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Red-billed Quelea range expansion in the Western Cape, South Africa

H.D. Oschadleus
Adult male Redbilled Quelea

More web pages about the quelea:
Identification of the Red-billed Quelea
Influx of the Red-billed Quelea
Red-billed Quelea breeding near Worcester
Recent records of the Red-billed Quelea

The Red-billed Quelea (hereafter quelea) has not occurred in the Western Cape historically, but in recent years has started expanding its range into this province. There is a single record of a flock of quelea at Zeekoievlei in 1946. The next record is from the Karoo NP in 1986. These and successive records were published in SAJS 2006, with records up to the end of 2005.

In April and May 2007 there was an influx of quelea on the Cape Peninsula. Sightings reported on Capebirdnet and to me are listed below. Please check for errors and additions. Also keep sending in sightings as it is important to see if the quelea disappear or stay, and to what extent they stay. A remarkable observation is that most sites are reported from very close to the coast-line, and even from Robben Island. This indicates that the quelea moved from the interior and travelled as far as they could before being stopped by the ocean. The most likely reason for this influx is that a good breeding season was followed by drought.

Figure: shows number of quelea sightings reported during the influx in the Western Cape, April-May 2007.

Map: shows location of quelea sightings reported during the influx in the Western Cape, April-May 2007 (ignore the legend).

Table: date is the reporting date unless an actual sighting date is reported. Records are listed chronologically. Note: newly reported records are shown in a second table below, even though some of the records fit in between records in the first table.

Date n Locality Coordinates Reporter
Apr 2007 up to 100 Rooi Els   Helen Jones & Alison Ayre
18/04/2007 3 Goedeontmoeting farm near Philadelphia 3341S_1847E Margaret McCall
18/04/2007 small flock Where Palmiet River enters the Kogelberg NR 3415S 1901E Dave Persse
21/04/2007 50-60 Pringle Bay house   Erina Botha
21/04/2007 c 50 wynlandgoed Van Loveren tussen Robertson en Ashton   Maurits Perold
22/04/2007 c100 Vermont garden   John Bowman
22/04/2007 c100 Vermont, coastal path near us   John Bowman
22/04/2007 ad m,f De Hoop Opstal 3429S 2024E Peter Chadwick
25/04/2007 small flock Hout Bay   Vernon Head
25/04/2007 1 Tokai garden   Margaret Maciver
25/04/2007 few Hermanus   John Bowman
26/04/2007 c100 Vermont garden   John Bowman
27/04/2007 2 Somerset West garden   John Carter
28/04/2007 c8 Betties Bay within 100 metres of the coast   Helm van Zijl
28/04/2007 small group Cape Point: Buffels Bay   Barrie Rose
28/04/2007 flock over Seal Island in False Bay   Patrick Cardwell
28/04/2007 c10 Robben island, S bch   Richard Sherly
30/04/2007 5 groups totaling c 200 Cape Point: on the ridge between the old and new lighthouses   Barrie Rose
30/04/2007 6 Cape Point: Carpark   Barrie Rose
30/04/2007 40 Cape Point: Buffels Bay   Barrie Rose
30/04/2007 6 Cape Point: Circular Drive   Barrie Rose
30/04/2007 c50 Geelbek restuarant   John McFarlane
30/04/2007 c7 Somerset West garden   John Carter
30/04/2007 c12 Van Schoors Drift (near Philadelphia)   John Carter
01/05/2007 c200 Rooi Els   Jill Mortimer
01/05/2007 c100 Vermont in Onrus near the lagoon   John Bowman
01/05/2007 c40 Boulders, Simonstown   Barry Watkins & Meidad Goren
01/05/2007 8-10 Rondebosch garden   Eve Gracie
01/05/2007 few flocks of c50 Along the Swartriver road which runs between the R43, near Fisherhaven and the N1 to Caledon   Barbara & Graham Palmer
06/05/2007 5 Boontjieskraal (Remkuil) area close to Caledon 3411S 1921E Jacky Furno
06/05/2007 five flocks, each of about 30 birds Caledon/Villiersdoorp area   John Bowman
06/05/2007 seen George, Sedgefield and Knysna   Brian Denman
06/05/2007 c100 Kurland at the Crags   Brian Denman
08/05/2007 ? Natures Valley   Brian Denman
08/05/2007 ? Plett (town & on Robberg)   Brian Denman
08/05/2007 large group Breede River somewhere   Erina Botha
10/05/2007 some? Stilbaai   Erina Botha

Newly reported records, up to 30 May 2007
A few records from the N Cape and E Cape have been included. Negative records and records from before 2007 are not shown on the web, but have been archived.

Date n Locality Coordinates Reporter
Feb-07 1 Barrydale garden   Terry Oatley
17-26/03/2007 ? plot 10 km from Vioolsdrif-border, N Cape   Pieter en Mariť van den Heever
12/04/2007 c6 just outside Fernkloof Nature Reserve in Hermanus   Phoebe Barnard with Rob Simmons and Mike Ford
16/04/2007 1 farm dam about one kilometre from Barrydale   Terry Oatley for visiting birder
18/04/2007 few Gamtoos River estuary, E Cape   Tony Tree
20/04/2007 1 Barrydale garden   Terry Oatley
21/04/2007 15-20 Elsies Peak, Fish Hoek   Andrew Jenkins for Anthony van Zyl
22/04/2007 15-20 Admiral's Kloof, Simonstown   Andrew Jenkins
22/04/2007 6 next to our Lodge in Hunters Home, Knysna   Peter Ellis
22/04/2007 3 Blouvlei (Intaka Island)   Margaret Maciver for Gerald Wingate et al
28/04/2007 c20 Doornkloof N R   Felicity Ellmore
29/04/2007 1 Kleinemonde mouth, E Cape   Tony Tree
30/04/2007 c20 Doornkloof N R   Felicity Ellmore
30/04/2007 up to 50 Cape Point   Andrew Jenkins
30/04/2007 several St. Helena Bay   Trevor Hardaker
30/04/2007 3 small flocks coming OFF the sea from the south at Cape Recife, E Cape   Tony Tree for Alf Taylor
~01/05/2007 40+ Port Elizabeth garden, E Cape   Albert Schultz
02/05/2007 3 Kleinemonde mouth (2-3 km inland from), E Cape   Tony Tree
05/05/2007 10 near R27 entrance to West Coast Park   Trevor Hardaker
05/05/2007 c50 Geelbek Manor House   Trevor Hardaker
05/05/2007 c100 Geelbek hide in reeds and on salt marsh   Trevor Hardaker
05/05/2007 1 Blouvlei (Intaka Island)   Margaret Maciver for Gerald Wingate et al
12/05/2007 1 Garden near Silvermine River Wetlands   Brenda Anderson for friend
14/05/2007 some Plettenberg Bay area   Reinderd
26/05/2007 5 Rietvlei Wetland Reserve   Margaret Maciver

New records, after the influx

Date n Locality Coords Reporter
15/06/2007 many Birds of Eden 3357S 2327E~ Kevin Shaw for Isabel
13/08/2007 15+ Montagu Warmbaths 3346S 2007E Gabriel Jamie
15/08/2007 small flock from Witsand to Malgas 3416S 2037E Berrie Ferreira
05/09/2007 flock Farm of Mr Piet Fourie in Albertinia distr 3409S 2140E Rhett Hiseman
6-7/09/2007 flock Van Heslandskull farm - Riviersonderend 3408S 1951E Stuart McLennan
09/09/2007 flock Blydskap Farm 3409S 1953E John Jones
08/10/2007 1 Old Malmesbury Rd, & Botterberg Rd 3342S 1834E Gerald Wingate

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