Hottentot Teal is by no means a rarity in the Western Cape, but I would say it’s certainly uncommon to rare. Numerous birders have been reporting good numbers of these teal from Strandfontein recently. I quickly snapped the photo below when I was looking for the Yellow Wagtail.
For those not familiar with Strandfontein or Hottentot Teal you can find them in the bottom corner of P5. Up to 15 birds have been seen at once – I counted at least 12 last Friday. I’ve only ever encountered these birds in small numbers (2- 3 individuals) in the Western Cape, I wonder if they’re on the increase or is this just a good year for them?
I had a quick squiz at the SABAP2 website about Hottentot Teal, particularly the SABAP1 text, which included a reference from the Bird Atlas of the South Western Cape:
It is rare in the southwestern Cape Province (Hockey et al. 1989) and it occurs only sparsely in the rest of the Cape Provinces.
Below is the latest draft distribution map for Hottentot Teal from SABAP2. The red squares reflect SABAP2 distribution for Hottentot Teal, the grey squares SABAP1 distribution and the green squares SABAP2 coverage. I’m no statistician, but this map doesn’t appear to show any significant change. I guess one really needs to drill down into the numbers to tease anything useful out.
Anyone have any thoughts on this?