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Birding and Tour News:

20/12/2001 - Black Coucal recorded at Marievale

The incredible rains over the last two seasons have had a profound impact on bird distributions in the region. Latest indication of this is the report of a Black Coucal at Marievale Bird Sanctuary. The bird was reported by Tim Wickins on Monday 17 December, and seen again on the 21st. Prior to 1999 Black Coucals had seldom if ever been reported outside the lowveld, being an infrequent wet season visitor to the Kruger Park and Maputaland.

The species has been reported frequently from its usual haunts over the last three seasons, and was recorded for the first time at Nylsvley in January of 1999.

This sighting confirms Marievale's status as one of the premier wetland birding localities in the region, what with Slaty Egret apparently now regular, Baird's Sandpiper (in Nov/Dec this year), Eurasian Marsh Harrier and other rarities possibly still to come this season.

Marievale can be visited easily from Johannesburg or Pretoria, and is good all year round.



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