Working for birds in Africa


Wed, 06/02/2013 - 15:28 -- abc_admin

St Helena is so far off the main migration routes that vagrants are very scarce. The island is, however, very much under-watched and much is undoubtedly missed. October to early December tends to be the best period for accidentals.

A European White Stork Ciconia ciconia was photographed at Sisters Walk, on 2 October 2007; this species is a very rare accidental visitor to the island.

Sightings during the period 1998 to 2002 include Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis, Grey Heron Ardea cinerea, White Stork Ciconia ciconia, Allen’s Gallinule Porphyrio alleni, Sanderling Calidris alba, Red Knot C. canutus and White-rumped Sandpiper C. fuscicollis.

Star rarities during the past 20 years include Murphy’s Petrel Pterodroma ultima, Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio and Amur Falcon Falco amurensis.

A full list of vagrants to 2002 is given below.

Wandering Albatross

Diomedea exulans

Giant Petrel

Macronectes giganteus or halli
Southern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialoides
Pintado Petrel Daption capense
Murphy’s Petrel Pterodroma ultima
Broad-billed Prion Pachyptila vittata
Cory’s Shearwater Calonectris diomedea

Sooty Shearwater

Puffinus griseus
Audubon’s Shearwater Puffinus lherminieri
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea

European White Stork

Ciconia ciconia
Amur Falcon Falco amurensis
Spotted Crake Porzana porzana
Allen’s Gallinule Porphyrio alleni
American Purple Gallinule Porphyrio martinica
Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio
American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola
Blacksmith Lapwing Vanellus armatus
Red Knot Calidris canutus
Sanderling Calidris alba
White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis
Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos
Ruff Philomachus pugnax
Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
Yellow-billed Sheathbill Chionis albus*
Long-tailed Skua Stercorarius longicaudus
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica

* probably arrived on board ship

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