Clare Keating Daly and Ryan Daly have reported what is possibly one of the most astonishing of all Seychelles bird records: A Franklin's Gull at D' Arros. This small dove-like gull breeds in inland North America, wintering off the Pacific coast of South America south to Chile. There have been many scattered vagrant records but very few from the African region other than scattered reports almost entirely from from countries bordering the Atlantic coast. This is the first report for the Malagasy region and if accepted by SBRC will be the first record for Seychelles. There has been one other Indian Ocean record, an equally surprising report from Marion Island, southeast of South Africa.
Island Conservation Society Ranger Chris Narty has reported several interesting migrant species at Alphonse. A Tree Pipit was seen at the airstrip on 7 March and 15 March, possibly the same bird or possibly two different individuals. The Spotted Flycatcher was noted near the beach while Chris was on a turtle patrol also on 15 March. The same day he found a Barn Swallow at the south end of the airstrip, the bird remaining into the following day.
Tree Pipit and Barn Swallow are annual visitors to Seychelles in small numbers and SBRC automatically accepts reports from reliable observers unless there is something unusual with regard to numbers or time of year. Over 90% of Tree Pipit sightings are in October-December during the peak period for southbound migration from Eurasia. There are far fewer sightings during the time of northbound migration. Barn Swallow is the only land bird to show a significant peak in both southbound and northbound migration.
SBRC has accepted 47 previous records of Spotted Flycatcher. Almost half of all records have been during the month of March. This is the second report from Alphonse.
Dan Richards has reported a female Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe at Alphonse Island on 9 February. The bird was also seen and photographed by Tim Kemple. SBRC has accepted 74 previous records of this species, which is probably an annual visitor in small numbers. Records are still collected because it remains a very rare visitor and there is potential confusion with other vagrant wheatear species. Accepted records include 11 from Alphonse, more than any other locality other tthan Aldabra.
Northern Wheatear records peak later in the season than any other migrant for reasons unknown. It is also unusual in that the majority of sightings are from the outer islands (60 of 74 records) unlike the vast majority of migrant land birds.
Terence Mahoune has reported a Common House Martin Delichon urbica at the pig and cattle farm area, Denis Island on 14 March. The bird was also observed by Anton Walter. SBRC has accepted 22 previous records of this species, mainly from the outer islands. This is the first record from the inner islands at anywhere other than Bird Island (where it has been recorded on 5 occasions).
Terence Mahoune has reported an adult male Northern Wheatear at Denis Island at Belle Etoile coast on 7 March. The bird was also observed by Nischal Gabazu.
SBRC has accepted 74 previous records of this species, including two from Denis. Aldabra has recorded the most sightings with 37 records, exactly 50% of the total.
Clare Keating Daly has reported a Yellow Wagtail at the airstrip, D'Arros. SBRC has accepted 51 previous records of this species. SBRC attempts to assign race to sightings wherever possible and previous records include flava, beema, feldegg and lutea. The blue-grey head, yellow throat and white supercilium of this bird suggests race flava (Blue-headed Wagtail), which breeds across central Europe to the Urals
This is the first record of Yellow Wagtail for D'Arros. The species has been previously recorded in the Amirantes only from Alphonse.
Chris Narty has reported a European Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur near the IDC Guesthouse at Alphonse. SBRC has accepted 10 previous records of this species. The bird was also seen by Ariadna Fernández,
Gordon Holm and Peter Hunger have reported a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper at the baby tortoise pens, Curieuse on 5 February. SBRC has accepted 5 previous records of this species, 3 at Mahe and 2 at Alphonse.
Clare Daly and Ryan Daly have reported a Common Redstart at D'Arros from 30 January to 2 February. SBRC has accepted 18 previous records of this species but all except one of these records (a bird on Alphonse) are from islands further to the east: the granitics, Bird, Denis and Platte.
Returning to the island after a period away, Stef Houben has reported three Garganey at the quarry pond, Frégate on 17 January. Meanwhile, a male Amur Falcon was also present on the island, which might be the same individual first seen on 19 of December or possibly a new visitor. Amur Falcons are annual visitors to Seychelles south as far as Alphonse, but the vast majority of sightings are female or immature birds.