Martin van Rooyen, Jake Letori and Maria Bielsa have reported a white-tailed brown morph Red-footed Booby Sula sula at Aldabra. The bird was seen while conducting a frigatebird census at Grande Poche near Main Channel on 26 February 2020. The first reference to the presence of this morph at Aldabra was of "three or four" sightings in a 1974 paper (Diamond, A.W., 1974. The Red-footed Booby at Aldabra. Ardea 62). Michael Betts, Research Officer at Aldabra 1999-2000 and a current member of SBRC also reported very small numbers present and he suspected breeding.
In the Indian Ocean most colonies are entirely white morph, except at Europa (98.5% white-tailed brown morph, 1.5% white morph) and Tromelin (c. one-third white-tailed brown, two-thirds white). This suggests that colonies do not constitute one gene pool but are isolated from each other. However, in recent years, white-tailed brown morphs have also begun to breed at Farquhar, now constituting about 2% of the population.
Breeding at Aldabra remains unproven, but the presence of an adult in bright (breeding?) plumage suggests this may be the case.
SBRC has received two reports of Yellow-billed Kite Milvus aegyptius at Aldabra. The first was seen on 8 February 2020 by Cheryl Sanchez, Norman Pettigrew, other SIF staff and passengers from the cruiseship Serenissima. It perched in a tall Casuarina at the Old Settlement, Picard. The second sighting by Martin van Rooyen, Maria Bielsa and Luke A'Bear was at the frigatebird colony, Malabar camp on 24 and 25 February 2020.
SBRC has accepted 8 previous records of this species, including six at Aldabra and one at neighbouring Assumption. SBRC has also accepted 4 records of Black Kite M. migrans.
Yellow-billed kite is the Afrotropic counterpart of Black Kite of which it is sometimes considered a subspecies. However, DNA studies suggest that these should be considered as separate species.
In addition, Yellow-billed Kite races aegyptius and parasitus may be split from the Eurasian migratory Black Kite because of the former’s small size, usually yellow bill, deeper tail-fork and less streaked plumage.
An Indian Pond-heron Ardeola grayii has been reported by David Jardine, present at a small pond near L'Union Estate, La Digue on 23 February 2020.
SBRC has accepted just 6 previous records of this species.
A Little Swift Apus affinis was found on 2 February 2020 soaked and in a weakened state on the ground near th guest pavilion, Cousine by Stuart and Bronwyn Dunlop. It was taken indoors to assess its health and after about 30 minutes it showed some signs of recovery and was released. It flew off heading towards Cousin Island.
This is the second sighting of this species in Seychelles so far this year following four at St Francois on 21 January. SBRC has acceped 10 previous records.
Craig Nisbet has reported a Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago and Corncrake Crex crex at Bird Island on 31 January. The following morning on a morning search of the tern colony to attempt to relocate these species, he found a Rosy Starling Pastor roseus.
SBRC has accepted 26 previous records of Common Snipe and 5 each of Corncrake and Rosy Starling,
Crain Nisbet and Francesca Clair have reported a Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius at Desroches 22-25 January 2020.
SBRC has accepted 11 previous records, mostly from the 1970s and 1980s with just 3 since 1991.
Craig Nisbet has reported a Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus at the tortoise sanctuary, Desroches on 23 January 2020.
SBRC has reported 35 previous records of this species.
Chris Narty, George Curd and Gail Fordham have reported two Sand Martin Riparia riparia at St Francois on 21 January 2020.
SBRC has accepted 43 previous records of this species. This is the first report from St Francois, though it has been recorded on neighbouring Alphonse on eight occasions.
Chris Narty has reported a Little Swift Apus affinis at Alphonse on 20 January 2020. SBRC has accepted 10 previous records of this species This is the first report from the Amirantes, the only other outer island record being one at Aldabra.
Craig Nisbet has reported a Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus at Bombay Beach, Desroches on 18 January 2020.
Common Cuckoo is a near-annual visitor to Seychelles. SBRC has accepted 64 previous records. However, many reports do not rule out other Cuculus sp., so that a further 36 recrds have been acceppted as Cuculus sp.
More than 80% of sightings are in the period November to January.