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Wilson's Phalarope sitings - Dophin Beach Pan - 21 May 2007
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Visitor from North America seen at Rietvlei.

A female Wilson's Phalarope in full breeding plumage made a spectacular appearance in the Dolphin Beach Pond on 20 May 2007. She was a rare visitor from America - the small wader breeds in the prairies of western Canada and western USA, and migrates to southern South America during the northern winter.

This female was obviously on her way back to the north, but went off course and ended up at Rietvlei. It is only the third recording of this species in Cape Town, and the 15th in South Africa; the previous recording was in 2005 at Abrahamskraal in the West Coast National Park.

This appearance caused great excitement and birders flocked to see the bird. Many birders from upcountry were planning to fly down to Cape Town for the following weekend, to see the female, but she dissappeared by mid-week - hopefully she has found her way back to the north American continent.

The species is a member of the family Scolopacidae, the sandpipers and phalaropes; we notice in the literature that both Phalaropes tricolor and Steganopus tricolor appears as the generic name for Wilson's Phalarope - it appears that the former is the correct name (it appears in most American articles on the species), but could an expert please advise?

Go to the next pages to view pictures of this pretty little female.
 
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