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Africa - year list record (1 Viewer)

Muppit17

Well-known member
The latest reports are a mix of good news - picking up most of the Albertine Rift endemics in Western Uganda, and bad - couldn't get to Ethiopia. The chase for the African year list appears to be off the agenda, and with daily changes in lock downs across the region it is difficult to second guess what they can do now.

They have gone past 1000 species since April and well over 1300 in total on the 'virtual year list' .

I know the original plan was to head south through Rwanda and Burundi - but currently they appear to be heading close to Kampala - don't know of their plans or the state of the border crossings.
A further update - Ross and Melinda are now in Zambia. It is clear that they had to abandon ideas of Rwanda and Burundi and tracked south through Tanzania. They appear to be focusing on the far NW of the country at the moment and picking up species that just cross the border from DRC.

Latest additions have included Vermiculated Fish Owl, Thick-billed Honeyguide, Bannerman's & Bates Sunbirds, Bocage's Weaver and Grimwood's Longclaw - they seem to be targeting rarely seen species both for Zambia and Africa as a whole
 

Muppit17

Well-known member
A further update - Ross and Melinda are now in Zambia. It is clear that they had to abandon ideas of Rwanda and Burundi and tracked south through Tanzania. They appear to be focusing on the far NW of the country at the moment and picking up species that just cross the border from DRC.

Latest additions have included Vermiculated Fish Owl, Thick-billed Honeyguide, Bannerman's & Bates Sunbirds, Bocage's Weaver and Grimwood's Longclaw - they seem to be targeting rarely seen species both for Zambia and Africa as a whole
Apologies to Melissa - calling her Melinda in the last post - oops!

Now in Namibia heading down the Caprivi strip. Not sure why they shot through Zambia so quickly.
Of the Zambian endemics (3 of them listed) - they got Black-cheeked Lovebird, but seem to have missed Chaplin's Barbet. I must admit that I am surprised that White-chested Tinkerbird is still listed as a species in IOC 11.2 despite the footnote - unsurprising they didn't see one!

The challenge ahead must be the crossing into Angola
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Apologies to Melissa - calling her Melinda in the last post - oops!

Now in Namibia heading down the Caprivi strip. Not sure why they shot through Zambia so quickly.
Of the Zambian endemics (3 of them listed) - they got Black-cheeked Lovebird, but seem to have missed Chaplin's Barbet. I must admit that I am surprised that White-chested Tinkerbird is still listed as a species in IOC 11.2 despite the footnote - unsurprising they didn't see one!

The challenge ahead must be the crossing into Angola

When did the Lovebird achieve endemic status, certainly when we did this trip, Chaplin's Barbet was the only, Zambian endemic?

I wonder why they missed the Barbet, pretty much guranteed at Bruce Miller farm but you need local knowledge to find the fruiting trees.
 

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Muppit17

Well-known member
When did the Lovebird achieve endemic status, certainly when we did this trip, Chaplin's Barbet was the only, Zambian endemic?

I wonder why they missed the Barbet, pretty much guranteed at Bruce Miller farm but you need local knowledge to find the fruiting trees.
I suggest the question on the Lovebird is the wrong way round. When was it ever confirmed outside of Zambia?

IUCN says it is resident in Zambia and doubtfully recorded elsewhere. A record in Caprivi is suggested as an escape and unconfirmed sightings in Botswana & Zimbabwe listed. With recent declines, even if it could have wandered elsewhere, today it is less likely to be seen except in the core range.

Lovebirds are so often kept as cage birds that odd records are possible I guess.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
I suggest the question on the Lovebird is the wrong way round. When was it ever confirmed outside of Zambia?

IUCN says it is resident in Zambia and doubtfully recorded elsewhere. A record in Caprivi is suggested as an escape and unconfirmed sightings in Botswana & Zimbabwe listed. With recent declines, even if it could have wandered elsewhere, today it is less likely to be seen except in the core range.

Lovebirds are so often kept as cage birds that odd records are possible I guess.
I've never seen any caged birds, anywhere on my travels in Africa, not to say there none of course but Worlds apart from the situation in Asia.
 

Muppit17

Well-known member
I've never seen any caged birds, anywhere on my travels in Africa, not to say there none of course but Worlds apart from the situation in Asia.
It appears that you may have been fortunate.

Certainly parrot trade is a major issue, as much in Africa as elsewhere, and is cited as a major contributor to the imminent extinction in the wild of African Grey Parrot for one.

Of course there is also the bush-meat issue.

Please see Tackling illegal killing, taking and trade of birds in Sub-Saharan Africa

There are plenty of other articles and pieces on the web
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
It appears that you may have been fortunate.

Certainly parrot trade is a major issue, as much in Africa as elsewhere, and is cited as a major contributor to the imminent extinction in the wild of African Grey Parrot for one.

Of course there is also the bush-meat issue.

Please see Tackling illegal killing, taking and trade of birds in Sub-Saharan Africa

There are plenty of other articles and pieces on the web
But these are to satisfy foreign, cage bird demands, not domestic. The the other illegal stuff that happens in Africa, can't be compared to Asia where almost every house has a Magpie Robin or a Red-whisked Bulbul in a cage outside.

Thankfully, AGP was still relatively easy to see in Uganda when we were there two years ago, sorry, not the best pic but it was dusk.
 

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Muppit17

Well-known member
Apologies to Melissa - calling her Melinda in the last post - oops!

Now in Namibia heading down the Caprivi strip. Not sure why they shot through Zambia so quickly.
Of the Zambian endemics (3 of them listed) - they got Black-cheeked Lovebird, but seem to have missed Chaplin's Barbet. I must admit that I am surprised that White-chested Tinkerbird is still listed as a species in IOC 11.2 despite the footnote - unsurprising they didn't see one!

The challenge ahead must be the crossing into Angola
We now have confirmation of what I suspected, Angola is off their itinerary. Just too complex with the current Covid restrictions.

They have confirmed that they are going to Gabon and Sao Tome & Principe.

Their current list is 1150 + and bear in mind this is from April. Looking back the record breaking year list hit 1000 in August, so their pace is much more than has been achieved previously.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
We now have confirmation of what I suspected, Angola is off their itinerary. Just too complex with the current Covid restrictions.

They have confirmed that they are going to Gabon and Sao Tome & Principe.

Their current list is 1150 + and bear in mind this is from April. Looking back the record breaking year list hit 1000 in August, so their pace is much more than has been achieved previously.
Which list are they using Muppit?

It's a really unfortunate time to be doing this, so much of Africa has flared up in the last year, on top of the places that weer already a no go.
 
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Muppit17

Well-known member
Which list are they using Muppit?

It's a really unfortunate time to be doing this, so much of Africa has flared up in the last year, on top of the places that weer already a no go.
I believe that Ross tracks his sightings against IOC, however they utilise eBird for tracking. Using the subspecies recording means that the two can be tracked. He is also a student on the research on speciation and new discoveries so is really interested in seeing all the relevant subspecies (seems to go beyond a simple future proofing).

I can only see the eBird lists, but some IOC species are annotated.

Bear in mind they never were trying to beat the year record. The aim was to get Ross to 7000 species (now 7300+).

I agree, it is a shame that their effort has coincided with the pandemic - even so it shows what is possible.
 

Muppit17

Well-known member
A further update. They have just cleaned up in Sao Tome & Principe, including the undescribed owl on Principe and the 'Band-rumped Petrel' which also is probably related to Cape Verde or another new species. Next stop is Gabon.
 

Muppit17

Well-known member
Melissa & Ross have left Gabon after finding 330+ species. They appear to have gone to Togo. No idea of their plans. On original timing, it must be getting close to the end of their trip.
 

Muppit17

Well-known member
Melissa & Ross have left Gabon after finding 330+ species. They appear to have gone to Togo. No idea of their plans. On original timing, it must be getting close to the end of their trip.
Well, the latest eBird checklists for today are from the US, so this must mean that their adventure is at an end. It is difficult to say what their final list is - at the moment at least. My rough totals are 1296 for this year, and 1524 for the combined 9 months of the two trips added together. I will have missed some, especially against IOC. (the 'record' was 1541) which is amazing going considering that they had to drop Ethiopia, Rwanda/Burundi & Angola.

The success rate on the African endemics is amazing - big gaps are only really on Palearctic migrants, endemics from those areas they didn't go to, or in the case of South Africa, where they had been before.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Well, the latest eBird checklists for today are from the US, so this must mean that their adventure is at an end. It is difficult to say what their final list is - at the moment at least. My rough totals are 1296 for this year, and 1524 for the combined 9 months of the two trips added together. I will have missed some, especially against IOC. (the 'record' was 1541) which is amazing going considering that they had to drop Ethiopia, Rwanda/Burundi & Angola.

The success rate on the African endemics is amazing - big gaps are only really on Palearctic migrants, endemics from those areas they didn't go to, or in the case of South Africa, where they had been before.
So they missed the record?

With hindsight, it couldn't have been a worse time to attempt it with covid and the various conficts that broke out, very unlucky but still a great adventure.
 

Muppit17

Well-known member
So they missed the record?

With hindsight, it couldn't have been a worse time to attempt it with covid and the various conficts that broke out, very unlucky but still a great adventure.
Andy

As I said - I don't know yet. There are three points to be made.
  1. They were not targeting it, but based on their original itinerary it would have happened naturally.
  2. I have quoted 1541 as the vagrant twitcher's final list. That was never verified and there have been IOC updates since it was published (potential for more to be added) but he also counted 'splits' that have still not been recognised eg Barrow's Bustard as well as White bellied Bustard. I suspect that a current final list may be slightly lower than quoted - but this is a guess.
  3. The final list for Ross & Melissa will be higher than 1524. I was tracking on IOC 10.1, not the current 11.2. I also can't reconcile some of the their lists. Previously they also added a few lists/species after they got home.
 

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