Langebaan’s Seeberg hide produces the goods!

Even the most hardened wader-buff would have enjoyed Sunday’s flurry of rare shorebirds that Seeberg hide at Langebaan lagoon had to offer. Centre stage was dominated by the Hudsonian Godwit, but a single Broad-billed Sandpiper and two Lesser Sand Plovers also kept people on their toes.

Seeberg hide map

I arrived at Langebaan quite late (8h30) by “rare wader twitching” standards to find the tide very low. Both Geelbek and Seeberg were practically deserted of any shorebirds bar distant, hazy specks on the horizon. Things only really started getting exciting after 12pm when I bumped into John Graham at Seeberg hide. The tide was slowly starting to push and within 5 minutes of setting up his scope John had found a Lesser Sand Plover (he had already seen 2 that morning at Seeberg) and a Broad-billed Sandpiper! My photo below is a strong contender for the world’s worst image of a Broad-billed Sandpiper, but the jizz is distinct enough.

Broadbilled Sandpiper2

The Hudsonian Godwit wasn’t quite so easy. A lot of time was spent scouring all godwits, particularly in flight, but they all seemed to have tails like the bird below – barred!

Bartailed Godwit

Eventually, however, the distinctive black tail, wing bar and dark underwing coverts of the Hudsonian were picked out in flight. Again, the below images are dismal, but you get the idea:

Hudsonian Godwit

Hudsonian Godwit2

Good luck to those chasing any of these birds. A word of advice, check the tide table before you go and make sure you’re there close to high tide.

David Winter

Bird list for the day: Black Harrier, African Marsh Harrier, Cape Francolin, Black-shouldered Kite, Common Titbabbler, Grey-winged Francolin, Pied Starling, Common Starling, Steppe Buzzard, Black-headed Heron, Southern Double-collared Sunbird, Malachite Sunbird, Cape Sparrow, Bokmakierie, Cape Bulbul, Cape Penduline Tit, Karoo Scrub Robin, Barn Swallow, Pearl-breasted Swallow, Little Swift, Kitlitz’s Plover, White-fronted Plover, Terek Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Lesser Sand Plover, Grey Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, Hudsonian Godwit, Curlew Sandpiper, Greenshank, Red Knot, Common Ringed Plover, Little Stint, Ruddy Turnstone, Litte Egret, Swift Tern, Little Tern, Common Tern, Caspian Tern, Sanderling, Blacksmith Plover, Great Flamingo.

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