11 November 2018 – Records near Agadir and Goulimine

In a week’s birding around Agadir and Guelmim (Goulimime) from 27 October to 3 November 2018, together with a Limosa Holidays group, various migrant birds were seen.

At Tamri river mouth we found not only 140 Bald Ibises (Geronticus eremita) but also, for instance, 40 Marbled Ducks (Marmaronetta angustirostris), two Ferruginous Ducks (Aythya nyroca), two pairs of Barbary Falcons (Falco pelegrinoides), three Pallid Swifts (Apus pallidus) migrating past, and a male Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus) singing in display flight (with a few juveniles present too).

South of Goulimime, we encountered five (four males) Pin-tailed Sandgrouse (Pterocles alchata), thousands of Spanish Sparrows (Passer hispaniolensis) and quite a few singing Corn Buntings (Emberiza calandra). At a reservoir south of town, a Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) and 230 Marbled Ducks were present. Of course, we came across usual desert birds as well, such as a pair of Lanner Falcons (F biarmicus), a few Thick-billed Larks (Ramphocorys clotbey), Greater Hoopoe-Larks (Alaemon alaudipes), singing Temminck’s Larks (Eremophila bilopha), two pairs of Streaked Scrub Warblers (Scotocerca saharae), Fulvous Babblers (Turdoides fulvus), and five wheatear species (Oenanthe). Probably due to the rains, Thekla’s Larks (Galerida theklae) were singing a lot and everywhere.

At Oued Massa, a flock of 160 Glossy Ibises (Plegadis falcinellus), two (late) Turtle Doves (Streptopelia turtur), a Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida), two calling Eurasian Wrynecks (Jynx torquilla), two Black-winged Kites (Elanus caeruleus), one (late) male Iberian Wagtail (Motacilla cinereocapilla iberiae), two Brown-throated Martins (Riparia paludicola), a Red-rumped Swallow (Hirundo daurica) were probably most noteworthy.

Every day and everywhere, from the mountains near Imouzer, Haha, to the deserts south of Goulimime, thousands of Painted Lady Vanessa cardui butterflies were seen.

On two visits to the Oued Souss Embouchure, first in the afternoon of 28 October and then in the early morning of 3 November 2018, we watched quite a variety migrants. These included, for instance, 15 Marbled Ducks, six Northern Pintails (Anas acuta), two Black-necked Grebes (Podiceps nigricollis), 600 Greater Flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus), 40 White Storks (Ciconia ciconia), 100 Eurasian Spoonbills (Platalea leucorodia), 15 Glossy Ibises, one Great Egret (Ardea alba) and several regular wader species like five Oystercatchers (Haematopus ostralegus), 60 Black-winged Stilts (Himantopus himantopus), 35 Pied Avocets (Recurvirostra avosetta), five Eurasian Curlews (Numenius arquata), five Black-tailed Godwits (Limosa limosa), nine Great Knots (Calidris canutus), 20 Ruff (C pugnax), a Turnstone (Arenaria interpres), 100 Common Redshanks (Tringa totanus), 80 Greenshanks (T nebularia) and 15 Spotted Redshanks (T erythropus). In addition, three Slender-billed Gulls (Larus genei) and a remarkably high total of 150 first-winter Mediterranean Gulls (L melanocephalus) were present, as were two Western Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) and a juvenile Bonelli’s Eagle (Aquila fasciata)’

(Arnoud B van den Berg)

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