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Indicator Birding cc
1....2....3,4,5....Great Knots on the Mozambique Coast !!
(click on the photos to open large version)
While leading a birding trip to Southern Mozambique, Maans Booysen located and photographed no less than 3 Great Knots (Calidris tenuirostris) at the Barra Peninsula, near Inhambane, Southern Mozambique. There is one previous record of Great Knot for the Barra Peninsula by Faansie Peacock in December 2004, but given these birds propensity to return to the same area, it is conceivable that one might be the same bird that Faansie recorded in 2004. The birds Maans photographed were seen on 20 September, near White Sands on the northern corner of the "Barra Peninsula".
Contrary to Western South Africa, where Red Knot is very common, they are are scarce to say the least on the Mozambique Coast, so all "Knot-like" birds should be checked to see if they are Great Knot. Given the vast amount of estuarine habitat on the Mozambique coast, the possibility exists that there are more than just a handful of these birds present each summer.
Great Knot breeds in the subarctic highlands of north-easter Siberia and winters in South-east Asia and Australia. Vagrants are recorded from Europe, the Middle East and Morocco, while a single bird was recorded at the Seeberg Hide, West Coast National Park for four summers from 2000 until 2004.(The only record for South Africa)
The Barra Peninsula, particularly the mudflats and mangrove swamps just below the north-eastern corner of the Peninsula are one of Southern Africa's great wader hotspots, with regular summer records of numbers of Crab Plover.
For more information on the precise locality of the Great Knot, contact Maans Booysen here.
Maans Booysen manages the Hyliota Camp near Panda, where incredible Lebombo Ironwood Forests compliment Miombo woodland where the star bird is Olive-headed Weaver. The Ironwood forests hold substantial populations of Chestnut-fronted Helmet-shrike, Plain-backed (Blue-throated) Sunbird, Woodward's Batis and Yellow-spotted Nicator.
Maans will be leading an Indicator Birding Trip to Southern Mozambique, which include the Barra Peninsula, Rio Save Game Reserve and Panda Woodlands from 21 - 30 November 2008. For more on Hyliota Camp, see this link
Join one of our Mozambique Trips: Click here for details