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), Bullers 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
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
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4 Crassula Way, Pinelands, 7405, Cape Town, South Africa
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
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.
Shearwater and more!
sub-adult Black Sarrowhawk visits our garden again! Read
on about Raptor Research in the Western 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
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:
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
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
Killer Whales were shot. Click here for more details and
14 March 09: Raptor
Watch in Cape Town on 14 March 09