While conducting a beach patrol at Déposées, Farquhar on 6 January, Annabelle Cupidon and Matthew Morgan spotted an unusual visitor, a Western Yellow Wagtail. This is the first report of any vagrant species from this tiny island and the third for the atoll as whole. Western Yellow Wagtails have been recorded in every month from October to May.
On 4 January 2021, Annabelle Cupidon was biking to the Farquhar airstrip to look for vagrant birds when she saw a flash of red feathers in a bwa blanc tree near the road. Then the bird flew towards Coco Edok marsh where she got a better view to confirm identification as a Broad-billed Roller.
The nominate race of Broad-billed Roller breeds at Madagascar migrating to East Africa. Other races are resident sub-Saharan Africa. This is the fourth report from Farquhar since ICS established a Conservation Centre there.
Sometimes a photograph does not need to be a contender for BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year in order to be of huge value to identify a bird. Despite the above image being more of a potential contender for the Seychelles equivalent of a "Where's Wally" picture, the bird is definitely there! A "black chicken" was reported to ICS staff by hotel gardeners at Alphonse Island Resort. It was photographed by Chris Narty and identified by George Curd.
SBRC has accepted 9 previous records of this species.
Matthew Morgan and Annabelle Cupidon have reported a Grey-tailed Tattler at North Island, Farquhar on 28 November 2020.
SBRC has accepted 7 previous records. This is the first report from south of the Amirantes..
Martin van Rooyen has reported a Red-throated Pipit, seen foraging on the lawn in front of the Research Station at Aldabra.
SBRC has accepted 37 previous records, including 2 from Aldabra.
Chris Narty has reported a Ruff at Alphonse on 19 October 2020
SBRC has accepted 4o previous records including 4 from Alphonse.
Matthew Morgan and Anabelle Cupidon have reported two, possibly thee, Common Swift Apus apus at the village close to the airstrip at North Island, Farquhar on 13 and 14 October 2020.
SBRC has accepted 44 previous records of this species.
Gerard Rocamora and Joesef Bristol have reported a European Roller Coracias garrulus at the Seychelles International Airport, Mahe. The bird was observed hunting for insects in grass, using the airport perimeter fence as a perch. It was first seen and photographed by Axcel Morel and it was present from 7 May to at least 7 June 2020.
SBRC classified this species as a vagrant until 2014, when its status was changed to that of an annual visitor. However, given that there are very few reports, SBRC continues to collect all observations which are automatically accepted from relaiable observers or with supporting evidence such as a photograph.
This sighting is unusual because the species has never previously been reported later than the first week of April. Almost 70% of records coincide with autumn migration from breeding grounds in Ocober to December, with a secondary peak and nearly 20% of records in March.
Sophie Morel has reported that the long-staying Great Cormorant at Bird Island was still present on 13-14 June 2020. The record has been accepted by SBRC as only the second in Seychelles for this species.
On 15 March 2020, Martin van Rooyen reported a species of plain martin at Aldabra. The bird was seen hawking insects at Picard Island, near Basin Cabris. While perched it was persistently mobbed by an Aldabra Drongo, making photography difficult.
Seychelles is probably the only country on earth where African Plain Martin Riparia paludicola, Asian Plain Martin R. chinensis and Madagascar Plain Martin R. cowani might all be considered as potential vagrants. SBRC has previously accepted one Seychelles record of Asian Plain Martin from Mahe. At Aldabra, somewhat further from Asia the other two species might appear more likely, but in any report of a plain martin in Seychelles all three have to be considered.
After due consideration, SBRC has accepted the sighting as the first record of Africa Plain Martin for Seychelles. A paper is planned to present full details and evidence and it is hoped it will be available on this website in due course.