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Rarities and the 1984 Season:

For local birders, it is the lure of local rarities that makes the pelagic trips so popular. Almost anything can turn up, including the following, characteristically in winter, species recorded in the Western Cape: (Southern) Royal Albatross (3 records at sea), Buller’s Albatross (1 record at sea), Dark-mantled (2 confirmed records at sea, 2 on land, 10 washed up dead on beaches) and Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses (2 confirmed records at sea, 3 beached), Antarctic Petrel (2 beached), White-headed Petrel (2 at sea, 1 beached), Atlantic Petrel (very scarce, no figures available), Kerguelen Petrel (very scarce, except in 1984), Blue Petrel (very scarce, except in 1984), Slender-billed Prion (very scarce, except in 1984), Fairy Prion (1 beached), Grey Petrel (very scarce), Little Shearwater (scarce), Black-legged Kitti-wake (2 at sea, 1 on land) and South Polar Skua (scarce). Rarities seen in summer include White-bellied Storm Petrel (very scarce) and Laysan Albatross (1 at sea).

In July 1984, a remarkable seabird irruption occurred from South Africa to faraway Australia and New Zealand. This was possibly linked to the El Niño weather conditions prevailing during the previous season, and was associated with many beached seabird corpses. There were sightings of birds ordinarily very rare at sea, including large numbers of Kerguelen Petrel, Blue Petrel and Slender-billed Prion. The most bizarre record was surely that of the dazed Dark-mantled Sooty Albatross found atop an apartment block in suburban Cape Town!

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4 Crassula Way, Pinelands, 7405, Cape Town, South Africa

27/09/09: Dalton Gibbs reports back from Gough Island! Read the blog!

26/09/09: New Cape Town Pelagics trip report from trips of 12 and 19 September 2009.

30/08/09: British Birdwatching Fair at Rutland Water proved very successful, with sunny weather and over 20,000 visitors. Callan's "Birding Namibia and the Okavango" was the most highly-attended lecture on the Saturday, with over 240 people. Congratulations to the winners of the Birding Africa competition and the African Bird Club raffle that we helped sponsor!

12/08/09: New Cape Town Pelagics trip reports from August and July 2009. Highlights: Little Shearwater and more!

07/08/09: The sub-adult Black Sarrowhawk visits our garden again! Read on about Raptor Research in the Western Cape.

27/07/09: Cape Town's Verreauxs' Eagle Chick has grown! And its sibling never had a chance to hatch. See the pictures of the chick, its nest and the breeding pair. Find out more about the Western Cape Raptor Research Programme.

27/07/09: To follow modern nomenclature and systematics, we've adopted the IOC World Bird List, Version 2.1.

13/07/09: The 8th African Bird ID Challenge has launched! Win a 50% discount on a Cape Town Pelagics trip, a copy of Southern African Birdfinder, or African Bird Club membership for 1 year.

6 July 09: Cape White-eye research in our garden.

2 July 09: Cape Town's Verreauxs' Eagle Chick has hatched! See the pictures of the chick, its nest and the breeding pair. Find out more about the Western Cape Raptor Research Programme.

2 July 09: Campbell Fleming, a Cape Town scholar, avid birder and photographer, joined Birding Africa last month as an intern. Click here, to see what he got up to.

2 July 09: New pelagic trip reports from the Cape Town Pelagics trips in June 2009. Highlights: Slenderbilled Prion and Leach's Storm Petrel

30 july 09: Our latest Cape Fynbos and Karoo trip reports feature Hottentot Buttonquail, Cinnamon-breasted Warbler and other fynbos and Karoo endemics...

26 June 09: Tungsten mining threatens RAMSAR site, South Africa's Verlorenvlei. Read the Media Release.

22 June 09: Claire Spottiswoode, one of the Cape Birding Route founders, was part of the exploratory team at Mount Mabu. The mountain is part of the newly discovered largest rainforest in Southern Africa.

11 June 09: A colour-ringed Black Sparrowhawk visits the Birding Africa office garden. Read why it's a 10 months old male!

14 June 09:
Wildlife at the office of The Cape Birding Route, Birding Africa and Cape Town Pelagics.

31 May 09:
Michel Watelet wins the 7th African Bird Club & Birding Africa ID Challenge. Test your African birding skills and WIN a Birding Africa Cape town day trip or a copy of the Birdfinder!

30 May 09: A tragedy unfolds at Kommetjie south of Cape town as 44 beached False Killer Whales were shot. Click here for more details and pictures.

14 March 09: Raptor Watch in Cape Town on 14 March 09