Angola Cave Chat – it was in the Zebra Mountains, Namibia, now it is also in SABAP2!
Niall Perrins wrote a few days ago on SABirdnet: "I've just returned from a very successful trip around northwestern Namibia with a group of friends, our timing just right to have a crack at the Angola Cave Chat. The photos are not great due to the distance from the bird, but are definitely proof that this was the bird." Niall made an atlas checklist at the same time, and has submitted this to SABAP2. Out of the 36 species he recorded for the pentad, nine generated "Out of Range Forms" (ORFs)**. Holger Kolberg, in Windhoek, is the Regional Atlas Coordinator for SABAP2 in Namibia, so he has some work to do!
I asked Niall if he thought that this is a species which has been overlooked, or a vagrant. He says: "I think it is overlooked. There will be several pairs in those mountains, an area where nobody goes, or if they do, they don't spend much time scanning bare rocks for a little black and white bird." This is Niall's 850th species in southern Africa, and what a great way to achieve this milestone. He is also one of the pioneer atlasers, who put his heart and soul into SABAP2 right from the beginning at a point when the project was still building up momentum. Thank you, Niall, for your fantastic ongoing contribution to SABAP2.
To see Niall's other photos of the Angola Cave Chat, and the full account of its discovery in Namibia, have a look at his website. To see how far this record is out of the known range, you can view the "distribution map" for the species on the IUCN website here. Unless a distribution map is grounded on an intensive atlas project it is the product of some confident guesswork. This is why SABAP2 is such a fundamentally important project to bird conservation in southern Africa.
** ORFs are friends to be welcomed. Every ORF represents a species that has not been recorded in (or near) a pentad previously. Every ORF represents an expansion of the confirmed range!
[ Staff login ]