25 December 2002
An adult House Crow (Corbeau familier, Corvus splendens) was at Tangier harbour (J. Franchimont). First record for Morocco.
Early October 2002
Interesting records at Melga-el-Ouidane, north of Taourirt in the Plains of Eastern Morocco, included Black-winged Kite, Hoopoe, and Desert Lark (G. Hilgerloh).
- African Rock Martin (Hirondelle isabelline) and Rock Martin (Hirondelle des rochers) are hardly distinguisable in Morocco. We have tried to put together a kind of summary, which is available on the ‘Element on some bird species and sites’ webpage.
At last! ‘The Birds of Morocco‘ (British Ornithologist Union Checklist Series: 21; c.670 pages with 32 in colour) and the revised (2nd) edition of our ‘Birdwatchers’ Guide to Morocco‘(Prion Ltd.) are due this spring.
Very heavy rains late November in north Atlantic Morocco killed dozen people. 24 Nov : Lower Loukkos marshes flooded, with few birds only. (J. Franchimont).
Our October trip to South Atlantic Morocco was very successful. We have recorded thousands of Audouin’s Gulls and Caspian Terns along the coast, especially at Dakhla; also worth to be mentioned : some 20 Plain Swifts at Layoun and another 3 at Awfist, 35 Ruddy Shelducks at Layoun, c. 30,000 Lesser Black-backed Gulls at Layoun harbour, a Red Kite near Boujdour, a Bluethroat at Dawra……. The report is available on the ‘trip reports’ webpage.
- These are some of the much recommendable hotels found during our trip:
- Hôtel Maroc campement at Tafnidilt, north of Tan Tan. Wonderful newly built hotel near the ancient fort of Tafnidilt. Should not be missed. Thay can drive you to the estuary of the Oued Draa… wonderful!
- Chez Luc et Martine at Dawra. A wonderful tiny camping place; great hosts, great food, great place….
- Hôtel Erraha at Dakhla. Very good value for money with a friendly team, in one of the most famous – yet not touristical – birdwatching areas of Morocco.
Numbers of White-headed Ducks at Douyiet near Fès increase dramatically: 85 – 96 on 6 Nov 2002, 128 on 7 Dec 2002 (J. Franchimont and F. Touati Malih).
A project of a Center for Protection of Moroccan Wetlands is under way; it will be led by SEO/Birdlife with support of the EC and located at Rabat zoo (Diego Jerez Abad).
Rare Birds in Morocco: the new MRBC report (#7) is now available on the ‘Moroccan Rare Birds Committee’ webpage.
New breeding record of Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris at the Moulouya estuary, where 2 broods of 7 and 9 young were present on 16 June (Diego Jerez Abad & Rosa Ramirez Espinar).
A new road is currently being constructed through Todra gorge… (Steve Carter).
Some much recommendable hotels that we have tried recently:
- The « Kasbah Ellouze » at Tamdakht near Aït Benhaddou to the northwest of Ouarzazate (Phone/fax 00 212 44 89 04 59, GSM : 00 212 67 96 54 83) run by Dominique: a great place… (half-board 600 DH for 2)
- « Chez Ali » at Zagora, a friendly, clean and cheap little inn where you can sleep under a berber tent