Annabelle Cupidon has reported two Senegal Lapwings Vanellus lugubris at Farquhar on 19 December. This species is resident from West Africa to East Africa south to South Africa, and at islands off Tanzania (Pemba, Zanzibar, Latham, Mafia). However, it has never previously been reported from oceanic islands east of Tanzania.
Annabelle Cupidon has reported a pale morph Eleonora's Falcon Falco eleonorae at Farquhar on 16 December. Thiere are 47 previous records of this species.
Teesha Baboorun has reported a White Wagtail Motacilla alba near the Grand Kaz, la passe, Silhouette on 4 December
Stuart Dunlop has reported a Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio at Cousineon 3 December. SBRC has accepted 10 previous records of this species.
Stuart and Bronwyn Dunlop have reported the first record of Rufous-tailed Scrub-robin Cercotrichas galactotes for Seychelles and the Indian Ocean, presnt on 6-8 November 2019.
Grey-tailed Tattler (left) and Caspian Plover (right),; photos: Chris Narty
The Island Conservation Society team on Alphonse have reported the sighting of two rare waders. A Grey-tailed Tattler was observed by Chris Narty and Dillys Pouponeau, identified by Gorge Curd, on 23 October. The following day, Chris Narty observed a Caspian Plover; he also photographed both birds.
SBRC has accepted 5 previous records of Grey-tailed Tattler including 2 on St Francois. There have been 17 accepted records of Caspian Plover but no previous ones from Alphonse and the only other record from Amirantes is one on D’Arros in 2017.
Garganey at Aride (left, photo: Ilana Engelbrecht and Nasreen Khan) and Fregate (right, photo: Anna Zora)
Garganey have been reported at three islands: Aride, Alphonse and Fregate. Garganey is an annual visitor the Seychelles in small numbers and SBRC collects records of all sightings. The first of the season on 8 October was found at Aride, in exhausted condition by ICS Ranger Francis Saloman. A second bird was reported at Alphonse on 25 October by ICS Conservation officer Gail Fordham, said to have been present for a few days. The third sighting at Fregate on 28 October was made by Conservation Officer Anna Zora.
Reports collected by SBRC show that sightings peak from this time of year through to the end of December, declining sharply thereafter with very few sightings from March onward.
Olaf Zesch and Chris Feare have reported a Corncrake Crex crex from Bird island, presumed to be an immature. Olaf Zesch first saw and photographed the bird in front of the hotel restaurant on the morning of 27 September. Searches there for it in the afternoon failed, but Christine Larose and Chris Feare found in in the late afternoon feeding in short vegetation on the airstrip.
The first record for Seychelles was also from Bird Island and also reported by Chris Feare in October 1973. In the intervening 46 years between the two Bird sightings there have been just 3 other records accepted by SBRC, with individuals at Aride, Fregate and North.
An Allen's Gallinule Porphyrula alleni has been reported by Maximilian Bonfatti at the Intendance wetland, Mahe present 15-20 August. The bird was observed foraging in the wetland during a terrapin research project run by a team from the Marine Conservation Society of Seychelles and photographed by Alina Domass.
SBRC has accepted 8 previous records of this species. To date, there has been no clear pattern to the dates of occurrence, with records in December-March and June-August.
Craig Nisbet, Conservation Officer for Island Conservation Society at Desroches has reported a Common House Martin Delichon urbica at the island on 27 May. SBRC has accepted 23 previous records of this species, including one at Desroches in May 2015.
This species has been recorded in Seychelles throughout the islands on both southbound migration (October to December) and northbound migration (February to June). Interestingly, there are more records over a more extended period during Spring migration than Autumn migration, which is unusual for any species, albeit the number of observations is still small. The phenomenon of a relatively leisurely return to breeding grounds over a longer period is also seen in Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica records from Seychelles.