Craig Nisbet, Matthew Morgan and Annabelle Cupidon - Island Conservation Society staff at Desroches - have reported a Collared Pratincole.Glareola pratincola at the airstrip, Desroches. SBRC have accepted 28 previous records of this species. This is the first report for Desroches.
The bird was present from 16 April to 2 May. it is the first time the species has been observed in these months, the vast majority of sightings being in October-November and only a single record of a a bird overwintering (at Bird Island) from October to as late as March.
Chris Narty has reported a Mascarene Martin Phedina borbonica at Point Tamatave, Alphonse Island on 25 February 2019. SBRC has accepted 16 previous records of this species, all but two of which occurred in the outer islands of Seychelles.
There are two races of Mascarene Martin, the nominate race resident at Mauritius and Reunion. and race madagascariensis breeding at Madagascar, dispersing June–August within Madagascar and also migrating to East Africa at this time.
Where it has been possible to assign race, all Seychelles records have been the Madagascar race, as would be expected. Curiously only two of the 16 accepted records has been during the known migration period and the current observation is again when birds are normally thought to be resident at the breeding grounds.
Said Harryba and François Baguette have reported the sighting of a European Roller at the hotel area, Silhouette on 7 January. European Rollers are annual visitors to Seychelles in small numbers, but this is only the second record from Silhouette
SBRC has accepted ten records of Eurasian Bittern. Two further reports have been received recently.
Matthew Morgan reported one bird at the Creole Village, Desroches on 20 October, seen drinking from freshwater on an old tarpaulin. Stuart and Bronwyn Dunlop reported a second bittern at Cousine on 8 November.
Chris Courtaux has reported a Pied Wheatear at Bird Island on 1 November.
SBRC has accepted five previous records of this species, three of which were present at Bird Island.
Cheryl Sanchez, Aldabra Scientific Coordinator and Brent Stephenson, have reported a Peregrine Falcon at West Channels, Aldabra on 28 October. Remarkably, the bird was photographed eating a Madagascar Turtle Dove by Brent Stephenson, ornithologist on the expedition team of the Silver Discoverer cruise ship.
SBRC has accepted just two previous records of this species, including one from Aldabra.
CJ Havemann has reported a series of sightings of unusual migrants at North Island. These are (from left to right in the photos above) a Common Snipe, a Bar-tailed Godwit and an Oriental Pratincole. The pratincole and godwit, also observed by Tarryn Havemann and Darren Pietersen, were present from 5 October. The snipe arrived a few days later.
SBRC has accepted 23 previous records of Common Snipe and 24 records of Oriental Pratincole. Bar-tailed Godwit is an annual visitor to Seychelles in small numbers. most frequently encountered in lagoons of the outer islands, but more unusual on granitic islands such as North. SBRC collects reports of all three species.
Photos: CJ Havemann
Teesha Baboorun has reported a Garganey present at the weltalnd of La Passe, Silhouette. Garganey are annual visitors to Seychelles in small numbers. The number of sightings has declined in recent years, almost certainly due to the drastic loss in habitat.
The La Passe wetland is one of the last remaining wetlands of the granitic islands. Several species of duck have been seen here including the only Seychelles records of no less than three species: Eurasian Wigeon, Common Teal and Mallard.
Up to five Oriental Pratincoles have been reported from Bird Island, including this juvenile at the airstrip on 8 October. SBRC has accepted 24 previous records of this species.
A Great Cormorant has been present on Bird since at least December 2017, only the second record for Seychelles. It appears to be in fine condition after moulting from juvenile to adult plumage (see previous post in June 2018). It seems to be finding plenty to eat, but presumably will depart in due course, perhaps when the urge to breed kicks in.
This is only the second record for Seychelles. The first was a juvenile at Cousin on 13 January 1993, present for one day only, recorded by SBRC member John Phillips.