Here are a few records from a recent trip to Essaouira (20 – 30 January), in addition to the usual range of winter birds: Black-Necked Grebe on the depuration ponds (23 Jan). A single dark morph Booted Eagle at the river estuary (21 Jan); also a female Marsh Harrier, Cranes, White Stork, and Crag Martins near the river.
A Short-eared Owl was seen at close range on 25 Jan by the coastal dunes, evidently having difficulty flying. Two Redwing on 27 Jan were in conifer thickets along with Song Thrushes. Wildfowl on the ponds to the east of the town included 6 Ruddy Shelduck, c 20 Pintail, c 100 Shoveler, c 20 Ferruginous Duck, (as well as Teal, Mallard, Marbled Duck and Shelduck). Small numbers of Spoonbill included one colour-marked bird from the Spanish ringing scheme (Peter Greig-Smith)
Peter’s papers on Essaouira:
- Greig-Smith, P.W. Birds observed in Essaouira, 2007-2011. Go-South Bulletin 8: 104–112.
- Greig-Smith, P.W. Use of habitats by resident and migrant birds in and around a golf course on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. Bird Study 61: 111–120.