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.
A credible report of a Black-browed Albatross dating back more than 50 years has recently emerged via Ebird.
Louis Warren was the anti-submarine warfare officer on the USS Cony DD-508 steaming north towards Aden and the Suez Canal from Diego Suarez after port calls in Madagascar. For several days a lone Black-browed Albatross followed the ship, hovering over the stern and gliding around the ship but not feeding. It departed close to Alphonse Atoll on 10 June 1966.
This will be the first record of Black-browed Albatross for Seychelles if accepted by Seychelles Bird Records Committee. Elsewhere in the region it has been recorded as a vagrant to Madagascar June-September.
A 2cy Great Cormorant has been reported from Bird Island, present since 7 April until at least 14 June. The bird was first reported by Chris Feare but earlier dates from other observers then came to light. It seems likely that it is the same individual as a 1cy reported at Bird on 4 December 2017 by Tammy Knuth, given the rarity of this species in Seychelles.
Ian Silvester has reported a Common Redshank at Praslin on 22 May. SBRC has accepted just four previous records:
Dinantis Beukes has reported five Blue-cheeked bee-eater at the east side of D'Arros on 20-25 April.
In 2017, SBRC reclassified this species to an annual visitor in small numbers to the granitic islands and Amirantes but retained as a vagrant further south (where Madagascar Bee-eater is a likely confusion species). SBRC continues to collect all reports. These are automatically accepted unless there is something unusual in terms of timing or numbers.
Francois Baguette has reported Barn Swallows present at La Passe, Silhouette with a peak in numbers of six on 24 April.
Barn Swallow is an annual visitor to Seychelles in small numbers. It is the only migratory landbird recorded annually on both southbound and northbound migration.