Twitchers tick new species

The sighting was confirmed by John Wesson of the Wildlife & Environment Society of SA (WESSA) and Birdlife Harties, who says this sighting is of particular interest and importance.

“One of Birdlife Harties’ members saw the bird in Schoemansville around May this year. Last week, another resident of Schoemansville spotted the bird. Karen van Huizen, a resident of Karel Street brought more good news when she confirmed that there are at least two birds and that they have bred in the area. This is a major find, as it means it is not an isolated occurrence of a bird passing through.”

The Yellow-bellied Greenbul with its loud, distinctive call is normally only found in the north eastern parts of the country, especially the Lowveld areas up into Zimbabwe, Mozambique and coming down the coastal areas to around Durban.

It was spotted in De Wildt about three times over a five-year period, and there have been odd sightings in Pretoria and Sun City before.

“As more and more members of the public take an interest in birds, it is likely that other unusual species like these will be found in our area far out of their normal range. This has been the case with a number of Lowveld species that  have moved all the way into Johannesburg, drawn by one of the largest manmade forests in the world,” says John.

Read more about the Yellow-bellied Greenbul next week.

Machteld Minnaar

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