09 November 2023

A regional rarity

06 August 2023 - Bapsfontein

A Lesser Jacana had been found at a pan in Bapsfontein which is a great record for Gauteng Province, so Richard Crawshaw and I decided to drive out to see if we could photograph this species.

We thought we were at the site early, but there were already a few other birders who were also keen to see this great record. It was a pretty large pan with a few open bodies of water, but predominantly covered in low grass and other vegetation - it was going to be the proverbial needle-in-a-haystack search.

We opted to park the car and walk along the edges, whilst keeping an eye on the other birders on the opposite side of the pan to us. We had a fly by Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)



Followed by this Grey-headed Gull flying straight toward us from the middle of the pan screaming blue murder - I love these pics though; angry bird!

Grey-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus)



We then saw some excitement from the other birders and walked over to join them. They had located the Jacana, but with a scope, as it was almost in the middle of the Pan - no award winning images this time, rather spot the speck!

Lesser Jacana (Microparra capensis)



We didnt have time to wait it out, but heard that later in the afternoon it was seen again at the edge of the pan, giving much better views and photo opportunities. We explored the surrounding grassland, picking up African Pipit - although heat haze was now becoming a factor

African Pipit (Anthus cinnamomeus)



Red-capped Lark

Red-capped Lark (Calandrella cinerea)




and Capped Wheatear, before heading back home in time for brunch

Capped Wheatear (Oenanthe pileata)




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