Topic : Rare Birds
Article 54 22 January 2013
Green Tinkerbird rediscovered in southern Mozambique
After extensive searching, an isolated population of Green Tinkerbirds has been rediscovered 55 years after the original and only southern African specimen was collected in 1958. Eight pairs (territories) were located on the 17 th and 18 th January 2013 along a 10 km track in an unexpected habitat type. Judging from the intensity of calling the tinkerbirds were breeding during our visit. The tinkerbirds generally remained in the canopy, but fortunately perched out in more open branches providing good views and photographic opportunities.
These are the first photos to be published of this uncommon species that also occurs in E Africa. Full details of locality, habitat type etc are currently being written, and to be published as soon as possible.
Locality details to find Green Tinkerbird
Visitors to this locality would be advised to not enter the area without a GPS, there are no 'road' signs, and the populated farming community is criss-crossed with a maze of tracks that head in all directions. Also, go armed with Google Earth grabs to help position oneself.
The birds we found were immediately inland (west) of the town of Unguana, about 30 km north of Massinga. The 3 suggested turn-offs are:
- A few meters south of the Petromoc on the left in town: 23 03 49.8S, 35 16 08.5E
- Seven km south of there at 23 07 19.2S, 35 17 30.2E - probably as easier track.
- 2.3 km north of town at 23 02 37.8S, 35 15 37.0E. We did not use this track but it seems the straightest route and we would recommend this turnoff looking at Google Earth. After 7.4 km turn right at 23 04 00.9S, 35 11 33.9E and you would be on the right track and only about 1.5 km from the nearest birds we located.
Travelling along the last-mentioned east/west track from 23 04 00.9S, 35 11 33.9E (mentioned under No3 above) and travelling westwards, we found 8 pairs (territories) between 33 03 39.4S, 35 10 52.7E and 23 03 39.8S 35 05 43.0E, the most westerly pair we encountered.
The nearest good accommodation is at Morrungulo, on the coast about 30 - 40 km se of the town of Unguana (13 km east of the tar road, and a few km north of Massinga). Well signposted and they have good chalets and nice camping facilities.