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Robin, Rufous-tailed Scrub

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
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Johan van Rensburg
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Location: Jam Street

Robin, Rufous-tailed Scrub

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg » Wed Aug 03, 2016 3:31 pm

Here is the latest addition to the list of Southern African birds...


It is anybody’s guess how this Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin landed up at the picnic site of the False Bay Coastal Park on the outskirts of Cape Town. How long has this now celebrated super-vagrant been there, putting up with Cape winter days dominated by drizzle driven by gale force winds? Somehow it took a wrong turn on route from its wintering grounds in equatorial Africa to its summer playgrounds, where it should be nesting in the Mediterranean right now!

I have not twitched much in the past, my longest trip on a bird chase being around 350 km. This species has never been observed in South Africa before (i.e. it is a MEGA birding event!) and when I got a spot on a Zest pelagic trip, I could camouflage the twitch just a little. :lol:

The weather turned out fine on the day of my visit to Zeekoei vlei and with the help of a birder that has seen the scrub robin a few times before, a little group of up-country twitchers managed to stake out the general area where the illustrious superstar likes to forage. When it eventually made an appearance it looked anything but disorientated, confused, puzzled, forlorn or helpless. In fact, it was the king of its castle: a large pile of old tree stumps.

I can only wonder if it will ever find its way back to its true home range…
685 2016 lifers: Spotted crake, Lesser jacana, Burchell's courser, Double-banded courser, Rufous-tailed scrub robin, House crow, Manx shearwater, Antarctic prion, Northern giant petrel, Northern royal albatross

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Re: Robin, Rufous-tailed Scrub

Unread post by pamelajane » Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:00 am

What a great shot :thumbs_up: We were also lucky enough to see the Rufous -talked scrub robin when we were in Cape Town and according to Trevor Hardaker it is still present at Zeekoeivlei -it's 18th day :big_eyes:

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