In late 2020, Jean-Claude Camille observed a large raptor, but he was unable to suggest an identity or provide evidence for verification. On 26 February 2021, Alan Commetant, IDC Island Manager of Desroches, made a short video recording, showing the bird in silhouette. The size and small-head suggested a Honey-buzzard Pernis sp. and European Honey-buzzard, recorded previously in Seychelles, appeared to be the most likely identification.
On 5 August 2021, Elena Levorato (EL) and William McNeely (WM) arrived on the island to take up the posts of Conservation Officer and Assistant Conservation Officer respectively. They observed the bird in multiple locations and were able to obtain photos. These were sent to Dick Forsman, raptors consultant to SBRC, who identified the bird as a 2cy male Oriental Honey-buzzard Pernis. ptilorhynchus.
Oriental Honey-buzzard breeds from central Siberia east to Japan. Northern populations are migratory to tropical southeast Asia, southern populations mainly sedentary. The record has been accepted by SBRC as the first confirmed record of Oriental Honey-buzzard for Seychelles.
An old record of an Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii at Denis Island has come to light via eBird. The bird was observed at the farm area by Francesco Barberini on 13 June 2018.
SBRC has accepted 7 previous records from Seychelles. interestingly, four of these were also on Denis Island.
Elena Levorato, Jean-Claude Camille and William McNeely have reported an Oriental Honey Buzzard at Desroches. The bird has been present since at least February 2021. There has been no confirmed record from Seychelles to date, However, SBRC has accepted:
1. One hybrid apivorus x orientalis or is perhaps a ruficollis Oriental Honey Buzzard at Grand Anse, Praslin on 20 January 2013 (V. Ashby, S. Ashby).
2. One juvenile at Alphonse, possibly Oriental (ruficollis or orientalis), but the possibility of a hybrid apivorus/orientalis cannot be excluded.
Pied Kingfisher at Aldabra
Martin van Rooyen and Luke A' Bear have reported a Pied Kingfisher present at La Gigi, Picard, Aldabra on 1-11 may 2021. This is the first report of this species for Seychelles.
Yellow Wagtail at Alphonse
George Curd has reported a Yellow Wagtail at the Alphonse airstrip on 28 April.
SBRC has accepted 63 previous records of this species.
White Wagtail at Aldabra
Martin van Rooyen, Jude Brice and Luke A'Bear have reported a White Wagtail at the Aldabra Research Station.
SBRC has accepted 51 previous records.
Yellow Wagtail at Farquhar
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.
Allen's Gallinule at Alphonse
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.
Grey-tailed Tattler at Farquhar
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..