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New Bird for South Africa!

21/03/2002 - Great Knot at Langebaan Lagoon!

On 16 March a group of birders, including Trevor Hardaker found a Great Knot at the Seeberg Hide, West Coast National Park. The bird was still present on 27 March, and about 2000 birders have reportedly gone to see it!

The bird was part of a high tide roost together with several thousand Red Knots. It was easily picked out due to it's larger size, much longer bill, black speckling on the breast, black streaking down the flanks, streaked crown and wings projecting beyond the tail amongst other features.

On Sunday morning a number of people were present at Seeberg again in the hope of seeing the bird. Adrenalin was pumping through the veins of everyone there and the finding of a stunning PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER right in front of of the group hardly even caused a stir as the most valuable quarry was sought. Then the shout of "Great Knot!" went up and all hell broke loose. The bird remained in the area until about 9:00am before it flew further out into the lagoon to feed on some exposed sandbanks. Sunday afternoon saw another large gathering of birders there as the tide started coming in. A firing line of telescopes scanned through the flocks of waders until the call of "Got it!" went up. Again, in a matter of a few seconds, everyone was on to the bird and could take in all the salient features.

Story from a posting by Trevor Hardaker. See Zestforbirds for more by Trevor.


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