Do you remember this one? I was sitting in my office when I got a phone call to say a Franklin’s Gull Leucophaeus (previously Larus) pipixcan had just been located – a potential lifer, only about 10 km from my house. I think I broke the land-speed record on my down the N1 to get to Centurion Lake. For those of you who don’t know the site, it is not as idyllic as it sounds: a rather smelly and polluted concrete-bound reservoir overlooked by a busy shopping centre, where local birder Michal Groenewald happened to connect with this popular vagrant. One I got there and located the bird I scribbled some furious notes – these are the results. Although there are a fair number of records of this presumably trans-Atlantic Nearctic vagrant along South Africa’ coastline, they are very rare inland, and us “Vaalies” seldom get the opportunity to enjoy this species in our own backyard.
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