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.
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.