‘Vagrants’ in the ornithological form of navigationally disorientated migrant birds invariably present an almost ephemeral challenge to the birder with no guarantee of a ‘hook up’ in the quest for a credible sighting during what is invariably short stay…

Pectoral Sandpiper

Pectoral Sandpiper, Paardevlei in Somerset West

Obtaining sightings of two medium sized shorebirds migrating from the high Arctic to New Zealand and South America as favoured wintering grounds of migratory choice, added up to a ‘red letter’ listing experience in the space of one week earlier this year.

Following an alert on the dedicated ‘rare bird’ website, and a dedicated search, we were very happy to locate both species as well as obtaining reasonable photos as definitive proof of success in our vagrant quest.

Baird's Sandpiper

Baird’s Sandpiper, Cape Point Natural Reserve

These as a follow on to another vagrant shorebird sighting reported in KwaZulu Natal in 2021 –  the Buff-breasted Sandpiper, which we managed to see and photograph at Mpempe Pan, adjacent to Mkuze Game Reserve in April 2021.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Mkuze Game Reserve

For more info on birding and bird tours in South Africa contact us on info@avianleisure.com