Weaver rarity records from SA Rare Bird News [earliest record from 09/03/2009]
[some Whatsapp msgs are now included, from Oct 2020]
This is a summary of weavers mentioned on the SA Rare Bird News – each record has a link to the original listserver email. If photos were included, a link allows the photo to be viewed here, but they are hosted at rarebirdnews (these photos may not be visible on all browsers on this page – click on the link to go to the original).
The species with the most records is the Southern Brown-throated Weaver from Crocodile Bridge at Kruger. There have been quite a few published records of out-of-range White-winged Widowbirds, but none reported on rarebirdnews. 17 of some 25 southern African species have been reported on rarebirdnews (ie out of range records). Two errors are listed below.
List of weavers with records:
Lesser Masked Weaver
Holub’s Golden Weaver
Eastern Golden Weaver (or Yellow Weaver)
Southern Masked Weaver
Southern Brown-throated Weaver
20/12/2017 – Mike Buckham reports a Thick-billed Weaver and Amur Falcon at Cape St Francis.
04/11/2010 – in the North-west Province, a few THICK-BILLED WEAVERS were reported on the weekend from reedbeds at the Orkney Golf Course. This species seems to be spreading its way westwards, especially along the Vaal River, at quite a reasonable rate at the moment.
17/02/2020 – a group of 4 SCALY-FEATHERED FINCHES were seen this morning at the KM19 marker north of Shingwedzi in the Kruger National Park.
19/08/2019 – in Limpopo, a SCALY-FEATHERED FINCH was seen again at Boyela waterhole, north of Shingwedzi, in the Kruger National Park on Saturday.
11/07/2019 – in Limpopo, a group of 7 SCALY-FEATHERED FINCHES were found a short distance south of Boyela waterhole in the Kruger National Park on Monday. What was perhaps even more interesting with Monday’s find was the discovery of two active nest sites, only the second nesting record known from the Kruger National Park following birds nesting in the Makuleke Concession in 2011.
13/05/2019 – this afternoon, there was another record of SCALY-FEATHERED FINCHES from the Kruger National Park when a small group of birds was seen in the north-western corner of the Makuleke Concession not too far from Pafuri.
06/05/2019 – Up in Limpopo, there was some surprise when 2 SCALY-FEATHERED FINCHES were found along the S53 about 9km south of Babalala Picnic Site in the Kruger National Park on Saturday, possibly only the second ever confirmed record for the park, following birds that were found breeding in Makuleke Concession around 8 years ago.
14/03/2011 – Also still proving popular on a provincial scale is the LILAC-BREASTED ROLLER just south of Merweville which was still on view early yesterday whilst other noteworthy records in this same area included a female RED-BACKED SHRIKE, several SCALY-FEATHERED FINCHES (quite far west for this species) and a BLACK-CHESTED SNAKE EAGLE.
23/11/2010 – on Friday, 4 SCALY-FEATHERED FINCHES were located at Kwandwe Game Reserve near Grahamstown, an apparently south-easterly extension of range by some way.
08/03/2010 – the area near Cofimvaba (in the former Transkei) produced both a BLACK-CHESTED PRINIA and a SCALY-FEATHERED FINCH with both species being well south-east of their known ranges.
24/12/2020 – a surprizing WHITE-BROWED SPARROW-WEAVER at Bayala Private Safari Lodge on Tuesday [=22/12/20]
KZN Rare Bird Alert [Whatsapp] 22/12/2020 – White browed sparrow weaver at bayala private safari lodge. Reported by Dave Veldman – Adam Riley.
25/11/2019 – a WHITE-BROWED SPARROW-WEAVER seen at Ghwarrie Dam in Addo National Park on Saturday
21/11/2019 – WHITE-BROWED SPARROW-WEAVERS seen building a nest at Nandzana Windmill on Monday
8/07/2019 – a WHITE-BROWED SPARROW-WEAVER was seen 20km south of Timbavati picnic site along the S39 in the Kruger National Park on Saturday.
8/01/2019 – WHITE-BROWED SPARROW-WEAVER: At least 3 birds present in the Pafuri area of Kruger National Park, which I believe is a very unusual bird for the park. Reported by Johann du Preez.
10/09/2018 – Up in Limpopo Province, the easterly spread into the northern parts of the Kruger National Park for WHITE-BROWED SPARROW-WEAVERS continues with a bird reported earlier today building a nest on the north side of the S63 about 350m from the H1-8 towards Pafuri picnic site.
12/01/2017 – the WHITE-BROWED SPARROW-WEAVER was still near Tugela Ferry earlier today.
28/11/2016 – the WHITE-BROWED SPARROW-WEAVER was also still around about 10km south of Tugela Ferry yesterday.
7/11/2016 – Also still attracting local attention, the WHITE-BROWED SPARROW WEAVER remained in place about 10km south-west of Tugela Ferry at -28.813,30.371 on Saturday.
31/10/2016 – on Saturday, a WHITE-BROWED SPARROW WEAVER was located about 10km south-west of Tugela Ferry at -28.813,30.371.
12/12/2013 – a WHITE-BROWED SPARROW-WEAVER was seen at Shingwedzi, in the Kruger National Park.
30/09/2013 – 2 WHITE-BROWED SPARROW-WEAVERS, another really tough bird in the province were reported from Pongola Nature Reserve yesterday.
13/02/2012 – WHITE-BROWED SPARROW-WEAVER nesting 5km (on left) towards Nkumbe lookout from H1-2/H10 junction (Tshokwane).
07/03/2011 – at least 3 WHITE-BROWED SPARROW-WEAVERS with signs of nesting activity as well were noted about 4km from Tshokwane along the road to Lower Sabie.
19/07/2010 – A small group of nesting WHITE-BROWED SPARROW-WEAVERS (3-4 birds) were located about 4km from the Tshokwane picnic site on the tar road to Lower Sabie in the Kruger National Park.
10/10/2019 – In the Northern Cape, there was some surprise yesterday when a small group of RED-BILLED BUFFALO-WEAVERS were found at Mokala National Park, well south of where this species normally occurs.
3/01/2016 – RED-BILLED BUFFALO WEAVER – a single female seen at the last stream crossing before entering Mkhuze Game Reserve on 24 December.
3/12/2015 – a RED-BILLED BUFFALO WEAVER was present yesterday at Mavela Lodge on the Zululand Rhino Reserve.
22/10/2015 – a RED-BILLED BUFFALO-WEAVER was reported from Pongola Nature Reserve.
15/09/2014 – In the Western Cape, a flock of RED-BILLED QUELEAS was located yesterday along the dirt road (R324) between Witsand and Swellendam. This species has certainly expanded its range in recent years and more and more records are being reported from the province these days.
14/04/2014 – Saturday turned up records of a single RED-BILLED QUELEA in a garden in D’Urbanvale.
03/10/2013 – Down to the Western Cape where a RED-BILLED QUELEA was reported from near Faure on the Cape Flats on Monday, still quite an odd record so close to Cape Town.
29/10/2009 – a RED-BILLED QUELEA on the farm Leeuwenboschfontein near Montagu.
20/04/2009 – a RED-BILLED QUELEA seen at De Vlei Reserve about 72km north of Ceres along the R355 over the Easter Weekend.
KZN Rare Bird Alert [Whatsapp] 29/12/2020 – Red-headed Quelea at Darvill – Adam Riley.
KZN Rare Bird Alert [Whatsapp] 22/12/2020 – Red-headed Quelea at Darvill Bird Sanctuary reported by Rainer Summers – David Hoddinott.
KZN Rare Bird Alert [Whatsapp] 4/11/2020 – Lots of red headed queleas at Mtunzini grassland – Georg.
18/12/2017 – 16/12/2017 Red-headed Quelea. Found by Clayton Burne at Darvill Sewage Works 16/12/2017 (not relocated on 17/12/2017).
10/08/2017 – the RED-HEADED QUELEA was seen again at Raptor’s View estate just outside Hoedspruit on Monday.
07/08/2017 – of particular interest was the discovery on Saturday of a non-breeding female RED-HEADED QUELEA in a flock of Red-billed Quelea in a garden in Raptor’s View just outside Hoedspruit. This is way out of range for this species and I cannot seem to find any references to previous records of this species in the province, so it may well be the first.
17/10/2016 – up at Ngciyo Pans, there was some excitement on Saturday when at least 3 RED-HEADED QUELEAS were located there. These birds drew some local interest and were still in place yesterday.
16/10/2016 – RED-HEADED QUELEA – at least 3 birds still present at Ngciyo Pans this morning – reported by Jorrie Jordaan.
18/10/2016 – RED-HEADED QUELEA – at least 3 individuals have been found this morning at Ngciyo Pans (Eastern Cape) at 33°35’51.7″S 26°36’34.0″E – reported by Jo Balmer.
ERROR: 19/04/2012 – Moving into Kwazulu Natal, a slightly out of range RED-HEADED QUELEA was reported on Tuesday along the road that leads from Ulundi to the Cengeni gate into the Umfolozi Game Reserve. [error for RED-HEADED FINCH, 20/04/2012]
17/01/2011 – not strictly a rarity, the following has been received on what seems to be a reliable stake-out for RED-HEADED QUELEA at the moment, a bird that can be tough to connect with.
Found a great and easily accessible pan for Red-headed Quelea that are nesting. From Gateway shopping centre there is a little pan in an undeveloped area to the north in between the centre and an area called Prestondale, stay in the low lying drainage line, park just off the road close to a red soil bank and walk 40m to the pan.
30/11/2009 – small numbers of RED-HEADED QUELEAS were present throughout the weekend at the new La Mercy airport site north of Durban.
12/11/2009 – there have been a few reports of RED-HEADED QUELEAS turning up in gardens in Meerensee in Richard’s Bay over the last few days which appears to be unusual for this species.
29/11/2012 – Yesterday saw a male YELLOW-CROWNED BISHOP being located at Junction Dam at Phinda Private Game Reserve.
04/04/2011 – On the weekend, a small group of YELLOW-CROWNED BISHOPS with at least 3 males in it was still present along the Gamka River running through Beaufort West.
28/03/2011 – Other birds continuing to show well in town (Beaufort West) are the GREEN WOOD-HOOPOE and YELLOW-CROWNED BISHOP.
14/03/2011 – the YELLOW-CROWNED BISHOP is also still present in the Beaufort West area.
07/03/2011 – the YELLOW-CROWNED BISHOP reported last week along a river in Beaufort West is also still present but is rather skittish and proving a little elusive for photos.
17/02/2011 – a YELLOW-CROWNED BISHOP, an extremely rare bird in the province, located on a farm about 30km west of Murraysburg.
09/03/2009 – two regional oddities recorded at Phinda Game Reserve in the form of a YELLOW-CROWNED BISHOP and a DUSKY LARK.
KZN Rare Bird Alert [Whatsapp] 5/10/2020 – Bennetts Woodpecker and Red-headed Weaver both at Zebra Hills this morning. Reported by Ryan Tyrer – Ian Gordon.
KZN Rare Bird Alert [Whatsapp] 1/10/2020 – Male and female Red Headed Weaver at nest, Leopard Mountain, Manyoni Private Game Reserve – James Orton
5/10/2020 – There were also a BENNETT’S WOODPECKER and a RED-HEADED WEAVER holding on at Zebra Hills in Manyoni Private Game Reserve earlier today as well.
21/09/2020 – 1 male and 2 female RED-HEADED WEAVERS still around Leopard Mountain Lodge in Manyoni Private Game Reserve on Sunday.
3/09/2020 – Manyoni Private Game Reserve – female RED-HEADED WEAVER seen there on Monday 31/08/2020.
ERROR: 11/06/2020 – RED-HEADED WEAVER was discovered seemingly building a nest at -32.822, 25.593. [this is a mis-identification; also included in ]
14/10/2019 – Also of local interest, the male RED-HEADED WEAVER was back at Leopard Mountain Safari Lodge in Manyoni Private Game Reserve on Friday.
20/10/2016 – This morning, it was also confirmed that a male RED-HEADED WEAVER along with 2 females is back at Leopard Mountain Safari Lodge near Mkhuze.
14/09/2015 – a RED-HEADED WEAVER was once again recorded at Leopard Mountain Game Lodge in the same reserve on Friday, the 5th year in a row that this has happened.
11/11/2013 – The province also delivered some other regionally good birds last week, all from Mavela Game Reserve, which included SOUTHERN RED-BILLED HORNBILL, LEVAILLANT’S CUCKOO, RED-HEADED WEAVER and LESSER GREY SHRIKE.
10/10/2013 – on Sunday, the RED-HEADED WEAVER was confirmed as still being present at the Zululand Rhino Reserve.
30/09/2013 – Other good birds included the return of a pair of RED-HEADED WEAVERS for the third season in a row to Leopard Mountain Game Lodge in Mkhuze last week.
29/11/2012 – The RED-HEADED WEAVER has, once again, also been reported from Leopard Mountain Game Lodge in Mkuze, whilst close by at Rhino River Lodge
01/03/2012 – In Kwazulu Natal, some RED-HEADED WEAVERS have now also been found breeding at Phinda Game Reserve. They were originally recorded there in 2008, but then disappeared and have only recently been relocated there. Is anyone aware of any breeding records any further south than this?
27/01/2011 – Further up the coast in Kwazulu Natal, there have also been a number of interesting regional reports coming through from an atlassing trip that worked the area around Ulundi. Most notable records for the province coming from this area over the weekend included a nesting RED-HEADED WEAVER
07/01/2021 – In LIMPOPO, a DARK-BACKED WEAVER was seen in Woodbush forest at -23.837, 29.992 in a mixer [=mixed] feeding flock on 5 Jan.
[Note: this is 175 km NW from the closest record in SABAP2, ie Hazyview]
19/10/2009 – Continuing with the regional rarities theme, Mpumalanga also delivered some interesting birds over the weekend near Malelane with BLACK-BELLIED STARLING, DARK-BACKED WEAVER and PINK-THROATED TWINSPOT all being seen whilst the undoubted highlight was a pair of GREY WAXBILLS.
03/01/2013 – In North West Province an interesting record received is of a SPECTACLED WEAVER, seen on Saturday in riverine growth just upstream from Kgomo-Kgomo. This is a species that could be increasing its range westwards as SABAP2 records seem to indicate.
Lesser Masked Weaver
26/11/2009 – In Kwazulu Natal, a pair of LESSER MASKED WEAVERS have been discovered breeding at Mount Edgecombe Estate in Durban and were showing well on Monday. They were apparently only discovered at this site last year for the first time and are evidently an extremely rare bird in the Durban area with not a single record during the first bird atlas project.
© David Allan
Holub’s Golden Weaver
21/12/2009 – a GOLDEN WEAVER reported from the entrance to Pongola Nature Reserve which may well constitute the first record of this species for the reserve.
Eastern Golden Weaver
24/10/2011 – Moving into Mpumalanga, the Komatipoort area is once again delivering good regional records with up to 30 YELLOW WEAVERS now present in the area at a “new” colony.
19/07/2010 – in the Tonga region south of Komatipoort, a YELLOW WEAVER was located.
© Duncan McKenzie
Southern Masked Weaver
01/03/2012 – of interest, Phinda has recently recorded a new species for the reserve, its 426th, in the form of a SOUTHERN MASKED WEAVER!
Note: the first record of this species in South Africa was in 2011, and there have been 9 records from them to end 2020 (see list of records here).
4/02/2019 – Up in the Northern Cape, a report has been received of a male CHESTNUT WEAVER in the Blauputz Valley near Augrabies Falls National Park on Saturday which would seem to be only the 8th known record of this species in South Africa.
17/01/2019 – Up in the Northern Cape, a few slightly delayed records have also come through, most exciting of which was a moulting male CHESTNUT WEAVER seen in the campsite at Nossob in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park on 6 January. Following on from records in 2011 of birds at Nossob in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Tswalu Kalahari Reserve and at Twee Rivieren, also in the KTP, then in 2012 again in the KTP just south of Union’s End, in 2013 at Augrabies Falls National Park and then, most recently, in 2014 at Spitskop Nature Reserve in Upington, this becomes only the 7th ever record of this species for South Africa that I am aware of.
24/03/2014 – In the Northern Cape, the male CHESTNUT WEAVER at Spitskop Nature Reserve in Upington was still present in the Southern Masked Weaver colony there until at least Thursday.
17/03/2014 – Another exciting record was that of a CHESTNUT WEAVER building a nest in a Southern Masked Weaver colony at the base of the ‘kop’ of Spitskop in Spitskop Nature Reserve in Upington. Following on from records in 2011 of birds at Nossob in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, then Tswalu Kalahari Reserve and then at Twee Rivieren, also in the KTP, then in 2012 again in the KTP just south of Union’s End and in 2013 at Augrabies Falls National Park, this becomes only the 6th ever record of this species for South Africa.
14/04/2011 – Then into the Northern Cape where, yet again, we have another record of CHESTNUT WEAVER with a single male spotted yesterday at Twee Rivieren in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. It’s hard to believe that we started 2011 off without ever having had this species recorded in South Africa before and we are now only in April and have already had our 3rd record!
27/01/2011 – Moving into the Northern Cape, the CHESTNUT WEAVER at Tswalu Kalahari Reserve is still present.
17/01/2011 – Moving into the Northern Cape, it seems that the main attractions have been the recent influx of CHESTNUT WEAVERS into the province. The bird at Tswalu Kalahari Reserve was still present on the weekend and attracted a small group of local twitchers.
11/01/2011 – Reported by Madel Whittington via Rihann Geyser:
Chestnut Weaver (Ploceus rubiginosus) seen in Nosob in the Kalahari!!!
This bird in not on the SA List and as such you will not find it on the SABAP2 website.
12/01/2015 – a male VILLAGE WEAVER has been visiting a garden feeder in Boston in Bellville over the last few days, another odd record, but the possibility of an escapee can’t be totally ruled out although I’m not sure how many people would actually keep this species in captivity.