following. A small drying pond near the Speke Bay Lodge turn-off had a female Striped Crake Aenigmatolimnas marginalis on 4 August. An African Finfoot Podica senegalensis was found on the stream between Kisima Ngeda Camp and Lake Eyasi in August. At least 20 Broad-billed Sandpipers Limicola falcinellus were at the lake in the Ngorongoro crater on 11-12 July. A juvenile Great Spotted Cuckoo Clamator glandarius begging aggressively for food from its host, a Superb Starling Lamprotornis superbus, was photographed on 10 July along the road from Ndutu Lodge to the main road through the Serengeti.

Exceptionally large concentrations of Thrush Nightingales Luscinia luscinia were reported in parts of southern Tanzania in December 2005-January 2006, as well as large numbers of Grasshopper Buzzards Butastur rufipennis and Irania Irania gutturalis; possibly, the dry conditions further north are the cause of this influx. Kungwe Apalis Apalis argentea was found east of Mahale National Park, western Tanzania, in almost every patch of riverine forest visited; the only two previous records away from Mahale are two specimens collected in the late 1930s. A sighting of Bertram’s Weaver Ploceus bertrandi at Irente Farm, Lushoto, in the West Usambaras, in early September, is a significant record; this montane forest-edge species survives in degraded habitat at low density.

Records from August 2004-March 2005 include the following. An immature Black Stork Ciconia nigra and ten Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope were seen in Lake Manyara NP (=National Park) on 24 November. A possible Levant Sparrowhawk Accipiter brevipes was in Arusha NP on 1 March: this is perhaps the second record for Tanzania. In Serengeti NP, an adult Lesser Spotted Eagle Aquila pomarina was seen on 27 November and a Common Redshank Tringa totanus in Ngorongoro NP next day. A Temminck's Stint Calidris temminckii was at Lake Manyara in March. In January reports were received from four localities of Lesser Noddies Anous tenuirostris along the coast, including a flock of 84 off Saadani NP and a single along the Rufiji River just downstream of Selous Game Reserve on 17th; these are the first records for Tanzania but it has occurred off the Kenyan coast.

In August 2004 hundreds, possibly thousands, of Banded Martins Riparia cincta, were seen over the dry Wembere Steppe east of the river in grassland gradually being flattened by cattle; very little is known concerning the movements and breeding season of this species. During the January 2005 waterbird count of the Usangu flats hundreds of Grey-rumped Swallows Pseudhirundo griseopyga were seen feeding over grassland at the water's edge; if numbers were similar elsewhere along the shoreline of this huge swamp several thousand would have been in the area. More reports have been received of Blue Swallows Hirundo atrocaerulea breeding in association with habitation and in November a pair was found nest-prospecting under a small bridge near Lupembe at only 1,540 m, which is very low for this species. In September 2004 at least 12 Pearl-breasted Swallows H. dimidiata were seen on the Isunkavyola Plateau in Ruaha NP, where a population was discovered in November 2003; there have been only two records in the last 25 years both close to the Malawi and Zambian borders that were presumed nominate cold-season migrants, and it is tempting to speculate that the birds on the Isunkavyola Plateau are of the subspecies marwitzi and resident. Eleven White-throated Swallows H. albigularis were found on the Manonga River, north-central Tanzania, on 20 August 2004; this is a rare cold-season migrant from southern Africa at the northern edge of its wintering range, with only a few previous records in Tanzania. Two Angola Swallows H. angolensis at a bridge on the Mfuji River, in the Kilombero Valley, at only 580 m, in November 2004, were possibly nest-prospecting, and a surprising find as this is essentially a highland species in eastern Tanzania with a population associated with the Eastern Arc Mountains. A large roost of more than 100,000 Barn Swallows H. rustica was found along the Pangani River, in northern Tanzania, in late 2004; in early December another roost was found on the northern edge of Iringa town.

In Serengeti NP, a Cyprus Wheatear Oenanthe cypriaca was identified at Michael Grzimek Way on 27 November. A Shelley's Starling Lamprotornis shelleyi was seen just outside the Mkomasi Game Reserve in March. Records from north of Pingwe, Zanzibar (Unguja), in December 2004 include 30 Common Swifts Apus apus on 6th and two on 9th, two pairs of Chestnut-backed Sparrow Larks Eremopterix leucotis on 6-12th (first record for Zanzibar?), a female Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe on 5-6th, a Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus on 6th, a male Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio on 3rd-14th, with 1–3 immatures on 10-13th and two females on 13th, and two African Golden Orioles Oriolus auratus on 13th.

Records from November 2003 to March 2004 include the following. An adult Saker Falcon Falco cherrug was seen east of Mkumbale, between Mombo and Same, in the north-east on 7 November 2003. A Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis was found in the Ngorongoro Crater in February; despite regular large numbers on Lake Lagarja there are very few records from this site. Three Black Storks Ciconia nigra were seen in Tarangire National Park in February; there has been an increase in sightings during the past decade which mirrors a population increase in eastern Europe. A flock of 15 Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope stayed in the Ngorongoro Crater in February; there are very few records of this Palearctic species in Tanzania. Only eight Maccoa Ducks Oxyura maccoa were counted on the Momella lakes in February; this species appears to be heading for local extinction within the next few years. An immature African Cuckoo Hawk Aviceda cuculoides was observed at Ndarakwai Ranch, West Kilimanjaro, on 21 February, and an adult Palm-nut Vulture Gypohierax angolensis in Arusha National Park on 20 February. A Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk Accipiter rufiventris was in Arusha National Park in February; there are very few records from this well-watched site where this species is presumably resident. Two Lesser Spotted Eagles Aquila pomarina seen in the Serengeti in February is a good record; this species is not common in the west. An adult female Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus was noted at Ndarakwai Ranch, West Kilimanjaro, on 22 February; there are few records of this species in Tanzania. Two pale, streaky quails, that were believed to be Common Quail Coturnix coturnix, were flushed around Manta Reef Lodge, Pemba on 21 November. A Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius was observed in the north in February; Tanzania is the southern limit of its wintering range and sightings from Manyara and Tarangire are most welcome. Two White-fronted Plovers C. marginatus at Ifakara, Kilombero floodplain on 17 November, constitute the first inland record. Ten Spur-winged Lapwings Vanellus spinosus were counted at Manyara in February; this is the first time in many years that a count from this site has reached double figures and this record, together with recent ones from Burungi, indicate that the population continues to grow. A Spur-winged Lapwing at Ifakara, Kilombero floodplain, on 17 November represents the first record for this site. Single Common Redshanks Tringa totanus were reported from Seronera and Manyara in February; these are the southern limits of the wintering range of this Palearctic wader.

A Black-billed Barbet Lybius guifsobalito seen in the Grumeti strip, in western Serengeti National Park, on 23 February constitutes the first record for the park. Also in Grumeti, Yellow-whiskered Greenbul Andropadus latirostris was seen in February; this is only the second record of this presumed resident here. A (possible breeding?) pair of Golden-winged Sunbirds Nectarinia reichenowi was seen in the South Pare Mountains on 28 November. A sub-adult male or adult female Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus was found in the garden of Manta Reef Lodge, Pemba, on 20 November; this is apparently the first record for Tanzania of this species, which normally regularly winters as far south as Baringo, Kenya. Several male Fire-fronted Bishops Euplectes diadematus amongst an unspecified number of non-breeding / female Euplectes were seen at Nyumba ya Mungu reservoir, near Moshi, on 29 November. At least 40 Parasitic Weavers Anomalospiza imberbis were coming down to drink at Ifakara on 17 November. A Reichard's Seedeater Serinus reichardi was seen above Geiro, Ukaguru mountains, on 8 November.

In total, 930 African Skimmers Rynchops flavirostris were counted on Nyumba ya Mungu dam, northern Tanzania, in February 2003 (compared to 863 in January 2001 and 726 in January 1995). House Sparrow Passer domesticus is no longer confined to the coast: males were seen in a village near Lake Manyara and along the road to Arusha in November 2002. Records from Zanzibar, from late November 2002, include the following. Several Variable Sunbirds Cinnyris venustus were present in gardens and scrub in the north-east of the island; this species is not listed in Pakenham's The Birds of Zanzibar and Pemba (1979). House Crow Corvus splendens was abundant and appeared to have replaced Pied Crow C. albus completely, while House Sparrow was present at coastal lodges of the north-east.

A Western Banded Snake Eagle Circaetus cinerascens was seen near Moshi on 13 November 2001; this is a rare bird in eastern Tanzania with a smattering of records near Iringa and singles along the Pangani Valley and near Dar es Salaam. Just a few months after two colonies of Chestnut-backed Sparrow Weavers Plocepasser rufoscapulatus were found in south-west Tanzania, the same observer discovered Black-necked Eremomela Eremomela atricollis in the Kalambo Falls Forest Reserve in the extreme south-west corner of the country.

Two additions to the Tanzanian list include an adult Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus, observed in the Rufiji Delta in December 2000 but only reported recently, and at least two small populations of Chestnut-backed Sparrow Weaver Plocepasser rufoscapulatus, discovered east of Mpanda along the road to Inyonga in July 2001 and found again in September.

An unusually large concentration of 10,000-30,000 European White Storks Ciconia ciconia were seen resting at Lake Ndutu, Serengeti National Park, on 14-15 January 2001; this constitutes c9 per cent of the world population. The pair of Taita Falcons Falco fasciinucha at Naberera were at their nest site from early February to at least mid-July, but absent in mid-September. An adult Baillon's Crake Porzana pusilla at Mungushi, Kilimanjaro, on 20 October 2001, was the second record from this locality. A pair of Wattled Cranes Bugeranus carunculatus was south-west of Sumbawanga, where the species has not been reported for many years, on 25 June 2001. Sightings of Stierling's Woodpecker Dendropicos stierlingi from south-west Tanzania in September confirm records from November 1999; these represent a hitherto unknown population of this globally threatened species.

The first Thrush Nightingale Luscinia luscinia of the season was ringed on 15 October 2001, some two weeks earlier than usual. A Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus was seen at Ndutu Lodge, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, in December 2000; this is a rare species in Tanzania. A pair of Little Rock-Thrush Monticola rufocinereus near the top of the escarpment south of Lake Manyara in July 2000 is well south of other known records. A loose group of 15-20 Banded Sunbirds Anthreptes rubritorques was observed frequenting fruiting trees at 570 m in Udzungwa Mountains National Park, on 25-28 July 2000. This species, which is listed as 'Vulnerable', is found in five areas of forest in eastern Tanzania, but it is only considered common in parts of the Usambaras. A female Pringle's Puffback Dryoscopus pringlii at 04°20'S on 14 July 2000 was the southernmost record for this species to date. A small flock of Sharp-tailed Starlings Lamprotornis acuticaudus in Mlele Game Reserve in July and several individuals in Ugalla Game Reserve in August are the first for Tanzania for many years. The race melanorhynchus of White-browed Sparrow-Weaver Plocepasser mahali continues its southward expansion into northern Tanzania, with new colonies being established as far south as Tarangire National Park and along the Pangani Valley.

A Striped Crake Aenigmatolimnas marginalis reacted to playback of its call at Ruaha National Park, on 11 January 2001. Blue Swallows Hirundo atrocaerulea and Scarlet-tufted Malachite Sunbirds Nectarinia johnstoni were observed at Kifanya, south-east of Njombe, in southern Tanzania, on 8 December 2000; the site is due east of the Livingstone Mountains, where the sunbird has previously been recorded. A pair of Blue Swallows was feeding three young in a nest under the eaves of a building at Maganga Farm, Mufindi District, at the end of December.

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