It is becoming clear that each individual has his own view on 'rare' birds and what may be a rare sighting for one is not necessarily rare for someone else. I think it really depends on which ones you still have to tick off - if it is not on your list, and difficult to find, it becomes a 'rare' bird for you...IMHO! Any other view on this?
Well that makes perfect no sense
I would think the classification of a bird being "ultra rare" should be an indication of the bird and not of the birdwatcher. If I go to Punda over and over again and I fail to see White-breasted Cuckooshrike simply because I'm useless that doesn't make the bird ultra rare. Fortunately we know the White-breasted Cuckooshrike doesn't exist but for the sake of the argument let's assume that it does
What I'm getting at is this, a bird is either rare or it isn't. The bird can't be rare depending on who's trying to see it. Then I would think it's a question of the birders aptitude (or ineptitude).
All said, the definition of "rare" (and "ultra rare" even more so) remains sort of vague but I should think that birds that have been recorded in Southern Africa only a hand full of times could qualify as "ultra rare". It stands to reason that very few SA birdwatchers will have seen such a bird which is why I'd argue that Asiatic Dowitcher, Elegant Tern and Irania qualifies but not Narina Trogon, Afican Finfoot and the fictional White-breasted Cuckooshrike (for the sake of the argument).
By the same token, I think it is reasonable to assume that even less birders will be able to list 10 or more "ultra rare" birds which they have seen. Accomplished birders will probably have seen a few while many birders will have seen one or two and the majority will have seen none.
Bearing this in mind I would revise my original list and say that the only "ultra rare" birds that I have seen would be the Asiatic Dowitcher and Western Reef-Heron.
Then I have seen others which would rather fall in the "rarity" category:
And some regional rarities (rare to South Africa but not Southern Africa)