2003

December 2003

L’avancée du goudron dans le sud marocain : lors de notre mission d’octobre, nous avons noté que de nombreuses pistes avaient été récemment goudronnées :

  • Dans les Akhsass, on peut maintenant rejoindre Tiznit à Mesti (83 km) et au-delà Goulimine, sans passer par Ifni.
  • Dans la zone côtière de Tiznit, la piste entre Aglou Plage et Gourizim (7063 de la Michelin) a été asphaltée. La route côtière s’étend donc maintenant d’Aglou Plage à Sidi Ifni
  • Dans l’Anti-Atlas, la route pour Igherm – Taliouine est goudronnée
  • Dans le Bani, le trajet Kasbah Jaoua – Akka Irhene est goudronné, et la partie Akka Irhene – Taliouine (125 km) en voie de goudronnage (il ne ne resterait plus qu’une vintaine de km de piste, devant être goudronnée mais quand ? Inch Allah….)

December 2003

Records of rare birds in the Plains of Eastern Morocco in December include a Gret White Egret Ardea alba on 19 Dec at Barrage Mohamed V, and a Bittern Botaurus stellaris, a female Scaup Aythya marila and a female Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator at the Moulouya estuary on 21 Dec (D. Jerez Abad)

25 December 2003

Après les très fortes précipitations d’octobre qui avaient emporté la piste, l’accès au fort/hôtel de Tafnidilt près de l’embouchure du Draa est à nouveau possible. N’hésitez pas à faire une halte dans ce superbe établissement, au milieu d’un environnement grandiose…

24 December 2003

Premières parades – précoces – d’une Outarde houbara près de Missour (O. Fontaine)

19 December 2003

Nouveau record national marocain d’Erismatures à tête blanche : 181 individus minimum hivernant à Douyièt. Egalement, une Erismature rousse mâle et 2 Hiboux du Cap (Asio capensis), espèce rare ici. (J. Franchimont & F. Touati-Malih)

15 December 2003

Stefano’s trip reports to Jbel Sarhro are available on the ‘Trip Reports’ webpage. Additional information on the Italian team work in this area is available athttp://www.cesmap.it/jbel_sarhro.html

18 November 2003

A Douyiet, 161 Erismatures à tête blanche (Record national absolu), 20 Sarcelles marbrées, 1 Fuligule nyroca, 20 à 30 Foulques à crête, 1 Bécassine sourde, 520 Pigeons colombins, 2 ou 3 Pipits spioncelles, 2 Pipits à gorge rousse, 5 Gorgebleues à miroir et 2 à 5 Bruants des roseaux. Malheureusement aussi, 2 Erismatures rousses mâles ! La liste des 64 espèces observées est disponible sur la page ‘Trip Reports‘ (J. Franchimont)

16 November 2003

Les observations de ce week-end dans l’est marocain ont inclu 8 Vautours fauves, une troupe d’une vingtaine de Gravelots à collier interrompu et les espèces classiques (Ganga unibande, Traquet à tête grise, Ammomane du désert, Sirli du désert…) à Missour, mais aussi un nombre important de Merles à plastron dans les gorges d’Oulad Ali près d’Outat Oulad El Haj (O. Fontaine)

15 November 2003

Our summary of the status of the White-headed Duck in Morocco is available in the last issue of the French journal Alauda (Bergier, P. ; Franchimont, J. & Thévenot, M. 2003. Evolution récente de la population d’Erismature à tête blanche Oxyura leucocephala au Maroc. Alauda 71 : 339-346)

12 November 2003

Very little migrants in Jbel Bani and Western Sahara from mid-October through to early November at least ; heavy rains and fairly bad weather, but highlights of our 2-week trip included 4-6 Tawny Eagles between Goulimine and Tan Tan on 26 October and another one on 31 October ; Barbary Falcons at Mirleft, Massa, Tata, and Lemseied ; Cream-coloured Coursers at Tah and between Layoune and Smara ; 500 Audouin’s Gulls at Arghoud on 2 November ; 6 Orphean Warblers at Dawra on 27 October ; Fulvous Babblers at Assa, Lemseied, and Bou Izakarn ; and Black-crowned Tchagras in the Arksass region and at Tamri. A detailed report is under construction.

11 November 2003

Les résultats des votes du premier tour de la session n°9 de la CHM sont disponibles sur la page ‘Moroccan Rare Birds Committee / Session 9’

9 November 2003

Plains of Eastern Morocco: records at Melilla included one Stercorarius parasiticus on 12 September, one Catharacta skua on 26 October, and 96 Puffinus mauretanicus, one Puffinus griseus, 1392 Calonectris diomedea and 200 Morus bassanus in 2 hours on 1st November. A Great White Heron Ardea alba was at Barrage Mohamed V near Oujda on 2nd November (D. Jerez Abad & R. Ramirez Espinar)

24 October 2003

Nombre record d’Erismatures à tête blanche à Douyiet, où 130 individus étaient présents (J. Franchimont & F. Touati-Malih)

15 October 2003

Plains of Eastern Morocco: 75 Night Herons, 2 Black-shouldered Kites, 3 Glossy Ibis and 7 Purple Gallinules at the Moulouya estuary on 1st October, and 400 Flamingoes, 1 Black-shouldered Kite, 1 Marsh Sandpiper, 79 Lesser Crested Terns and 134 Sandwich Terns at Sebkha Bou-Areg on 5 October (D. Jerez Abad & R. Ramirez Espinar)

12 October 2003

Sur Dayet Ifrah (lac du Moyen Atlas), bonne concentration de foulques (les 2 sp.), de souchets, de grèbes à cou noir, de casarcas et de colverts. Il y a avait également une 15aine d’échasses, un héron cendré, une aigrette garzette et quelques canards chipeaux. (O. Fontaine)

11 October 2003

Sud-est saharien : un Chevalier culblanc à Bouanane et une Aigrette garzette à Bouarfa, qui semblait un peu perdue dans un milieu si aride. (O. Fontaine)

11 October 2003

En septembre, fortes pluies en Mauritanie. La moitié sud du pays est magnifiquement verte, et la côte est peuplée de migrateurs venant d’Europe. Qu’en est-il dans le sud du Maroc ?

5 and 12 October 2003

Heavy migration of Wheatears and Swallows at Missour, Eastern Morocco (O. Fontaine).

4 October 2003

Olivier’s July trip report is available on the ‘Trip reports’ webpage.

3 October 2003

Research into Barbary Falcon
Anne-Marie Drieux-Dumont heads a team that is currently researching the genetics of the genus Falco. The aim is to investigate the evolutionary history of the morphologically variable Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus and its close relative, Barbary Falcon F. pelegrinoides. The team would be very grateful for any biological material (feathers, blood or, for dead birds, muscle) of any subspecies from anywhere in their breeding ranges. Furthermore, material from hybrid falcons and other species in the genus, such as Lanner F. biarmicus, Merlin F. columbarius and Eleonora’s Falcon F. eleonorae, is also required. Contact: Anne-Marie Drieux Dumont, Director of Genetics Laboratory, International Foundation for Conservation and Development of Wildlife, P. O. Box 116. Inezgane, Morocco. Fax: +212 48 240766. e-mail : am2d.fcg@wanadoo.fr

2 October 2003

The satellite-tracked adult male Honey Buzzard from northern Germany (see 20 September) is now in Burkina Faso, some 2000 kilometres further south! (info B. Meyburg).

26 September 2003

Jbel Sarhro National Park Project : the CeSMAP (Centro Studi e Museo d’Arte Preistorica) from Pinerolo (Italy) and the INSAP (Institut National des Sciences de l’Archéologie et du Patrimoine, Ministère de la Culture, Rabat) will undertake a new mission in the Jbel Sarhro early October 2003. The efforts will be focussed on archaeological matters, but herps and birds will also be studied. We welcome any data on this poorly known area.

20 September 2003

A satellite-tracked adult male Honey Buzzard from northern Germany arrived in the evening of 12 September 2003 in a valley south of the High Atlas, near the village of Aït Aïssa, some 77 km NE of Ouarzazate. Since that date, its position (31°12’18 »N – 06°09’22 »W) has not changed and the bird is probably dead. Bernd Meyburg would very much appreciate getting the transmitter back, as this is quite a high value device (info B. Meyburg).

6 September 2003

Our next trip to Morocco is planned for 18 October – 1 November.

5 September 2003

The « Birds of Morocco – B.O.U. Checklist » is now available.

23 August 2003

Claudio’s trip report has been posted on the ‘Trip report’ webpage.

13 July 2003

At least 5 White-rumped Swifts Apus caffer at Ras-el-Oued near Taza in the Eastern Middle Atlas but no nest could be located (J. Franchimont & A. El Ghazi).

11 July 2003

Come and have a good time enjoy yourself and raise money for a very good cause at the Kasbah du Toubkal in the High Atlas near Imlil, 8-11 April 2004. Mike and his team plan to complete the hammam – a steam bath – of the village… Details of this wonderful site/accomodation and of this project are available at Kasbah du Toubkal website.

10 July 2003

Moroccobirding is a new discussion list maintained by V. Schollaert, and is available through http://fr.groups.yahoo.com/moroccobirding/

9 July 2003

Today records at Douyiet (near Fès) included 44 species with some 40 Black-necked Grebes, one Shelduck, and family parties of Red-crested Pochard, Pochard and White-headed Ducks (J. Franchimont & B. Dahou).

8 July 2003

The Emirates Center for Wildlife Propagation (ECWP) at Missour produced 793 chicks of Houbara Bustard in 2002. Sice 1998, 348 birds were released, with 240 in 2002 (Houbara News 5: May 2003).

8 July 2003

Only one Bonelli’s Eagle was reared at Missour (O. Fontaine).

6 July 2003

Valery’s trip report has been posted on the ‘trip report webpage’.

30 June 2003

A Chaffinch from North-Africa has been observed at Storfors, Sweden, on 5th May 3003. Pictures are available at http://home.swipnet.se/~w-25648/birds/ (H. Johansson).

23 June 2003

Fabrice and Sophie’s trip report has been posted on the ‘trip report webpage’.

21 June 2003

At least 6 White-rumped Swifts Apus caffer have been recorded in Eastern Middle Atlas to the south of Taza on 19 June (exact location: village of Ras-el-Oued, as it is recorded on the Michelin map) (J. Franchimont and F. Touati Malih).
Jacques reports the following: « 6 Martinets cafres sur les hauteurs de Taza, au sud de la ville, très exactement au village de Ras El Ma (appelé parfois Ras El Oued), et observés depuis la route goudronnée, à hauteur de l’entrée du Café Ras El Ma, et aussi depuis le parking de ce même café, duant une bonne vingtaine de minutes. Cette observation est tout à fait certaine, et un rapport sera envoyé à la CHM.
A noter que l’Hirondelle rousseline semble aussi assez abondante dans ce village (ce qui est important puisque le Martinet de Cafrerie utilise ses vieux nids abandonnés), et à remarquer que le village de Ras El Ma présente de nombreuses analogies avec celui d’Asni au  sud de Marrakech où j’ai déjà vu aussi ce Martinet rare et très localisé (site de montagne, vallée à cours d’eau rapide, avec de nombreux jardins très jolis, nombreuses Hirondelles rousselines, etc…)
« .

20 June 2003

The Iceland Gull reported at the Souss estuary on 8 April was still there beginning of May (C. Koller).

17 June 2003

The GOMAC (Groupe d’Ornithologie du Maroc) website is out of order. A new version should be released soon, Inch Allah !!

6 June 2003

The annual report of the Moroccan Rare Birds Committee (#8, 2002) has been posted on the ‘Moroccan Rare Birds Committee / Annual reports’ webpage.

4 June 2003

An unusual migration of Griffon Vultures has been recorded near Melilla and Nador on the Mediterranean coast, and included 4 birds on 19 April, 4 on 1st May, 1 on 18 May, 17 on 19 May, 9 on 24 May, 5 on 25 May, and 20 on 1st June. There was also one Egyptian Vulture on 24 May, and 4 on 1st June. All these birds were migrating to the North-West (D. Jerez Abad & R. Ramirez Espinar).

27 May 2003

Flamingothe 4 birds that I have seen on 31 October last year at the Souss estuary had been ringed as pulli at Laguna de Fuente de Piedra near Malaga, Spain : 0XSZ (previously recorded at Oued Souss on 30 Sep 2001 – P. Malenfert), OZAX (subsequenty recorded at Salinas de Thyna near Sfax, Tunisia, on 9 Nov 2002 – M. Smart, and 9 Jan 2003 – J. Hjerrild Hansen), 1ABN, and 1AJJ.

23 May 2003

Marbled Teal, 6 families with 66 chicks at Sidi Bou Rhaba (A. Sayad).

May 2003

Avocett, a nest with 4 eggs near Matarka, Eastern High Plateaux (O. Fontaine).

9 Mai 2003

Status of the Iceland Gull (Goéland à ailes blanches, Larus glaucoides) in Morocco

Following Valéry Schollaert’s observation of sub-adult at the Souss estuary on 8 April 2003, it is reminded that there are 3 previous records in Morocco, including one (second winter) at the Bou-Regreg estuary, 28 Dec 1979; one (first winter) at the Loukkos estuary (Larache), 4 Oct 1980 (Beaubrun 1980), and one (first winter) at Ceuta, 16 Jan 1987 (A. Cambelo). These 3 records are cited in the forthcoming B.O.U. ‘Checklist of the Birds of Morocco’ (Thévenot, Vernon & Bergier, in press).
In addition, we are also aware of 2 other records (Sebou estuary, 20 Jan 2002, and Agadir harbour – 2° winter, 21 Jan 2002). These 2 records have been submitted to the Moroccan Rare Birds Committee (MRBC) but have not be accepted. Valéry’s observation possibly gives the MRBC the opportunity to reconsider their vote.

5 May 2003

Les 2 jeunes Aigles de Bonelli de Missour sont proches de l’envol (O. Fontaine).

29 April 2003

At least 24 White-headed Ducks, including several pairs, at Douyiet in Saïs (F. Touati Malih & J. Franchimont).

April 2003

Please help the Northern Bald Ibis!!. Chris Bowden (Projet Ibis chauve, BirdLife International) pleads for all responsible birdwatchers to take note of this when looking for this bird:

« seeing the ibis at Oued Tamri is often very easy, and at worst requires a little patience – waiting on the southern side of the Oued, overlooking the area is in my view the best strategy. To see one of the rarest birds in the world, and without adding a threat surely merits a little time and prudence.
Unfortunately, a number of birdwatchers and even tour group leaders have approached the Tamri colony, and I have written to one of these over several years now protesting about this. He continues to take visitors. I will be very happy to name these irresponsible people!
I have counted over 45 foreign bird tour groups plus many more individual birders that visit Southern Morocco (and Tamri) each year, and if all groups visited the colony, this would be a big problem. Whilst it is true that a small number of visitors is not an obvious threat, the potential is there… and by visiting, you are attracting locals (especially the boys) to hang around the site, bringing the potential for stone-throwing etc. Why should only the irresponsible ones be able to visit the colony? Most groups know roughly where the colony is, but are responsible and do not go near. To them, thank you!
The ibis project (Souss-Massa National Park with BirdLife International) has engaged and trained local fishermen as wardens, and the surveillance at the colony is now quite good – they will order any visitors to leave immediately, note your car registration and name, and perhaps we should have a public ‘name & shame’ on the web? (I fully agree on this! – P. Bergier’)

We realise that this is missing an eco-tourism opportunity and this is something that the Park is working hard towards (both for Tamri and Massa). It is also something that requires good planning – we cannot take risks with these birds. So please be patient.
Things you can already do:

  • * Eat or buy goods (nice bananas for example) in Tamri village, and make sure you tell the café owner (there is already café ibis chauve!) that you are only visiting because of the ibis chauve.
  • * If boys genuinely help you see the birds (without taking you to the colony), then give them a small tip. Don’t reward them for threatening you or the birds.
  • * If you have a serious incident, please let me or the Souss-Massa National Park 084 837949 know – there is also a forestry post in Tamri where you can report any problems.

Good luck! »

Fin avril 2003

Espèces notées près d’Ifrane, Moyen Atlas : Grèbe huppé (parade), Grèbe castagneux, Héron cendré, Gardeboeufs, Cigogne blanche, Flamant rose, Tadorne casarca, Canard colvert, Fuligule milouin, Milan noir, Buse féroce, Circaète, Faucon crécerelle et crécerellette, Foulque macroule et à crête, Echasse blanche, Petit gravelot, Chevalier guignette, Tourterelle des bois, Pigeon colombin, Rollier d’Europe, Huppe fasciée, Pic de Levaillant, Alouette lulu, Bergeronnette printanière et grise, Rubiette de Moussier, Traquet motteux, Grive draine, Gobemouches noir et gris, Mésange noire, Pie-grièches grise et à tête rousse, Crave à bec rouge, Grand Corbeau, Moineau soulcie, Pinson des arbres, Serin cini, Verdier d’Europe, Chardonneret, Linotte mélodieuse, Bruant zizi, Bruant proyer (O. Fontaine)

Fin avril 2003

A Matarka, Hauts Plateaux de l’Oriental : un Percnoptère, un Bécasseau cocorli, nombreux Casarcas, Echasses et Avocettes, Guifettes noires et moustac, 1 Aigle royal subadulte, Loriots, et bien d’autres espèces locales. Un Héron bihoreau, accompagné de plusieurs dizaines de guêpiers, gobemouches (noirs et gris), et rossignols était présent dans un oued. Les agrobates sont également arrivés (O. Fontaine)

20 April 2003

150 migrant Griffon Vultures at Jbel Moussa, Tangier Peninsula (GOMAC).

18 April 2003

A corpse of Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus stranded at the Moulouya estuary (J. Franchimont, B. Maire, D. Jerez Abad & R. Ramirez Espinar). There were no definite record in the Mediterranean Moroccan waters.

12 April 2003

A Hen Harrier in juvenile plumage at Midelt, Middle Atlas (V. Schollaert, ‘Le Voyage d’Ornithologie’)

April 2003

Records of a dozen of Lichteinstein’s Sandgrouse at Tissint, 9 April, and of a Spotted Crake at Oualidia, 12 and 13 April, will be submitted to the Moroccan Rare Birds Committee (F. Touati Malih & J. Franchimont).

March 2003

Recent records on Eastern High Plateaux (a poorly known region) included 4 Squacco Herons, an Osprey, a Short-toed Eagle, some 40 Booted Eagles, a Griffon Vulture, a Sparrowhawk, and 3 Alpine Swifts at Missour on 29 March, a Montagu’s Harrier, some 50 European Bee-eaters, a Red-rumped Swallow, a Whinchat and a Rock Thrush at Bouarfa on 4 April, some 30 Ruddy Shalducks, a dozen of Collared Pratincoles and Black-winged Stilts, 4 Avocets, and several other waders (Little Stints, Redshanks, Kentish and Little Ringed Plovers) on a small reservoir near Anoual and a pair of Bonelli’s Eagle with young at nest at Missour on 5 April (O. Fontaine).

30 March 2003

Rare Birds in Morocco: the final analysis of session #8 is available on the ‘Records under Review‘ webpage.

23 March 2003

2 Great White Egrets were at the Lower Loukkos marshes (F. Touati Malih & J. Franchimont).

March 2003

A dozen of very vocal Double-spurred Francolins at Aïn Sferjila (Sidi Yaya Zaër) on 9 March; a Temminck Stint and still some 50 White-headed Ducks at Douyiet on 15 March (J. Franchimont).

  • More trip reports have been posted on the ‘Trip Reports‘ webpage. Thank you to R. Nossent & F. Collet, H. Christophersen, D. Godreau, and P. Knaus.

    14 February 2003

    A possible hybrid Shoveler x Blue-winged Teal was at Douyiet (J. Franchimont).

    January 2003

    Recent records in Eastern Morocco: 2 adults Great White Egret were at Barrage Mohamed V near Oujda on 12 January, and 62 Razorbills at Melilla on 18 January (D. Jerez Abad & Rosa Ramirez Espinar).

 

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