2012

25 December 2012

Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noël

22 December 2012

Records from Morocco & Western Sahara, 10-24 November:

  • At Layoune, 200 Black-winged Stilt on 14 Nov, 16 Mediterranean Gull and 2 Black Tern on 16 Nov, 250 Northern Shoveler, 150 Marbled Duck, an Eurasian Sparrowhawk, 2 Northern Lapwing, and 20 Little Swift on 19 Nov, 120 Glossy Ibis on 20 Nov.
  • At Khnifiss, 400 Eurasian Oystercatcher and 6 Great Black-backed Gull on 14 Nov.
  • At Dakhla, 3 Sooty Shearwater, 2 Temminck’s Stint, 10 Pomarine Skua, 15 Great Skua, 5 Little Tern and 36 Royal Tern on 16 Nov, 75 Cory’s Shearwater, 2 Red Phalarope, and 100+ Parasitic Skua on 18 Nov.
  • Offshore Agadir, 10 Manx Shearwater, 15 Balearic Shearwater, a Macaronesian Shearwater, a Pomarine Skua, a Great Skua, a Slender-billed Gull, 2 Mediterranean Gull, and a Black Tern on 23 Nov.
  • On the road to Awserd, a Golden Eagle at KM41 from Awserd, 13 Stone-curlew and a Fulvous Babbler at Oued Jenaa, 20 Black-crowned Sparrow-lark West of the town, 3 Dunn’s Lark at KM20 and another one at KM41, a male Black-eared Wheatear at Oued Jenaa, 2 Cricket Warbler at KM41, a Tristram’s Warbler at Oued Jenaa and another one at KM9, 2 African Desert Warbler at KM20, a few Desert Sparrow west of Awserd, and 8 possible Sudan Golden Sparrow at Oued Jenaa on 17 Nov.
  • Two Hoopoes between Marrakech and Tamri on 11 Nov. 150 Northern Bald Ibis at Tamri on 11 Nov. A male Hen Harrier south of Goulimine on 21 Nov. Two Black-crowned Night Heron, a Common Kingfisher, and a Brambling at Massa on 22 Nov. A Lesser Crested Tern and a Moroccan White Wagtail at Oued Souss on 22 Nov. A Booted Eagle at Marrakech on 24 Nov. (Anders Blomdahl / AviFauna)

21 December 2012

An amazing work has been produced at Anza by the Norvegian guys from Urban Ringing. Look at http://urbanringing.blogspot.fr/2012/12/results-from-morocco-expedition.html?m=1

19 December 2012

Observations de début novembre :

    • 1 novembre, 2 heures d’observations vraiment spectaculaires depuis le port de Tarfaya, de 7h à 9h : Puffin cendré : 3000, Puffin fuligineux : 90, Puffin des Anglais : 1 , Océanites tempête et sp : 45, Fou de bassan : 4000, Grand Labbe : 50, Labbe pomarin : 50, Labbe parasite : 4, Mouette de Sabine : 26, Goéland d’Audouin : 2

 

    • 1 novembre à Layoune : Grèbe à cou noir : 7, Tadorne casarca : 700, Sarcelle marbrée : 200, Fuligule morillon : 8, Aigle de Bonelli : 1, Chevalier stagnatile : 1, Mouette pygmée : 1

 

    • 2 novembre, Port de Tarfaya, de 7h à 9h : Macreuse noire : 2, Puffin cendré : 2500, Puffin fuligineux : 195, Puffin des anglais : 3, Océanite sp : 3, Fou de Bassan : 3000, Grand Labbe : 9, Labbe pomarin : 7, Labbe parasite : 5, Sterne pierregarin : 3, Sterne voyageuse : 1, Guifette noire : 1

 

    • 2 novembre à Khnifiss : Fou de Bassan : 30 posés sur la lagune, après la tempête de la semaine précédente, Goéland marin : 10, Sterne voyageuse : 2, Chevalier grivelé : 1

 

    • 3 novembre à l’embouchure du Draa : Busard cendré : 1, Fou de Bassan : 10 posés sur l’oued

 

    • 5 novembre, sortie en mer au large d’Agadir : Macreuse noire : 60, Puffin cendré : 120, Puffin des Anglais : 16, Puffin des Baléares : 25, Océanite de Wilson : 1, Fou de Bassan : 500, Busard des roseaux : 1, Grand Labbe : 1, Labbe pomarin : 8, Labbe parasite : 2, Sterne pierregarin : 8, Delphinus delphis : 40, Mola mola : 1, Bonite à dos rayé : 1

 

    • 6 novembre à l’oued Souss : Sarcelle marbrée : 20, Faucon pélerin : 1, Labbe parasite : 2, Goéland marin : 1

 

    • 6 novembre à l’oued Tamri : Ibis chauve : 47, Goéland d’Audouin : 500, Pouillot ibérique : 1, Rousserole effarvate : 1 (Benoit Maire, Alain Mathurin et al.)

15 December 2012

L’Erismature à tête blanche à Douyiet : 200 individus minimum ont été comptabilisés le 28 novembre 2011 et 150 minimum le 22 février 2012 ; le 25 avril 2012, 91 oiseaux sont encore notés, avec de nombreuses parades nuptiales, laissant supposer leur nouvelle nidification ; enfin, le 16 octobre 2012, l’hivernage en nombre est à nouveau constaté sur le site, avec au moins encore 150 individus (J. Franchimont et F. Touati Malih).

7 December 2012

Laurie is back from a late Autumn/early Winter trip 21Nov-4Dec. Weather was at least better than England ranging from 47c in Tata, 35c in Zagora and 25c+ at Mirleft and Essouira. 97 species in total with key species including :

21 Nov

  • Marrakech: Black Redstart by Koutoubia Mosque. Purple Heron – single overflying the Cyper Parc. Little Swift – several small parties hawking above the Jemma el Fna
  • Ruddy Shelduck – single at the Barrage el Mansour bridge, Ouarzazate

22 Nov – 24 Nov

  • Oued Draa – Zagora: Hoopoe – singles and party of 3. Lots of Common Sandpipers/Green Sandpipers/Little Ringled Plovers. White Wagtail – several hundred roosting as well as the local subspecies. Yellow Wagtail – dozens of ‘Iberiae’ with a single each of birds showing characteristics of ‘flava’ and ‘flavissima’ (males, obviously). Sparrowhawk – female-type noted. Snipe – several noted. Tree Pipit – singles noted. Reed Warbler – single bird singing. Red-Rumped Swallow – single bird, feeding, briefly. Greenshank – 2 birds feeding. Sand Martin – single seen. Hawfinch – very surprised to see this species, a single bird flying around in one of the Palmeries. Barbary Partridge – party of about 30 birds flushed

25 Nov – 27 Nov

  • Tata, Hotel Renaissance: Black Redstart – 3-4 birds noted. Cetti’s Warbler – several singing birds. Garganey – single female. Pintail – single female, with the above species. Tristrams Warbler – single Winter-plume adult seen. Bonelli’s Eagle – single bird, close, hunting down the Oued Tata being mobbed by a pair of Kestrels
  • En-route to Tiznit: Black-Winged Kite – single at Tamanart. Desert Sparrow – party of 4-5 birds seen

28 Nov – 1st Dec

  • Mirleft: Little Ringed Plover – several parties. Meadow Pipit – singles noted. Turtle Dove – 2 birds seen. Northern Wheatear – half a dozen birds noted, all female-types. Audouins Gull – 2 adults on the beach. Fan-Tailed Warbler – single. Trumpeter Finch – a nice surprise, 4-5 birds feeding. Sandwich Tern – 2, feeding, out at sea. Kentish Plover – party of 7+ birds
  • en-route to Agadir: Sparrowhawk. Ravens (3) and a Long-Legged Buzzard around Tamri and the first Mahgreb Magpies of the trip

2 Dec – 4 Dec

  • Essaouira: Great White Egret – single immature bird feeding on the main beach, flew right over my head (complete all-Yellow bill). Audouins Gulls/Black Headed Gulls – small parties of both species noted. Plain Sand Martin – good numbers of birds feeding around the Ksob and particularly over the newly constructed settling bunds. Swallow – small groups feeding with the Martins. Rock Thrush – totally unexpected, flushed around the bunds and the bird flew off slowly, gliding and singing past me
  • The wetland adjacent to the Sewerage works was dry but there was a large pool next to the housing further over. This had a good range of the waders already mentioned plus: Black Winged Stilt – 6. Ruff – single. Coot – lots. Moorhen – lots. Red-Knobbed Coot – ca15. Redshank. Little Grebe – 50+
  • Other species around the Ksob was a good range of passerines including Linnets, Serin, Moussiers Redstart and Tree Pipits plus Greenshank and Whimbrel on the bunds
  • Caught a Supratours coach on 4 Dec morning at 1130, a bit of birding first off produced Sandwich Terns and a single Caspian Tern plus the last Plain Sand Martins and Swallows of the trip (Laurie Allan)

7 December 2012

A juvenile Larus marinus at Essaouira on 25 November, an Asio flemmeus North of Oualidia on 26 November, an adult female Falco pelegrinoides and 2 Egretta alba at Tamri on 3 December (Pawel Malczyk and friends)

7 December 2012

Observations à Douyiet, 5 décembre : journée d’hivernage classique pour le site. Observations les plus marquantes :

  • Nombre élevé de certains Anatidés : 1200 Canards souchets, 375 Sarcelles d’hiver, 250 Canards chipeaux, 200 Fuligules milouins, 100 Érismatures à tête blanche, 28 Fuligules nyrocas. Présence d’autres espèces intéressantes de Canards en nombre moins élevé : Canard siffleur (10+ ; espèce toujours rare sur le site), Nette rousse (15+) et la Sarcelle marbrée (4+ ; les gros effectifs notés lors de la visite précédente du 16 octobre ont fort diminué, ce qui prouve qu’ils devaient être en rapport avec des déplacements migratoires avec halte momentanée). Quant à la Foulque caronculée, elle retrouve cet hiver un effectif intéressant (50+), peut-être bien en désertant certains lacs moyen-atlasiques trop enneigés durant cette période froide.
  • Le réempoissonnement du lac en alevins permet l’établissement plus régulier d’une nouvelle espèce pêcheuse intéressante : le Grand Cormoran, dont un dortoir doit exister dans les arbres bordant la rive nord-ouest du lac occidental.
  • Intérêt toujours grand du lac oriental : stationnement du Tadorne de Belon, du Flamant rose et de Limicoles variés (Chevaliers, Bécasseaux, Gravelots, …).
  • Nombre assez élevé de Chardonnerets élégants, ce qui est très bon pour cette espèce en forte diminution au Maroc, subissant les affres de nombreux tendeurs et trafiquants (oiseau de volière !) …
  • Première observation à Douyièt du Pouillot ibérique (205ème espèce notée sur le site depuis les années 1970).
  • Comme lors de notre précédente visite, les observations de ce jour témoignent toujours de la haute qualité de la zone humide de Douyièt, par la présence d’espèces rares et menacées aux niveaux national et international. Aucun dysfonctionnement du site n’a été mis en évidence ; la qualité des eaux du lac occidental est apparemment très bonne, ce qui devrait permettre la prolongation de l’hivernage dans de bonnes conditions (Jacques Franchimont & F. Touati Malih)

5 December 2012

Observations dans les Plaines du Maroc Oriental :

    • 9 août : observation à Melilla d’un jeune Larus michahellis bagué en Algérie à Aouana (Jijel) le 19 mai précédent

 

    • 6 octobre, journée RAM à Melilla : 81 Puffinus mauretanicus, 1336 Calonectris diomedea, 19 Morus bassanus, 5 Ardea cinerea, 1 Stercorarius parasiticus, 51 Larus audouinii, 11 Chroicocephalus ridibundus, 64 Sterna bengalensis, 104 Sterna sandvicensis, 1 Chlidonias niger (Diego Jerez & Vicente Moreno)

 

    • 12 octobre, fin de la migration automnale dans le détroit de Gibraltar (Jbel Moussa), mauvaises conditions météorologiques. 34 Ciconia ciconia, 22 Ciconia nigra, 14 Phoenicopterus roseus, 92 Circaetus gallicus, 5 Accipiter nisus, 6 Pernis apivorus, 3 Aquila pennata, 79 Gyps fulvus, 5 Circus aeruginosus, 200+ Columba palumbus locales, 18 Emberiza cía et plus d’une centaine de Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax locaux

 

    • 13 octobre, fin de la migration automnale dans le détroit de Gibraltar (Jbel Moussa), les conditions météorologiques s’améliorent. 5 Ciconia ciconia, 37 Milvus migrans), 104 Circaetus gallicus, 3 Accipiter nisus, 3 Buteo rufinus locales, 16 Pernis apivorus, 13 Aquila pennata, 2 adultes et un jeune Aquila chrysaetos locaux, 281 Gyps fulvus, 3 Circus aeruginosus, plus de 400 Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax locaux (Diego Jerez & Rosa Ramírez)

 

    • 26 octobre, embouchure de la Moulouya : 1 Podiceps cristatus, 2 Podiceps nigricollis, 10 Tachybaptus ruficollis, 13 Phalacrocorax carbo, 45 Ardea cinerea, 3 Casmerodius albus, 60 Egretta garzetta, 31 Bubulcus ibis, 6 Platalea leucorodia, 5 Phoenicopterus roseus, 158 Anas platyrhynchos, 10 Anas strepera, 9 Anas penelope, 118 Anas clypeata, 5 Aythya nyroca, 1 Pandión haliaetus, 2 Elanus caeruleus, 3 Circus aeruginosus, 4 Falco tinnunculus, 7 Gallinula chloropus, 7 Porphyrio porphyrio, 523 Fulica atra, 75 Charadrius alexandrinus, 61Calidris alba, 2 Tringa erythropus, 6 Tringa nebularia, 1 Tringa glareola, 2 Limosa lapponica, 8 Gallinago gallinago, 43 Larus audouinii, 9 Chroicocephalus genei, 48 Chroicocephalus ridibundus, 300+ Larus michahellis, 5 Larus fuscus graellsii + 1 jeune fuscus ou intermedius, 1 Hydroprogne caspia, 6 Sterna bengalensis, 51 Sterna sandvicensis, 1 Asio flammeus, 3 Alcedo atthis, 7 Motacilla subpersonata, 4 Lanius meridionalis algeriensis, 8 Cettia cetti, 20+ Cisticola juncidis, 3 Sylvia undata et 5 Saxicola rubicola (Diego Jerez & Rosa Ramirez)

 

    • 3 novembre, barrage Arabet : 72 Podiceps cristatus, 33 Tachybaptus ruficollis, 39 Phalacrocorax carbo, 11 Ardea cinerea, 5 Egretta garzetta13 Bubulcus ibis, 101 Anas platyrhynchos, 15 Anas strepera, 206 Anas crecca, 13 Anas acuta, 85 Anas clypeata, 347 Aythya ferina, 21 Aythya nyroca, 1 Pandión haliaetus, 1 jeune Aquila fasciata, 5 Circus aeruginosus, 1 Falco peregrinus brookei, 6 Gallinula chloropus, 562 Fulica atra, 5 Himantopus himantopus, 8 Charadrius hiaticula, 13 Charadrius dubius, 9 Charadrius alexandrinus, 5 Calidris minuta, 1 Tringa glareola, 2 Tringa ochropus, 61 Chroicocephalus ridibundus, 1 Larus delawarensis adulte, 19 Anthus pratensis, 200+ Motacilla alba alba, 3 Lanius meridionalis algeriensis, 3 Cettia cetti, 4 Saxicola rubicola

 

    • 10 novembre, journée RAM à Melilla : 181 Calonectris diomedea, 194 Morus bassanus, 4 Phalacrocorax carbo, 1 Ardea cinerea, 2 Bubulcus ibis, 2 Melanitta nigra, 6 Catharacta skua, 25 Larus audouinii, 21 Chroicocephalus ridibundus, 3 Larus melanocephalus, 15 Sterna bengalensis, 67 Sterna sandvicensis, 57 Delphinus delphis (Diego Jerez, Vicente Moreno & Silvia Alsina)

 

    • 11 novembre après des jours de mauvais temps, embouchure du Rio de Oro à Melilla : 3 Phalacrocorax carbo, 6 Ardea cinerea, 17 Egretta garzetta, 61 Bubulcus ibis, 1 Accipiter nisus, 1 Falco tinnunculus, 2 Haematopus ostralegus, 12 Charadrius dubius, 11 Charadrius alexandrinus, 8 Calidris alba, 4 Actitis hypoleucos, 3 Chroicocephalus genei, 115 Chroicocephalus ridibundus, 7 Larus melanocephalus, 10 Larus fuscus graellsii, 48 Larus michahellis, 11 Sterna sandvicensis, 8 Ptyonoprogne rupestris, 1 Delichón urbicum, 8 Motacilla alba alba, 6 Motacilla subpersonata, 4 Motacilla cinerea, 5 Phoenicurus ochruros

 

    • 15 novembre : un Stercorarius parasiticus sur la plage, avec des Larus michahellis. Cette espèce s’observe généralement au large, pas sur la côte (Diego Jerez)

 

    • 1 décembre, journée RAM à Melilla : 47 Puffinus mauretanicus, 421 Morus bassanus, 14 Phalacrocorax carbo, 4 Catharacta skua, 8 Stercorarius parasiticus, 26 Larus audouinii, 29 Chroicocephalus ridibundus, 2 Larus melanocephalus, 7 Rissa tridactyla, 2 Sterna bengalensis, 24 Sterna sandvicensis, 1 Athene noctua glaux, 3 Motacilla alba, 2 Sylvia melanocephala, ‘ Phylloscopus collybita, 24 Delphinus delphis (Diego Jerez & Vicente Moreno)

5 December 2012

Peter has recently returned from another trip to Essaouira, spending two weeks birding on most days. He had a few interesting sightings in addition to the familiar range of resident species and habitual winter visitors.

    • On 8 November, a Pomarine Skua landed amongst a flock of Yellow-Legged Gulls on the Ksob River estuary. It spend some time being chased by gulls

 

    • On 10 November in the same part of the estuary, a single Roseate Tern was seen among a group of gulls, showing clearly whiter plumage, and different behaviour to the Common Terns also present the same day. Sadly, the Reef Heron that has been a regular sight on the river seems to have departed. I last saw the bird on 29 March 2012, and since that time it has been absent on many visits to the site during April, July and November

 

    • As well as the range of migrants normally seen in winter, other species during the period 4 – 18 November included : Osprey on 12 Nov; Golden Plover on 6 Nov; Mistle Thrush on 14 Nov; Reed Bunting on 16 Nov; Nightingale on 5, 11 and 18 Nov. However, the numbers of waders were very low, despite recent rain having extended the area of shallow lagoons in the area

 

    • On 15 Nov, a Tawny Owl is flushed from low trees around one of the ponds to the east of the town, no more than 100m from a busy road and buildings

 

    • The local population of Ferruginous Ducks that occur on small lakes close to the golf Course has now risen to at least 27 birds (previous maximum I have seen was 17) (Peter Greig-Smith)

 

5 December 2012

Observations à Oualidia : 

  • Gros passages de Fous de Bassan vers le Sud pendant 3 jours à partir du 24 octobre, en groupes de 3 à 10 oiseaux de toute classe d’âge distants de 500 à 800 m depuis le bord de la cote jusqu’à perte de vue au large. Minimum estimé de 2000 oiseaux/h x 72 h = 150 000 fous mais en mer même déplacement ? Plus de 10 cadavres échoués sur la cote pendant ces jours de très fortes perturbations atmosphérique. Un témoins cite le même phénomène dans la baie de Dahkla à la même date avec aussi beaucoup de cadavres échoués sur la plage (entre 10 et 20 observés)

 

  • Sorties en mer au large de Oualidia par 32°50′ N 9°5′ W approximativement :
    • le 27 octobre, 100-200 Océanites tempêtes, 8 Océanites de Wilson (Oceanites oceanicus – Wilson’s Storm Petrel), 4 Puffins cendrés, 6 Puffins fuligineux, 500 à plusieurs milliers de Fous de Bassan, 5 Phalaropes à bec large, 8 Grands Labbes, 1 Labbe parasite, 2 Labbes pomarins, 10 Mouettes rieuses, 20 Goélands bruns, 2 Goélands d’Audouin, 2 Sternes caugek.
    • Le 8 novembre, la migration de Fous de Bassan est presque terminée. 4 Goélands bruns, 1 Goéland d’Audouin, 5 Grands Labbes, 1 Labbe parasite, 2 Labbes pomarins, 13 Mouettes rieuses, 12 Océanites tempête, 5 Phalaropes à bec large, 2 Puffins cendrés, 1 Puffin fuligineux, 1 Puffin majeur, 8 Sternes caugek, 1 Petit Rorqual Balaenoptera borealis vu très furtivement à 15/20 m du zodiac (32°49’17 » N 9°6’9″ W), 25-50 Grands Dauphins.
  • Autres observations intéressantes : une Grande Aigrette les 2 et 4 novembre, deux les 5 et 6 novembre. Un Hibou des marais en repos diurne dans la sansouire le 27 octobre, un autre le 2 novembre. Une Talève sultane le 1 novembre. Une Sterne voyageuse le 2 novembre. Migration de Pipits farlouses estimée à 2500 / jour sur 3-4 jours à partir du 4 novembre. Un Labbe pomarin en chasse sur les cultures et un couple d’Elanions blancs au nord des salines d’El Merja le 6 novembre.

(Gérard Schmitt)

 

30 November 2012

I recently returned from a trip on a yacht that sailed from Madeira to Cape Verde and we sailed through Atlantic Saharan maritime waters for a couple of days at the end of October. During those 2 days birds were encountered fairly infrequently, but I had sightings of 1 Red-billed Tropicbird (20°44.7N 19°57.4W), 1 White-faced Storm Petrel, 3 Pomarine Skuas, 1 immature Gannet, 3 Cory’s Shearwaters and at least 20 Leach’s Storm Petrels (which were fairly regular all the way from the Canary Islands south to Cape Verde) (Ben Mines)

30 November 2012

Observations à la pointe de La Sarga, Dakhla, le 19 novembre :

    • Près du village de pêche, 270 Goélands bruns, 5 Goélands leucophées, 7 Goélands railleurs adultes, 80 Sternes caspiennes, 20 Sternes caugek, 14 Huitriers pies, 3 Chevaliers guignettes, 5 Pluviers argentés, 120 Bécasseaux Sanderling, 50 Grands Gravelots, 20 Barges rousses, 3 Fous de Bassan.

 

  • A 2,5 km au nord-est du village de pêche (lagune, vasière, cordon sableux) : 4500 Goélands bruns, 120 Goélands leucophées, 90 Goélands d’Audouin, 1 Goéland marin (ou du Cap) adulte, 140 Sternes caspiennes, 20 Sternes caugek, 4 Sternes royales, 12 Huitriers pie, 150+ Grands gravelots, 2 Gravelots à collier interrompu, 15+ Pluviers argentés, 20+ Bécasseaux maubèches, 400+ Bécasseaux sanderling, 150+ Tournepierres à collier, 80+ Bécasseaux variable, au moins un Bécasseau de Temminck, 6 Chevaliers gambettes, 8 Chevaliers aboyeurs, 70+ Barges rousses, 15 Courlis cendrés, 4 Courlis corlieux, 118 Flamants roses, 28 Grands cormorans, 7 Aigrettes garzettes, 8 Spatules blanches, et 6 Hérons cendrés (Clément Chérie)

30 November 2012

Observations intéressantes effectuées à Douyiet le 16 octobre 2012 : une Buse variable (hivernant/migrateur européen très rarement signalé à Douyiet et même au Maroc en général) ; 13 Fuligules nyrocas (canard menacé au niveau mondial, devenu hivernant régulier à Douyiet) ; 210 Sarcelles marbrées (nombre impressionnant pour cette espèce très erratique, menacée elle aussi au niveau mondial) ; 150 Érismatures à tête blanche (comme l’année dernière, l’effectif hivernant de ce canard emblématique très menacé s’annonce très bon pour cet hiver encore) ; 4 Talèves sultanes (espèce rare et localisée au Maroc, ainsi qu’au niveau international) : accidentel sur le site de Douyièt, ce gros Rallidé est peut-être ici en voie d’implantation, puisqu’il affectionne particulièrement les roselières tranquilles comme celles qui ceinturent le lac occidental. A noter également les nombres d’hivernants déjà très élevés de Canards souchets (785+), de Sarcelles d’hiver (225+) et de Grèbes castagneux (Jacques Franchimont & F. Touati Malih)

25 November 2012

A possible Greater Yellowlegs (Chevalier criard – Tringa melanoleuca) photographed on a brackish lagoon between the river and the royal palace at Oued Souss on 23 November (David Godden)

22 November 2012

Reproduction automnale à l’Oued Jenaa, Awserd, à la suite des pluies : une jeune Eremoptrix nigriceps hors du nid, nourrie par la femelle, le 18 novembre (Franck Chevalier)

17 November 2012

Une Cigogne blanche baguée en Allemagne récupérée à Errachidia : lire le rapport d’Abdeljebbar Qninba.

17 November 2012

A new paper is available in Go-South Bulletin:

  • Rihane, A. 2012. Reproduction du Fuligule nyroca Aythya nyroca dans l’estuaire de l’Oued El Maleh, Mohammedia. Go-South Bulletin 9 : 155-160.

16 November 2012

Rare birds in the Plains of Eastern Morocco: an Asio flammeus at the Moulouya estuary on 26 October and a Larus delawarensis at Barrage Arabet, Bou-Areg (Nador) on 3 November (Diego Jerez Abad & Rosa Ramirez Espinar)

15 November 2012

Un jeune Vautour moine accompagnant un groupe de 23 Vautours fauves, de passage à Meknès, le 14 novembre (J. Franchimont)

15 November 2012

7ème Congrès mondial d’éducation à l’environnement. Il se tiendra au Palais des Congrès à Marrakech du 9 au 14 Juin 2013. Son thème sera: l’éducation à l’environnement et les enjeux d’une meilleure harmonie ville-campagne.

La date limite pour présenter vos contributions a été fixée au 31 Décembre 2012. Les contributions peuvent être présentées en Arabe, Anglais, Français et Espagnol. Pour votre éventuelle contribution, vous pouvez choisir parmi les formes suivantes: Exposés oraux, présentations par affiches (poster), documents pour une Table ronde et ateliers. Les informations détaillées pour présenter votre contribution sont disponibles sur le site www.weec2013.org en suivant le lien « Lignes directrices » au niveau du menu « Appel à contribution ». Votre contribution doit être soumise en ligne.

14 November 2012

Moroccan Rare Birds Committee: the results of the second round of the 18th session are available on the dedicated webpage.

6 November 2012

Phylloscopus inornatus (Pouillot à grands sourcils – Yellow-browed Warbler). List of Moroccan records to-date:

  • 2 records in the ‘Checklist of the birds of Morocco’ (Thévenot et al. 2003):
    • 13 November 1988: Tamrakht Valley near Immouzzer Ida-Ou-Tanane (S. Dybkajaer, S. Sorensen et al.)
    • 21-26 October 1994: Massa Estuary (C. Bowden, P. Holt. Dossier MRBC 94/01 accepted in CHM01)
  • Subsequent records:
    • 05 November 2005: Tamrakht, Paradive Valley (A.V. Harding et al. Dossier MRBC 05/28 accepted in CHM12)
    • 19 November 2005: Souss estuary (T. Kolas. Dossier MRBC 05/30 accepted in CHM12)
    • 23 November 2005: Kasbah Derkaoua (T. Kolas. Dossier MRBC 05/31 accepted in CHM12)
    • 29 October 2012: Hotel Anezi, Agadir (D. Walsh)

6 November 2012

David Walsh: ‘We had a great week, as always, despite the rain, seeing all our targets except Scrub Warbler and Lanner. The Yellow-browed Warbler in the grounds of Hotel Anezi was a good find!!! The Great Egret at Tamri was also unexpected as were the 21 Slender-billed Gulls (unprecedented for me at this time of year).

Other records have included :

  • 28th October
    • Oued Souss – 1 Lesser Crested Tern (but very few shorebirds)
  • 29th October
    • Agadir (grounds of Hotel Anezi) – 1 Yellow-browed Warbler, 1 Eurasian Wryneck
    • Tamri lagoon – 1 Great Egret, 2 Northern Bald Ibis, 21 Slender-billed Gull
    • Tamri village – 1 Barbary Falcon, 4 Laughing Dove, 20 Alpine Swift
    • Fields just to north of Cap Rhir – 15 Northern Bald Ibis
    • Cap Rhir – 1 Lesser Crested Tern offshore
  • 30th October
    • Massa (various places along river to the south of the Cafe de la Poste/’football pitch’ bridges) – 6 Marbled Duck, 6 Ferruginous Duck, 120 Glossy Ibis, 1 Black-winged Kite, 1 Barbary Falcon, 5 Laughing Dove, 10 Brown-throated Martin, 1 Eurasian Wryneck, 3 Black-crowned Tchagra, 3 Moroccan Reed Warbler. Also c10 Banded Groundling
    • Massa ‘village bridge’ (road to Sidi Ouassay) – juvenile Bonelli’s Eagle
  • 31st October
    • Desert south-east of Guelmim: Hillside by turn off to Asrir – 1 Desert Lark, 1 Spectacled Warbler. Fields just before Asrir village – 3 Black-bellied Sandgrouse, 20 Trumpeter Finch, 1 Long-legged Buzzard. Asrir village and nearby – 3 White-crowned Wheatear, several Laughing Dove. Fields and bushes between Asrir and Oasis Tighmert – 7 Fulvous Babbler
    • Also at least 11 Red-rumped Wheatear in general area
  • 1st November
    • Main road just north of Massa river crossing – 36 Black-bellied Sandgrouse
    • Desert south-west of Guelmim along main road: Oued Boukila – 3 Ruddy Shelduck flying over, 1 Laughing Dove, 1 Vagrant Emperor (but couldn’t find Scrub Warbler this year). Km 14 – 2 Long-legged Buzzard. Km 30 – 1 Bar-tailed Lark. Km 32 – 8 Temminck’s Lark, 2 Thick-billed Lark, 4 Bar-tailed Lark, 2 Trumpeter Finch. Km 34 – the only Desert Wheatear of the trip! Km 33 – 20+ Thick-billed Lark, 2 Bar-tailed Lark, 1 Temminck’s Lark, 2 Greater Hoopoe Lark, 2 Cream-coloured Courser
    • Also at least 12 Red-rumped Wheatear noted
  • 2nd November
    • Road to Immouzzer blocked due to rain in Paradise Valley, but found 1 Tristram’s Warbler near obvious ammonites shop on left of road before descent into the valley and 1 Northern Goshawk in Paradise Valley itself (as well as numerous Ringed Cascader, Orange-winged Dropwing, Epaulet Skimmer, etc)
    • Souss estuary (first section, from road) – 1 Slender-billed Gull, 14 Ruff also 9 Black Tern over the golf course pond on the right
  • 3rd November
    • Agadir – unusually good visible migration early morning including 50+ Chaffinches, 30+ Goldfinches, 20+ Linnets, 2 Greenfinches, 10+ Serins, 1 Skylark
    • Massa (river section between ‘football pitch’ road and Cafe de la Poste road) – 1 Squacco Heron, 1 Brown-throated Martin, excellent selection of dragonflies including Long Skimmer
    • Sidi R’bat – 16 Northern Bald Ibis
    • Mouth of Massa lagoon – 1 Lesser Crested Tern
    • Massa ‘village bridge’ – 2 Black-winged Kite, 2+ Moroccan Reed Warbler, 1 Banded Groundling’

31 October 2012

Deux Grands Labbes à Martil le 27 octobre, dont un poursuivant un Goéland d’Audouin jusqu’à quelque 300 m sur la terre ferme. On ne connait que peu d’observations le long de la côte méditerranéenne marocaine (Rachid El Khamlichi & Jean-Marc Schneider).

28 October 2012

Larus cirrocephalus (Mouette à tête grise – Grey-headed Gull). List of Moroccan records to-date:

  • 4 records in the ‘Checklist of the birds of Morocco’ (Thévenot et al. 2003):
    • 10 May 1947: offshore Aguerguer (Bierman in HB&M)
    • 01 May 1968: Souss estuary (M. Dachsel in Thévenot et al. 2003)
    • 17 November 1988: adult near Agadir (M. Ullman et al in Thévenot et al. 2003)
    • 17 August 1992: immature in the Straits of Gibraltar (British Birds 86 : 284)
  • Subsequent records:
    • 07 December 2003: 1st winter at Dakhla (R. Kaufmann in Birding World 16: 495)
    • 20 February 2004: adult at Massa (V. & S. Vitzthum. Dossier MRBC 04/11 accepted in CHM10)
    • 04 April 2005: Sidi Moussa – Oualidia (J. Franchimont. Dossier MRBC 05/09 accepted in CHM11Birding World 18: 153)
    • 24 October 2006: 1st winter at Massa (D. Walsh et al. Dossier MRBC 06/37 accepted in CHM13)
    • 19 May 2009: 2 at Souss estuary (I. Cherkaoui. Dossier MRBC 09/52 accepted in CHM15)
    • 04 March 2010: immature at Pointe de la Sarga, Dakhla Bay (Gábor Bodor et al. in NNSAM4)

21 October 2012

Heavy rains early October near Awserd. Look at photos at http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.452342421483952.119631.181908091860721&type=1.

Such species as larks, wheatears, Cricket Longtails, Desert Sparrow… should undergo a breeding season soon (see Qninba, A. ; Radi, M. ; Amezian, M. ; Ibn Tattou, M. ; Khayya, M.L. ; Samlali, M.L. ; Khalil, M.L & Hammia, A. 2011. Nidifications automnales d’oiseaux sahariens dans la région d’Oued Ad-Dahab – Lagouira (Maroc méridional). Go-South Bull. 8 : 21-34).

See also http://moroccanbirds.blogspot.com/2012/10/Birding-the-Sahara.html

14 October 2012

Moroccan Rare Birds Committee: the result of the first round of the 18th session is available on the dedicated webpage.

6 October 2012

Diego Jerez Abad signale la récente naissance de son blog principalement dédié aux oiseaux du Maroc Oriental : Aves y Natura Norteafricanas. Diego y recense ses observations, parmi lesquelles, à Melilla : un nid de Petits Gravelots à 3 oeufs le 20 mai, 2 couples et 7 jeunes de Faucons crécerelles dans les falaises maritimes le 4 juillet, 5 Nettes rouuses volant vers le SE en mer le 17 juillet, 3 couples de Perruches à collier construisant un nid communautaire dans un eucalyptus (première observation à melilla) le 13 août, 4 Sternes voyageuses en migration NW (les premières migratrices postnuptiales de l’année) le 29 août, et un Faucon d’Eléonore le 1 septembre.

4 October 2012

Arrivée d’oiseaux nord-américains à Casablanca : un Bécasseau tacheté (Pectoral Sandpiper – Calidris malanotos) et un probable Chevalier grivelé (Spotted Sandpiper – Actitis macularius) le 29 septembre (B. Maire)

30 September 2012

A pure disaster for an endangered species: look at http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4642109301118.2184975.1544668047&type=1

29 September 2012

A new paper is available in Go-South Bulletin:

  • Ichen, A. ; Himmi, O. & Elhamoumi, R. 2012. Contribution à la connaissance des oiseaux d’eau des dayas des plaines côtières du Maroc Nord-Atlantique (Maamora et Benslimane). Go-South Bulletin 9 : 152-154.

21 September 2012

Unfortunately the Osprey has been found dead on the ridge, and the satellite transmitter was retrieved ( http://www.ospreys.org.uk/our-fears-are-confirmed/)

19 September 2012

Tim Mackrill sends this interesting request: ‘Last summer we fitted an adult male Osprey at Rutland Water in the UK with a GPS satellite transmitter. This allowed us to follow his migration to Senegal and return journey to Rutland this spring.

The bird, known as 09, began his autumn migration this year on 5th September and a week later he had reached the southern part of Morocco. Sadly the latest batch of data shows that 09 – or at least his transmitter – has remained in exactly the same place since 3pm on 11th September. All of the GPS locations received since then have been within 30 metres of the point on 11th September and the transmitter’s activity meter shows that it has not moved. The co-ordinates of the location are 28.4463, -10.01333 which is just over 100km east of Tan Tan. Please also see a report I have just written for our website. http://www.ospreys.org.uk/sad-news-2/

We are very keen to find out what has happened to the bird – and hopefully to retrieve the transmitter (which could be used again)’

Tim would be very grateful to anyone who could help find out what happened and retrieve the transmitter.

12 September 2012

A new paper is available in Go-South Bulletin:

  • Qninba, A. ; Bennani, A. ; Benyelloul, A. ; Samlali, M.L. & El Agbani, M.A. 2012. Reproduction possible de la Sterne royale Sterna maxima au Maroc. Go-South Bulletin 9 : 150-151.

7 September 2012

A new paper is available in Go-South Bulletin:

  • Qninba, A. ; Khayya, M.L. ; Samlali, M.L. & Radi, M. 2012. Nidification du Goéland leucophée Larus michahellis dans les régions des baies de Dkhayla et d’Oued Eddahab (Sahara Atlantique marocain). Go-South Bulletin 9 : 145-149.

4 September 2012

A new trip report is available on the Trip reports webpage (Brendan Ryan, Phil and Jack Chantler)

25 August 2012

Découverte du Loup au Maroc – The Wolf in Morocco. Detectan al lobo en Marruecos gracias al uso del foto-trampeo. La reciente detección de lobos en Marruecos gracias al uso de cámaras de foto-trampeo viene a confirmar la presencia de la especie en el norte de África, ya atestiguada en otros países como Egipto y Etiopía (Vicente Urios, Carlos Ramírez, Miguel Gallardo & Hamid Rguibi Idrissi 2012 – “Lobos chacaloides, chacales lobunos y una subespecie perdida. Quercus 317, voir http://www.quercus.es/noticia/4932/Avances/detectan-lobo-marruecos-gracias-uso-fototrampeo.html)

15 August 2012

Request from Luis Palma (CIBIO, Scientific coordinator Osprey reintroduction in Portugal, http://cibio.up.pt/cibio.php?lang=en):

‘Une de nos études, encore à l’état préliminaire, porte sur la colonisation du sud du Portugal par la buse féroce. L’espèce a commencé à se reproduire récemment dans le sud de l’Espagne et nos observations indiquent la possibilité d’une reproduction dans un avenir proche dans le sud du Portugal. L’occurrence d’une hybridation entre la buse féroce et la buse variable dans cette zone de contact semble aussi possible.
Pour tenter de détecter une hypothétique hybridation, nous sommes à la recherche de plumes de mue et d’échantillons sanguins de buses féroces marocaines. Les analyses génétiques seront faites dans le laboratoire du CIBIO, qui a une grande expérience en génétique des populations et biologie évolutive’.
Merci d’entrer en contact avec Luís Palma Luis Palma (luis.palma@cibio.up.pt) si vous pensez que vous pouvez l’aider.

8 August 2012

A new trip report is available on the Trip reports webpage (David Gonzalez Ortega et al.)

24 July 2012

A Cuckoo photographed at Dakhla on 23 July. Early bird… (Franck Chevalier)

24 July 2012

From 4-11 February 2012, 13 Norwegian Bird-Watchers searched the coast from Agadir to Dakhla for colour-ringed Gulls. The most interesting observations were: 2 Dunns Lark 28km before Ausserd 6. February (We did not see any Black-crowned Sparrow Lark or Cricket Warblers, but the weather-condition was very bad (heavy sand-storm), 2 adult Cape Gulls at La Sarga, Dakhla 5. February, 1 adult Herring Gull at Dakhla harbour 5. February, 2 Northern Bald Ibis near Boujdour 7. February, 1 Little Crake Layounne 8. February, 1 first winter Great Black-backed Gull Tan Tan Plage 8. February, 1 juvenile Spanish Imperial Eagle 78km south of Goulimine 9. February, 1 Black Stork Oued Massa 9. February, 1 Common Gull and 1 Little Gull Oued Souss 10. February.
Regarding the gulls, we recorded a total of 331 colour-ringed Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 89 of these ringed by us in Norway! The other Lesser Black-backed Gulls came from Belgium (41), Denmark (14), England (85), Guernsey (10), Island (13), Holland (59), Spain (4) and Germany (16).
In addition, we recorded 19 Audouins’s Gulls, 2 Black-headed Gulls, 3 Mediterranean gulls, 9 Yellow-legged Gulls, 6 Greater Flamingos and 1 Eurasian Spoonbill with colour-rings (Runar Jåbekk)

24 July 2012

A new paper is available in Go-South Bulletin:

  • Franchimont, J. 2012. Quelques observations récentes remarquables de Lépidoptères rhopalocères marocains. Go-South Bulletin 9 : 141-144.

21 July 2012

A new trip report is available on the Trip reports webpage. Highlights include Andalucian Hemipode 2 or 3, Atlas Flycatchers, African Dunn’s Lark, Western Mourning Wheatear, 2 Desert Eagle Owls, Saharan Olivaceous Warblers, Moroccan Wagtails, a Goshawk, saharae Scrub Warblers, Dupont’s Larks, Marsh Owl, and Double-spurred Francolines (Janne Aalto).

13 July 2012

Early July, White Wagtails of the moroccoan subspecies subpersonata photographed on the Mediterranean coast at Cala Iris and two active nests of Osprey in Al Hoceimas National Park (Javier Elorriaga)

8 July 2012

A new paper is available in Go-South Bulletin:

  • Franchimont, J. 2012. Un chant aberrant de Tourterelle turque Streptopelia decaoctoGo-South Bulletin 9 : 140.

24 June 2012

The list of records under consideration for the 18th session of the MRBC has been updated and is available here. If you have additional rare records, please send them swiftly for their inclusion in the current session.

24 June 2012

20 March: An Allen’s Gallinule was in a little marshy pond along the road from Ifrane to Fes. ‘I’m not sure if Ait Meziane is the correct name for the place. It is behind an orchard from the highway, and a little road leads down to the ponds. When I saw the Allen’s Gallinule, I immediately recognized it, as I had seen it in Botswana 4 years before, and had taken a good photo… It also acted more like the one I saw in Botswana, clambering around on the emergent vegetation, instead of just swimming, sitting on nests or standing on rocks like the other coots and gallinules. I regret I didn’t get a photo of it. I only saw the one, briefly, before I could get the camera ready. It was shyer than the common and Red-knobbed Coots and common (Eurasian) moorhens that were also there; I did not see it again in the hour I spent there’ (Lee Harding).

2 June 2012

Two new trip report are available on the Trip reports webpage (Martin Roost et al.; David Marshall & Dr. Christine Booth)

28 May 2012

Un seul couple d’Echasses blanches, nid à 2 œufs le 23 mai sur une mare temporaire formée par l’endiguement par la route d’un affluent de Oued Mellah qui est lui-même un affluent rive droite de Ouergha, route reliant Had Kourt à Khénichet, N 34°31,010’ ; W 5°43,430’ (Abdellatif Al Ouardi)

28 May 2012

Terek Sandpiper (Bargette du Terek Xenus cinereus) at Larache on 19 May (A. Mathurin)

23 May 2012

A new paper is available in Go-South Bulletin:

  • Qninba, A. ; Safsaf, M.A. ; Samlali, M.L. & Bergier, P. 2012. Nidifications originales de Tourterelles dans la ville de Dakhla. Go-South Bulletin 9 : 136-139.

23 May 2012

The list of records currently under review by the Moroccan Rare Birds Committee has been updated and is available here. If one of your records is not in, please forward a detailed description to j.franchimont@live.fr

11 May 2012

Interesting records from a recent trip to South Morocco (29 April – 6 May):

  • – after several unsuccessfull attempts at Maghreb/Western Mourning Wheatear I found a male in the hills north of the N10 approximately 14.5 km west of Tinerhir on 1 May, some 1.5 km along a dirtroad leading inland.

 

  • – at the eastern end of the Desert Warbler site, along the Auberge Yasmina approach road, I found one, possibly two, African Dunn’s Lark on 2 May (see pic.). The first bird was only seen briefly, and made me think of a juvenile Bar-tailed Desert Lark, but as I tried to move around it, to get better light, I was distracted by the bird pictured, which stood out with it’s faint back-streaking and (in flight) obvious tailmarkings. The first bird was never seen again despite searching, but could well have been a juvenile Dunn’s. The other bird was seen again one hour later with a group of 4 Belgian birders.

 

  • – I spend the mornings of 3 and 4 May at Dayet Sriji (Merzouga), and had a Lesser Flamingo along with the 540 Greater Flamingos on both days (see distant, dark pink blob on second pic.). On 3 May I was able to refind the White-rumped Sandpiper, that was reported here some days earlier. Other birds at the lake : 395 Marbled Teal, 374 Ruddy Shelduck, 12 Ferruginous Duck, 6 Common Pochard, 1 Black-headed Gull, 60 Common Ringed Plover, 44 Little Grebe and 58+ Spotted Sandgrouse flying in to drink.

 

  • – high altitude lake east of R503, 18 km south of Boulmane on 5 May : 78 Ruddy Shelduck incl. one recently hatched brood of 6.

 

 

  • – in the region of the lakes some small counts were made:
  • 5 May at Dayet Ifra: 1100 Coot, 20+ Red-knobbed Coot, 30+ Black-necked Grebe, 6 Ferruginous Duck.
  • 5 May at Dayet Hachlaf: 1300+ Coot, 2 Red-knobbed 22 Marbled Teal, 1 Ferruginous Duck
  • 6 May at Dayet Aaoua: 150+ Little Grebe, 410 nests + many paired birds of Black-necked Grebe, 1500+ Coot, 150+ Red-knobbed Coot, 12 Ferruginous Duck, 3-4 pairs of Roller.

(Jens Thalund)

8 May 2012

A Desert Eagle Owl photographed on the Awserd road on 6 April. The Little Scaup is still at the MDS1 farm near Dakhla (Franck Chevalier)

8 May 2012

A likely adult Dark-chanting Goshawk between orange groves and Argan forest just at the SW entrance of Oulad Berhil (Souss Plain) on 20 April (Imad Cherkaoui)

8 May 2012

Cricket Warbler and Black Crown Finch Lark were easy species to find but no Dunn’s Lark was seen with certainty on the Awserd road, 17 April. One Kelp Gull at Khnifiss on 18 April. A 2nd calendar-year Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus at Larache on 23 April (Tim de Boer)

6 May 2012

An adult African Dunn’s Lark (Eremalauda dunni dunni) photographed at some 30km to the west of M’Hamid El Ghizlane on 19 April (Andrew Watson and Elizabeth Woodwell, Moroccanbird)

6 May 2012

A second calendar year White-rumped Sandpiper (Bécasseau de Bonaparte – Calidris fuscicollis) was at Merzouga on 29 april (S. Claden, observado)

6 May 2012

A new trip report is available on the Trip reports webpage (Ph. J. Dubois et al.)

1 May 2012

A new trip report is available on the Trip reports webpage (John Muddeman et al, Iberian Wildlife Tours: www.iberianwildlife.com)

1 May 2012

Records in Western Sahara:

18 April
Muscicapa striata, Sylvia borin (commun), S atricapilla, P barbatus, S conspicillata, S cantillans, P trochillus, Tchagra senegallus (dans la ville), Emberiza sahari at Goulimine, Oenanthe moesta, Pterocles orientalis, C cursor, Calandrella brachydactyla, Ammomanes cinctura, Ramphocoris clotbey, Oenanthe deserti, Oenanthe hispanica, Buteo rufinus, Hieraaetus pennatus, Lanius senator, Lanius meridionalis, Galerida theclae, Streptopelia senegalensis on the Asrir road, Ficedula speculigera (1 migrant), F hypoleuca, possible Iduna pallida reiseri, Emberiza sahari in Tighmert Palmerie, T ruficollis and Saxicola rubetra at Réservoir of Oued Ouarguenoun, Turdoides fulva (12) Oenanthe moesta (nid) at Oued Boukila, and Aquila fascista, Scotocerca inquieta (2) on N1 at 20km from Tantan.

19 April
Eremophila bilopha between Tarfaya and Layoune, Circus pygargus (1), Oenanthe leucura, Streptopelia turtur, Charadrius alexandrinus, Calidris alpina, calidris minuta, Actitys hypoleucos, Charadrius dubius, Acrocephalus scirpaceus, Falco biarmicus at Campement bedouin, Circus aeroginosus, Pandion haliaetus, Anthus cervinus at Café chtoucan.

20 April
Circus aeroginosus (2), Falco pelegrinoides, Cursorius cursor (3), Pterocles coronatus (aprox 20), S decaocto (nid at Awserd), S senegalensis, M apiaster (O Jenaa, aprox 15 exs), Ammomanes cinctura (5), Eremameula dunni, km 87 (2), Ramphocoris clotbey (2), Alaemon alauipes, Oenanthe leucopyga, Oenanthe deserti, Passer simplex, Passer domesticus, Sylvia hortensis (3), Sylvia cantillans (commun), Sylvia nana, Sylvia conspicillata, Acrocephalus scirpaceus, Phylloscopus trochillus & bonelli, Lanius meridionalis, Turdoides fulva (Oued Jenaa, 6 exs) Corvus ruficollis (common at Awerd) between Dakhla and Awserd (complete list).

21 April
New species between Dakhla and Awserd: Milvus migrans, Delichon urbicum, Upupa epops, P phoenicurus, O oenanthe, Spiloptila clamans (5, not at Oued Jenaa but in the acacias at 5 km before Awserd near the wáter reservoir, only seen today, not yesterday!!). 2 Sterna bengalensis at Dakhla.

22 April
Ptyonoprogne fuligula (2), Anthus cervinus (2), B ghitaneus (5), Bubulcus ibis (1) at Café Chtoucan, Monticola solitarius (1 dans la ville) at Boujdour, Ciconia nigra (3), Platalea leucorodia (2) at La charca (Layoune).

23 April
Ardea cinerea monicae (1) at Khnifiss, Gyps fulvus (3), Scotocerca inquieta (2) between Tantan and Tantan Plage (radar station) (Fran Trabalon)

1 May 2012

Additional info on the Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius seen in the Oued Noun (Fort Bou Jérif): the bird was in full breeding plumage on 26 and 27 April and has been nicely photographed (Martin Roost, Stephan Trösch and Pascal Parodi)

29 April 2012

First chicks at Bald Ibis colonies. Since the last week of March, the first chicks started to hatch. The wardens feel that there’s a little delay in the phenology, due, mainly, to the lack of rain during the last winter (this could have had an impact on ecosystem productivity and, thus, on food availability). Data received from Aylal show that adults in Tamri stay in a narrow coastal area of about 8 km long but less than two kilometers wide (http://northernbaldibis.blogspot.fr/2012/04/first-chicks.html)

28 April 2012

Three new papers a available in Go-South Bulletin:

    • Moores, R. ; Brown, D. ; Martin, R. & Lees, A.C. 2012. Status and identification of hares Lepus sp. in Western Sahara and Southern Morocco. Go-South Bulletin 9 : 126-130
    • Kayser, Y. 2012. Régime alimentaire du Grand-Duc d’Afrique du Nord Bubo ascalaphus au Cap Tafarit, Parc National du Banc d’Arguin, Mauritanie. Go-South Bulletin 9 : 131-132.
    • Moores, R. ; Brown, D. & Martin, R. 2012. New data on the terrestrial mammals of the Oued Ad-Dehab region of Western Sahara. Go-South Bulletin 9 : 133-135.

27 April 2012

Spotted Sandpiper in the Oued Noun at Fort Bou Jérif on 26 April (P. Parodi & M. Roost fide E. Albegger)

26 April 2012

Visite à Douyiet le 25 avril : 69 espèces répertoriées. Outre les derniers hivernants européens (Canard souchet, p. ex.), et les installations des visiteurs d’été classiques (Caille des blés, Tourterelle des bois, Rossignol philomèle, Hypolaïs obscure, Rousserolles effarvattes et turdoïdes, p. ex.), ce fut également une importante journée de contact des migrateurs européens prénuptiaux, de passage actif, ou en halte sur les deux plans d’eau, comme la Sarcelle d’été, le Milan noir, le Crabier chevelu, le Combattant varié, le Coucou gris, les Pouillots fitis et de Bonelli, le Gobemouche noir, le Loriot d’Europe, … 
Particulièrement notoires furent les observations suivantes : 223 Flamants roses (nombre record pour le site) en stationnement sur le lac oriental ; une Buse variable (hivernant/migrateur européen très rarement signalé à Douyièt et même au Maroc en général) ; une Bondrée apivore ; un Circaète Jean-le-Blanc (toute première donnée enregistrée à Douyièt depuis les années 1970, et qui représente donc la 204ème espèce observée sur le site).
La reproduction est bien engagée pour beaucoup d’espèces intéressantes, avec, p. ex. de nombreuses parades nuptiales d’Érismatures à tête blanche et de Busards des roseaux ; des Foulques caronculées, et de nombreux Canards colverts et Grèbes castagneux qui se font discrets dans la végétation aquatique ; la Glaréole à collier qui se réinstalle sur les plages du lac oriental ; la Mésange charbonnière (espèce rare à Douyièt), dont au moins deux mâles chanteurs furent contactés.
En conclusion, les deux lacs, la qualité de leurs eaux et les belles surfaces de phragmites qui repoussent jouent toujours leur rôle aussi attractif sur l’avifaune, et représentent un pôle de biodiversité considérable pour la région et pour le pays tout entier, abritant également des espèces remarquables au niveau international (J. Franchimont & F. Touati Malih)

24 April 2012

In the first half of April, I visited the same south-southeastern part of Morocco as so many tour groups do nowadays. We had a lot of nice birds but not any real rarities anymore; eg, we did not encounter any additional Isabelline Wheatear, of which I had an amazing eight during March. Below, you see a summary of sightings.

With a group of 12 Dutch birders from BirdingBreaks, I could do yet another tour in southern Morocco, on 3-13 April 2012, following an almost identical itinerary as the one with Limosa Holidays in the preceding 10 days in late March. We found the same ‘key species’ as before, such as, for instance, Bald Ibises Geronticus eremita, three species of large falcons, Pharaoh Eagle-Owl Bubo ascalaphus, Egyptian Nightjars Caprimulgus aegyptius, Scrub Warblers Scotocerca inquieta saharae, Long-billed Crested Larks Galerida macrorhyncha, Moroccan Wagtails Motacilla subpersonata, Maghreb Treecreepers Certhia brachydactyla mauritanica, African Desert Warblers Sylvia deserti, Tristram’s Warblers S deserticola, Saharan Olivaceous Warblers Iduna pallida reiseri, Moussier’s Redstarts Phoenicurus moussieri, Black-crowned Tchagras Tchagra senegalus cucullatus, Fulvous Babblers Turdoides fulvus, Atlas Crossbills Loxia curvirostra poliogyna, Desert Sparrows Passer simplex, etc.

However, probably due to heavy rains and mountain snow in late March and early April, there were striking differences too. For instance, it appeared impossible to find the White-throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus in the High Atlas, and sandgrouse in the Tafilalet. Instead, we encountered late migrants absent in March like Western Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin Cercotrichas galactotes (also at the coast near Tamri on 11 April) and Common Rock Thrush Monticola saxatilis (a male at Touroug on 9 April), while Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters Merops superciliosus chrysocercus were now locally numerous. At Oukaimeden, on 4 April, heavy snowfall had pushed birds down to the icy surrounds of the small barrage such as migrants like a Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica, a Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta and two Ortolan Buntings Emberiza hortulana and high-elevation breeding birds like two very confiding Alpine Accentors Prunella collaris and the more usual Seebohm’s Wheatears O seebohmi and Crimson-winged Finches Rhodopechys alienus. Along the Tizi-n-Tichka road, on 3 and 4 April, we had three occupied nests of Levaillant’s Woodpecker Picus vaillantii and a few additional suspecteds. Along the road between Boumalne and Tinerhir, on 6 and 9 April, we found Maghreb Wheatears O halophila at two sites different from the three sites we had them along this road in March. The Tagdilt track area was as productive as ever, with Thick-billed Larks Ramphocoris clotbey at two sites, but despite trying two hours in the early morning of 7 April we could not find the Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata photographed by Paul Willoughby and family on 5 April. At Merzouga, on 8 April, it was a big surprise to see the desert lake Dayet Sriji again as it had been completely dry for three years up to a few days earlier. Amazingly, within such a short period, all kinds of birds had discovered the lake. Not only migrant waders as 100 Black-winged Stilts Himantopus himantopus, 50 Collared Pratincoles Glareola pratincola, Little Stints Calidris minuta and a Temminck’s Stint C temminckii but also many Ruddy Shelducks Tadorna ferruginea, eight male Ferruginous Ducks Aythya nyroca, more than 100 Marbled Ducks Marmaronetta angustirostris, more than 200 European Flamingos Phoenicopterus roseus, four Great Crested Grebes Podiceps cristatus, some Little Grebes Tachybaptus ruficollis, more than 80 Common Coots Fulica atra, 10s of Gull-billed Terns Gelochelidon nilotica and other wetland species miraculously had turned up within a week from the birth of this lake in the middle of the desert. At the Aoulouz gorge, one or two Great Egrets Casmerodius albus were photographed. The Agadir river mouths had a few surprises too, such as not only a second calendar-year but also an adult Bonelli’s Eagle Aquila fasciata and a Long-eared Owl Asio otus at the Souss royal palace and a few Moroccan Reed Warblers Acrocephalus baeticatus/scirpaceus at Oued Massa on 12 April.

The total number of species was 220, just a few less than the 223 in the late March tour (Arnoud B. van den Berg)

23 April 2012

Sightings from 11th to 22nd April: Balearic Shearwater – 1 off Cap Rhir on 19th april. Eurasian Hobby – 1 at Dayet Srij on 16th april. Little Crake – 2 females at Oued Massa agricultural area on 20th april (photos of both birds). Temminck’s Stint – 1 at Barrage Mansour Edhabbi on 18th april. Spotted Sandgrouse – 8 on 16th april between Derkaoua and Yasmina. Egyptian Nightjar – 1 flushed at Kasbah Said (near Derkaoua) in daylight , 2 seen nearby at day roost the same day (photo). Blue-cheeked Bee-eater – regular between Derkaoua and Ouarzazate on 17th april. Roller – 2 between Ait Ourir and Tizi-n-Tichka on 13th april, 2 on 18th april near Ouarzazate. Thick-billed Lark – 4 at Tagdilt new road on 14th april; 3 at 43km from Errachidia on 15th april and 5 on 17th april between Derkaoua and Erfoud. Yellow Wagtails – races thunbergi and flavissima seen at Massa in addition to cinereocapilla, flava and iberiae. Maghreb Wheatear – 4 along Amerzgane road on 18th april. Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush – 2 at Derkaoua on 16th april. Plus the usual Marbled Duck (Ouarzazate, Dayet Srij and Massa), Northern Bald Ibis (seen at Tamri and Massa), Black-shouldered Kite (Massa), Levaillant’s, Pharaoh Eagle Owl, Tchagras, Scrub Warbler, Tristram’s (at least 5 birds on road to Imouzzer, including 4 singing males), African Desert Warbler, Desert Sparrow (just 1 female at nest box at Yasmina on 16th april), Crimson-wingeds etc plus migrant Golden Orioles, Ortolans seen in several areas (James Lidster)

23 April 2012

Recent sightings : an adult female Pallid Harrier (photo) on 23rd March near M’Hamid, an Icterine Warbler in the grounds of Chez Michele – Merzouga on 16 and 17th April, a Red-rumped Wheatear on the side of the Merzouga – Rissani road (not an uncommon species, but I certainly have never seen it here before!), and a White-winged Tern on 16th April at the newly produced lake at Merzouga (Peter Jones, Spanish Natrure)

23 April 2012

Iberian Chiffchaffs in March (c 10 individuals). As usual, during my weeks of birding with several people in March (and April), I came across quite a lot of Iberian Chiffchaffs. The number is too high for a proper documentation (it would mean that I have to wait for the bird to vocalise since I believe that only in exceptional cases a photograph provides sufficient evidence).
I had a handful with a BirdingBreaks group, including three birds in the tamarisks at Cafe Yasmina, Merzouga, on 8 March.
With Brian Small and the Limosa Holidays group, I had one bird in the garden of the Imilchil restaurant in the centre of Errachidea on 26 March; all observers heard the characteristic downward call of this bird thanks to which, together with its bright yellowish colours, blackish legs and slightly longer wings than in other chiffchaffs, this Phylloscopus could be identified as an Iberian. Since then, we found more than two birds in the garden of Derkaoua auberge at Merzouga on 27 March and again on 28 March; three birds at the eastern end of Ouarzazate in the morning of 29 March; and several near Tassila at Oued Massa on 31 March.
Iberian Chiffchaff is common on migration in the south and south-east (Arnoud B. van den Berg)

17 April 2012

During another recent visit to the Essaouira area, between 29 March and 5 April, I had a number of interesting records: On the evening of 3 Apr, just north of Essaouira, a flock of 45-50 Cranes was seen flying northwards. On 31 Mar and 1 Apr, there were groups of Ferruginous Ducks (max count 17 birds) on an artificial pond on the golf course. On 5 Apr I had excellent views of a Spotted Crake at a reed-fringed pond at the edge of the town.
Other records of migrants included : Osprey (3 Apr); Purple Heron and Night Heron (2 Apr); Stone Curlew (3 Apr); Red-Necked Nightjar (2 Apr); Cuckoo (every day); Bee-eater (30 Mar, 3 Apr, 5 Apr); Hoopoe (31 Mar); Yellow Wagtail (29 Mar); House Martin and Sand Martin (30 Mar, flocking with Plain Martin and Barn Swallow); Black-Eared Wheatear (every day); Nightingale (31 Mar, 2 Apr); Woodchat Shrike (30 mar, 1 Apr); Ortolan Bunting (3 Apr); Olivaceous Warbler (3 Apr); Willow Warbler (3 Apr); Subalpine Warbler (3 Apr) (Peter Greig-Smith)

12 April 2012

Bateleur Terathopius ecaudatus has been sighted at Punta Carnero (Algeciras, Spain) on 5 April, coming from Morocco.
Una observación (fotografia) de un aguila volatinera, The Bateleur, en migración hacia el norte por el estrecho de Gibraltar entrando desde el mar en Punta Carnero (Algeciras) a las 17:21 horas el 5 de abril de 2012. Se observó más de cinco minutos. Aunque la observación se hizo en España, el ave venia de Marruecos por lo que creo que tambien se debe homologar en su pais, esta observación tambien se envio al CR de España (Carlos Alberto Torralvo Moreno et al.)

9 April 2012

A Houbara laying down in a wadi c 5 km onto Tagdilt track from the main road (GPS was approximately 31.33229N 5.93058W) (Paul & Sharon Willoughby, per Arnoud B. van den Berg)

5 April 2012

Recent records: On 23 March, along the Ourika road to Oukaimeden, two Ring Ouzels Turdus torquatus and three European Chaffinches Fringilla coelebs coelebs were found. At Oukaimeden itself, on 23 March, an Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris was noted at the ski lifts. On 24 March, two pairs of Goshawk Accipiter gentilis were displaying north of the Tichka pass and, south of the Tichka pass, five Black Storks Ciconia nigra were part of a rather large flock of raptors flying low over the hills northward (including 30 Booted Eagles Aquila pennata). At Boumalne, two Peregrines Falco peregrinus were perched in a pilon next to the Xaluca hotel in the early morning of 25 March; at the Tagdilt track, a flock of nine Crowned Sandgrouse Pterocles coronatus and a Roller Coracias garrulus were videoed. At Todhra gorge, four Wrynecks Jynx torquilla together in a small field were noteworthy. Also on 25 March, a presumed third calendar-year Spanish Imperial Eagle A adalberti flew south across the road near Timadriouine west of Tinerhir. On 26 March, in the centre of Errachidia, the first of more than 10 Iberian Chiffchaffs Phylloscopus ibericus for this week was identified by its call. At Merzouga, on 27 March, a Pin-tailed Sandgrouse P alchata was photographed in a flock of 13 Spotted Sandgrouse P senegallus; two Egyptian Nightjars Caprimulgus aegyptius were seen at dawn at Derkaoua, and one was roosting in a wadi near Erg Chebbi; two Barbary Falcons F pelegrinoides were nesting west of Rissani; and on 28 March four Western Orphean Warblers Sylvia hortensis were found at Derkaoua. At the Ouarzazate lake, after photographing winter birds like a Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus on 9 March, a Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus on 10 March, and a handful of Water Pipits Anthus spinoletta on 10 March, the scene had changed two weeks later. In the afternoon of 28 March, six Black Storks were feeding along the shore and, the next morning, four Great Egrets Casmerodius albus landed, three Iberian Chiffchaffs were present, a Saharan Eastern Olivaceous Warbler Iduna pallida reiseri was photographed, and c 200 Marbled Ducks Marmaronetta angustirostris, a Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis, a Red-throated Pipit A cervinus and an early Grey-headed Wagtail Motacilla thunbergi were seen. Quite a few raptors were grounded due to rainy weather: more than 10 Montagu’s Harriers C pygargus included a melanistic male. An adult Barbary Falcon was perched on a pilon near the Khenzi hotel of Ouarzazate on 29 March. After the four Isabelline Wheatears Oenanthe isabellina photographed in the third week of March, four more were seen in the last week of March of which two could also be photographed: one at Derkaoua, Merzouga, on 27 March and another at Fint, Ouarzazate, on 29 March. On 30 March, three Hawfinches Coccothraustes coccothraustes seemed out-of-place at the city wall of Taroudannt, and a Cream-colored Courser Cursorius cursor flew north past Cap Rhir. At Tamri river, on 30 March, we photographed three Spotted Crakes Porzana porzana, a male and a female Little Crake P parva, and a Moustached Warbler Acrocephalus melanopogon. Another Spotted Crake was foraging at the sewage canal of the royal palace at Embouchure Oued Souss on 1 April (Arnoud B. van den Berg, Brian Small / Limosa Holidays)

4 April 2012

Dans la région de Dakhla, 9 Cigognes blanches à la ferme MDS2 le 31 mars, un Cratérope et 4 Roselins githagines à Koudyat aghnam le 1 avril. Un Lièvre sur la piste de Bougoufa le 31 mars, un Chat ganté et 3 Gazelles dorcas à Koudyat aghnam le 1 avril (F. Chevalier)

4 April 2012

Interesting records from 21 to 30 March have included: Great Egret (4 at Barrage Mansour Edhabbi on 28th march, seen on 27th by Reg Thorpe et al; 1 at Oued Massa agricultural area on 30th march), Pallid Harrier (1 adult male on 23rd march at Barrage Mansour Edhabbi), Golden Eagle (1 over Oued Massa on 30th march), Spotted Crake (1 at Oued Souss drainage channel by guard post on 29th march), Little Crake (3 females at Oued Massa agricultural area on 30th march), Crowned Sandgrouse (17 on 24th march at new Tagdilt road), Spotted Sandgrouse (27 on 26th march between Derkaoua and Yasmina), Maghreb Tawny Owl (1 calling late on 31st march in Marrakech, Semlalia district), Egyptian Nightjar (2 at Derkaoua on 26th march, 1 seen nearby at day roost the same day), Blue-cheeked Bee-eater (5 near Jorf on 27th march), Thick-billed Lark (3 Tagdilt new road on 24th march; 4 near Yasmina on 26th march), Woodlark (1 singing at Oukaimeden on 22nd march), Brown-throated Martin (5 at Oued Massa on 30th march), Red-throated Pipit (singles heard only at Barrage Mansour Edhabbi on 28th march and Oued Massa on 30th march), Water Pipit (several birds at Oukaimeden on 22nd march), Isabelline Wheatear (singles near Derkaoua on 26th march and 27km east of Boumalne on 27th march), Western Orphean Warbler (1 at Derkaoua on 27th march), European Chaffinch (100+ at Oukaimeden on 22nd march and 50+ on 21st), Brambling (2 at Oukaimeden on 22nd march) (James Lidster / Sunbird Tours)

4 April 2012

Highlights from a tour for Bird Holidays March 22nd to April 2nd include: Black Stork (2 by the « tagdilt Track » on 29 March), Cream Coloured Courser (c45 in Sous Valley between Taroudant & Tiout on 1 April), Little Gull (2cyr bird at embouchement de Oued Sous on 1 April), Crowned Sandgrouse( 17 Tagdilt Track on 28 March), African Desert Warbler on clifftop south of Cap Rhir on 24 March (I had both Hoopoe Lark and Bar tailed lark at this site in April 2011), Saharan Olivaceous Warbler (one at Barrage Mansour Ouazarzate on 30 March, Wryneck (Boumalne de Dades on 28 March), Isabelline Wheatear (one between Tazenakt & Ouazarzate on 30 March), and many migrant Hirundines and Bee-eaters.

John gives details of his unexpected records of desert species North of Agadir : ‘The location of the larks and the Desert Warbler lies just north of Taghazoute beach on the clifftop by the telecommunications mast. This is small stony area which replicates a « piece of desert ». The sightings followed a spell of warm SE winds and desert dust on both occasions. There was one Hoopoe Lark with one Bar tailed Lark and Lesser Short toed Lark with flock of Greater Short toed Larks on April 1st 2011 and one Desert Warbler and a female Desert Wheatear at the same site on March 24th 2012’ (John Mc Loughlin / Bird Holidays)

4 April 2012

Early March records in Agadir – Tamri – Goulimine area have included: Marbled Duck (a pair at Oued Souss on 7 March), Squacco Heron (1 at bridge over the Oued massa North of Tiznit on 3 March, 1 at Tamri on 5 March), Great Egret (1 near Ifentar, Massa river on 7 March), Short-toed Eagle (1 migrating near Taroudant on 4 March), Black Kite (about 100 near Taroudant on 4 March), Peregrine Falcon (adult at Massa river on 7 March), Little Crake (female near Tamri on 5 March, male near Ifentar Massa river on 7 March), Leser Crested Tern (adult near Massa 3 March), Crag Martin (2 near and Youssef Ben Dam,1 near Guelmin 6 March), Isabelline Wheatear (male near Guelmin on 6 March), Marsh Warbler (1 near Ifentar Massa River on 7 March), Fulvous Babbler (a family of 6 south of Guelmin on 6 March), Common Genet (about 50km east of Tamri on 5 March) (Paweł Malczyk & Piotr Zientek)

2 April 2012

A new paper is available in Go-South Bulletin:

  • Bergier, P. ; Thévenot, M. & Qninba, A. 2012. Notes naturalistes au Sahara Atlantique marocain – 4. Go-South Bull. 9 : 46-125.

1 April 2012

Additional data from Sean Minns (travelled alone to Oued Massa & Oued Souss then with Micheal Duckham & Robert Ulph in the S Morocco & Western Sahara from March 12-20, and with Micheal Duckham in N & Central Morocco from the 21-26 March).

Birds

Marbled Duck – 10 at Oued Massa on 13/3, 20+ on lagoon between Oualidia & Sidi Moussa on 23/3 and 2 seen by Mike Duckham at the lagoon near Zemara on 24/3.
Shelduck – 1 seen by me at Oued Souss on 12/3 and 2 at lagoon near Zemara on 24/3.
Ferruginous Duck – 1male at Oued Massa seen by me on 11/3 and 1 male and 1 female at Sidi Bouharba on 21/3 and 22/3 and 1m on lagoon between Oualidia & Sidi Moussa on 23/3.
Lesser Scaup – 1 male. The long staying bird at Marachaige 3 on 20/3.
Double-spurred Francolin – 1-2 calling on the edge of Kings Royal Forest near traditional site in Bergier guide on 21/3. 1 seen by Mike Duckham crossing a minor road 12km N of Ben Slimane.
Cory’s Shearwater – 1 seen by me at Dahkla Lighthouse on 20/3.
Balearic Shearwater – 1 seen by me from cliffs near Tifnit in Oued Massa NP on 11/3.
Shag – 1/2 at Cap Blanc on the 23/3.
Squacco Heron – 8 in Oued Massa on 11/3 and 13/3, 2 at small ponds 13km S of Sidi Yahya, 1 on lagoon between Oualidia and Sidi Moussa.
Great Egret – 2 at Oued Massa on 11/3 & 13/3. 1 at the lagoon near Zemara on the 23/3.
Purple Heron – Several groups seen – including 12 at Oued Souss on 12/3 and 6 at Sidi Bouharba on 22/1.
Glossy Ibis – largest number 300+ going to roost at S end of Merja Zerga on the 23/3
Bald Ibis – 2 groups of 3 and 4 at Oued Massa on the 11/3. 2 birds N in Oued Massa NP near Ben Gammoud on 12/3 all seen by me.
Spoonbill – largest number was 90+ on lagoons between Oualidia and Sidi Moussa on the 23/3
Griffon Vulture – 1 seen briefly by me circling with Black Kite & Booted Eagle at the Teflouet turn-off on the 25/3.
Egyptian Vulture – 1 immature bird N over N end of Dahkla Bay on the 15/3.
Golden Eagle – 2 sub-adults only seen by Mike Duckham at 1600m along the Oukaimaden Rd on the 26/3.
Short-toed Eagle – 1 adult 110km from Aousserd on 16/3 and another disorientated offshore at Cap Blanc on 23/3.
Black Kite – 400+ circling to roost at Sidi Bouharba on 22/3.
Marsh Harrier – strong passage throughout period. Over 100 birds seen at various locations in the north on 23/3 alone.
Pallid Harrier – 1 female seen by me with 4 Montagu’s Harrier at Pointe de la Sarga on the 18/3 hunting salicornia scrub along the bay edge.
Montagu’s Harrier – A constant passage of birds in Western Sahara and further N, with 10+ the biggest day total on the 23/3 at 4 sites.
Goshawk -1 male seen by me on 21/1 19km S of Sidi Yahya and another seen by me on the 23/1 10km N of Ben Slimane.
Black-winged Kite – One seen by me at Oued Souss on 12/3. One seen by Mike Duckham SE of Agadir on 13/3, Two seen in the Souss Valley on 14/3. Two 10km N of Ben Slimane on 23/3.
Hobby – One seen by me in the Ourika Valley on the 26/3.
Lanner Falcon- One ad 15km N of Taroudant at Tanaloukt, One immature male 100km N of Aousserd chasing Desert Sparrow, an adult at Daraman (nr Oued Jenna) on the 16/3 and another adult at Aousserd Dump on 17/3.
Peregrine – 1 adult at Trouk Island in Dahkla Bay on 19/3. Another immature male at the Radar Station, Oukaimaden on the 26/3.
Lesser Kestrel – 10+ on outskirts of Kenitra on the 21/3 and 20+ at Cap Blanc on the 23/3.
Spotted Crake – 4-5 at lagoons between Oualidia and Sidi Moussa on the 23/3
Little Crake – 1-2 at Sidi Bouharba on the 21 & 22/3 as per Eric Durand.
Allen’s Gallinule – 1 found dead on Trouk island in Dahkla Bay on the 19/3.
Common Crane – Birds heard calling by me at 8.30 am at Oued Massa on the 11/3.
Dotterel – 1 immature or winter adult at Gleb Jdiane camel troughs on the 15/3.
Cream-coloured Courser – 9 near Oued Massa on the 13/3, 12 at 10km N of Dahkla on 15/3 and 3 near the roundabout 45km N of Dahkla on the 17/3.
Temminck’s Stint – 1 at dried-up lagoon 15km W of Zemara.
Little Stint – 200+ at lagoon near Zemara on the 23/3 was the largest group.
Marsh Sandpiper – 2 at lagoons between Oualidia & Sidi Moussa on the 23/3 and 1 at lagoon near Zemara on the 24/3.
Great Skua – 3 at Pointe de la Sarga on the 18/3, 30+ N at Dahkla Lighthouse on the 20/3.
Arctic Skua – 2N at Dahkla Lighthouse on the 20/3. 5 feeding offshore at Medya Port on the 22/3. 
Pomarine Skua – 2 adult intermediate with spoons N at Medya Port on the 22/3. 2 probables N at Dahkla Lighthouse on the 20/3. 
Slender-billed Gull – 7+ seen at 4 sites around Dahkla Bay from 17/3-20/3. 
Meditteranean Gull – three 2nd years at Oued Souss on 12/3, one 2nd year at Pointe de la Sarga on the 18/3 and one 2nd year at Medya Port on the 21/3. 
Yellow-legged Gull – Very scarce in Dahkla Bay with only 1-2 each day , mainly 2nd year birds . Most adults probably already back at breeding grounds.
Audouin’s Gull – 50+ seen at several sites in Dahkla Bay between 17/3 and 20/3. 40+ seen at Oued Souss on the 12/3. 
Kittiwake – 1 adult seen by me offshore at Pt de la Sarga on the 18/3. 
Little Tern – 2 – one adult & one 2nd year in Dahkla Bay on the 19/3. 
Gull-billed Tern – small numbers at many localities. 50+ largest group at S end of Merja Zerga on the 22/3. 
Royal Tern – 2 at Pointe de la Sarga on the 18/3, 2 in Dahkla Bay 5km N of Dahkla, 24 on Trouk Island in Dahkla Bay on the 24/3 and 4 in N Dahkla Bay on the 24/3. 
Whiskered Tern – 1 seen by me at Oued Souss on the 12/3, 1 at Oued Massa on 13/3 , 1 at S end of Merja Zerga on the 22/3 and 6 at lagoon near Zemara on the 24/3. 
Spotted Sandgrouse – 70+ at Gleb Jdiane on 19/3. 
Crowned Sandgrouse – 20+ at Gleb Jdiane on the 19/3. 
Laughing Dove – 1 seen by me quite far N & W at Tnine de Chetkoua peage on the 23/3. 
Great Spotted Cuckoo – 2 seen by me near Ben Gammoud in Massa NP on the 12/3. 
Pharaoh Eagle Owl – 1 spotlighted briefly at Daraman (nr Oued Jenna) on the 16/3. Roost sites found on nearby cliff. 
Marsh Owl – 1 seen by me at Sidi Bouharba on the 21/3, 1-2 at S end of Merja Zerga on the 22/3 and 1 incredibly seen by me to come in at Cap Blanc over the sea, perhaps disorientated by dust storm (along with other species such as ST Eagle, Marsh Harrier & Stone Curlew ) before heading inland on the 23/3. 
Scops Owl – 1 flushed by me from daytime roost in greenery 8km N of Dahkla on the 19/3. 
RN Nightjar – 1 heard & seen briefly by me at Oued Souss on 12/3. 
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater – Seen on 4 occasions in Dahkla Bay – two N of Dahkla Bay on the 17/3, three at Pointe de la Sarga on the 18/3, five 8km N of Dahkla on 19/3 and two at Marachaige Sahara on the 20/3. 
Levaillant’s Green Woodpecker – heard at 4 locations along Tizi-n Tichla Rd with the highest in isolated trees at 1900m and 2100m on 25/3 and 1 ad male seen well at roaside in Forest Lodge area at Toufliht. 3 more calling birds in the Ourika Valley on the 26/3. 
Wryneck – 1 seen by me at Oued Massa on the 11/3. 1 at Marachaige Sahara 1 on the 20/3. 
Desert Lark – only 2 birds seen 10km S of Aousserd on the 16/3. 
Bar-tailed Desert Lark – only 3 birds seen. A pair on 16/3 at Oued Guara 126km from Aousserd (= Graret Ouchfegt, 23°15’13″N-15°09’51″W). 1 with 2 Desert Lark on 16/3 10km S of Aousserd. 
Calandra Lark – several birds seen singing & displaying in the Zemara area on 24/3. 
Thick-billed Lark – Birds seen at the two Gleb Jdiane sites with a maximum of 10 on 18/3. 
Atlas Horned Lark – Only 2 at Oukaimaden on 26/3 as already on territories. 
Temminck’s Horned Lark – 1 seen at the start of the Aousserd Rd on 15/3, but up to 5 seen at Gleb Jdiane between 15/3 and 19/3. 
Brown-throated Sand Martin – Seen at various sites in Oued Massa area on 11/3 and 13/3 with a maximum of 10 at any one site. 
Crag Martin – 1 at Aousserd Dump on 17/3 only large martin positively identified. Other large unidentified martins were seen at Daraman (nr Oued Jenna) on 16 & 17/3, on Trouk Island on the 19/3, the Teflouet Rd on 25/3 and Oukaimaden on 26/3. 
Richard’s Pipit – 1 flushed by me on 11/3 at Oued Massa. Water Pipit – several seen at Oued Massa on 11/3 and 13/3, as well as dried up lagoon 15km from Zemara on the 24/3. 1 seen by Mike Duckham in summer plumage at Oukaimaden on the 26/3. 
Red-throated Pipit – seen in small numbers at Oued Massa, Gleb Djene, N of Dahkla Bay, Marachaige Farms between 11/3 and 20/3. 
Moroccan Wagtail – 1 at Oued Souss on 12/3 and 2 on stream 15km N of Taroudant on 14/3. 
Black-headed Wagtail – 1 at Marachaige 3 with 500+ Yellow Wagtails of 3 other races. 
Bluethroat – a total of 7 birds seen all either white-spotted or non-identifiable at Gleb Jdiane camel troughs, Cafe nr Gleb Jdiane & La Foret at the Mijk Farm between 17 & 20/3/2012. 
Isabelline Wheatear – At least 9 birds seen at 5 sites – singles at Oued Massa, Marachaige Sahara 1, N of Dahkla Bay, Petrol Station 45km from Dahkla & Cafe near Gleb Jdiane and at least 4 en route to the camel troughs at Gleb Djene. 
Seebohm’s Wheatear – 2 territorial pairs at Oukaimaden on 26/3/2012. 
Black Wheatear- Pair in atypical habitat at Cafe near Gleb Djene. Not Aousserd Dump as per Mike Duckham’s report. 
Red-rumped Wheatear – Only 2 birds, both non-breeding males located along Aousserd Rd at the two Gleb Jdiane sites between 15 & 19/3/2012. 
Whinchat – 1 at camel troughs of Gleb Jdiane on 17 & 18/3 2012. Cricket Warbler – 3 at Oued Guara on the 16/3 briefly sung and called before moving off. 
African Desert Warbler- 1 singing male on 15/3/2012 81km from Aousserd. Tristram’s Warbler – female seen by me only at camel troughs at Gleb Jdiane on 18/3/2012. 
Aquatic Warbler – 1 or 2 seen and heard by me at Nador Canal areaof Merja Zerga on 23/3/2012. Very surprised to find one bird in low sedges in flooded area calling to another unseen bird in cover. 
Grasshopper Warbler – 1 at Gleb Jdiane on 19/3/2012. (African?) Reed Warbler – 3 possibly of this race, but good views only obtained by Mike Duckham, singing at Oued Massa on 11/3 and 13/3. 
Saharan Olivaceous Warbler – 1 most likely this race photographed offering excellent comparison with Western Olivaceous Warbler in N of Dahkla Bay on 17/3/2012. 
W Bonelli’s Warbler -1 seen by me at Glen Jdiane on 16/3/2012 and 3 in Zaer Forest on 21/3 & 23/3/2012. Iberian Chiffchaff – 20+ birds showing characteristics of this species were seen at numerous sites. 
Black-crowned Tchagra – 2 seen at Oued Massa on 11/3/2012 seen by me with 5 more singing. 10+ Singing birds also heard at 3 sites in the Zaer Forest. 
Fulvous Babbler – family group of 7 at Oued Guara on 15/16/2012 Jackdaw -500+ going to roost at Merja Zerga on 23/3/2012. 
Raven – 2 seen at Tamaloukt 15km N of Taroudant on 14/3. 8 seen in High Atlas at 3 sites on the 25/3 & 26/3. 
Brown-necked Raven – 150+ birds at Aousserd Dump on 16/3/2012. Seen at several other sites along Aousserd Rd in small numbers. 
Desert Sparrow -Groups of up to 25 seen on 15 & 16/3/2012 at Oued Guara, Oued Jenna, Aousserd Dump & several other stops along Aousserd Rd. 
African Crimson-winged Finch -9 Oukaimaden on 26/3/2012. 

Mammals 

Jackal – Daraman (nr Oued Jenna) 16/3/2012 
Lesser Egyptian Jerboa – Oued Jenna 16/3/2012 
Fat-tailed Gerbil – Oued Jenna 16/3/2012 
Tarabul’s Jird Gerbillus tarabuli – Oued Guara 15/3 (126km from Dahkla) 
Egyptian Mongoose – Oued Massa – 11 & 13/3/2012 
African Wildcat – Daraman (nr Oued Jenna) on 16/3/2012 & 8km from Dahkla on 19/3/2012. 
Cape Hare – 11, 15 & 16/3/2012 at Oued Massa & along Aousserd Rd. 
Cuvier’s Gazelle – 5+ Oued Souss on 12/3. 
Bottle-nosed Dolphin -3 off Pointe de La Sarga on 17 & 19/3/2012. 
Atlantic-humpbacked Dolphin – 2/3 seen in Dahkla Bay on the 23/3/2012 by Robert Ulph close to the Dahkla Attitude kite-surfing camp.

1 April 2012

Les Goélands d’Audouins bagués couleur observés à l’Oued Ouma Fatma le 13 février 2011 avaient été bagués en Espagne : à Punta de la Banya les 25 juin 2005 (AS6J), 22 juin 2006 (AUMW), 20 juin 2009 (AZU1) et 25 juin 2010 (BBFU), à la lagune de la Matale le 1 juin 2009 (BCU7) et aux iles Chaffarines le 21 juin 1999 (49W). Celui observé à Dakhla le 17 février 2011 avait été bagué à Punta de la Banya le 20 juin 2009 (BARX) (P. Bergier)

31 March 2012

Dans la région de Dakhla, le gros de la migration est terminé vers le 19 mars. Un Héron pourpré à Mijk et un autre (juv) à MDS2 le 19 mars. Un Torcol fourmilier à Mijk, une Bergeronnette printanière (feldegg) à MDS2 le 20 mars. Un Bihoreau gris, une Gorgebleue à miroir (cyanecula) et un Crabier chevelu à MDS1 le 22 mars. La présence d’un Rhinopome (probablement Petit Rhinopome Rhinopoma (hardwickii) cystops) est confirmée (F. Chevalier)

31 March 2012

Dans les marais du Bas Loukkos le 25 mars: 1 Bécassin à long bec, 11 Marouettes ponctuées !, 1 Marouette poussin, 1 Goéland marin, 1 Grande Aigrette + 1 cadavre de Butor étoilé + gros passage d’Hirondelles de rivage, 1ere Sterne naine et 1eres Glaréoles à collier, 5 espèces de Pouillots (véloce, ibérique, Bonelli, siffleur, fitis) et un possible Pouillot oriental entre autres… (Benoit Maire & Alain Mathurin)

31 March 2012

Back from an enjoyable 2 week trip to Morocco & W Sahara. As expected, the Aousserd road was very dry – and also with a very strong, hot easterly wind taking the temperature over 40 degrees on a couple of days. We did see 3 Cricket Warblers early morning while camping in the wooded wadi on the left half way along, but no Dunns or Black Crowned Finch Larks. We also had a singing Desert Warbler, and numerous Desert Sparrows. At Aousserd Dump was a pair of Black Wheatear and a martin that was probably Moroccan Crag Martin. We have a photo which makes it appear more Rock-like, the latter would perhaps be more likely but it really did resemble Crag. Isabelline Wheatear were common in W Sahara. A feldegg wagtail with just a hint of white in the super was present at the dump at Mijk, where the Lesser Scaup was still on the freshwater pool. Blue Cheeked Bee Eaters were seen well on the eastern shore of Dakhla Bay, where at very close range we had 1 presumed reiseri Olivaceous and 1 opaca Olivaceous literally side-by-side! An immature Egyptian Vulture was seen well making its way north here – there is no doubt that the strong easterly wind had displaced many birds. An Allens Gallinule was found on the island in Dakhla Bay – dead unfortunately!! We had a small Peregrine here which i am guessing could be minor – i know nothing about this taxon however! 2 Poms with spoons seen off Dakhla lighthouse and a good passage of Bonxies.

A Black Shouldered Kite was seen soaring at height in the mountains east of Agadir. A Reed Warbler seen at close range upstream on the Massa appeared to me to be very grey – having worked at a reserve with breeding Reed Warblers for 9 years i would say that it was very obviously greyer compared to nominate Reed with which i am very familiar – unfortunately the primary projection was not seen. 15+ C C Coursers seen at both Oued Massa and Dakhla. 4 Spotted Crakes at Oualidia Marsh. 9 C W Finch, 2 Shore Lark, 2 Golden Eagle, 1 Water Pipit in breeding plumage at Oukaimeden (Mike Duckham, Sean Minns and Robert Ulph)

31 March 2012

A new trip report is available on the Trip reports webpage (Dave Hardaker, Tony Small & John Donnelly)

25 March 2012

Un court voyage 21 au 25 mars entre Casablanca – Kenitra – Touazithe – Sidi Bettache a fourni de beaux passages, tant au niveau rapaces que passereaux.

Pipit à gorge rousse : 1 entre Mohammedia et Skhirat (coord 33.75769 / 7.29325) parmi des Pipits farlouses, bergeronnettes grises et printanières le 21 mars. Erismature à tête blanche : 11 (avec parades) à Sidi Bou Rhaba le 21 mars. Marouette poussin : min. 1 mâle à Sidi Bou Rhaba le 21 mars. Fauvette passerinette (moltonii) : 1 mâle aux cris typiques à Sidi Bou Rhaba le 22 mars. Marouette poussin : 2 mâles et 1 fem. dans une zone humide à la sortie est de Kénitra (34.27817 / 6.54789). Prospections herpétologiques dans de nombreuses dayet de la Mamora : le déficit de pluie explique les résultats plutôt décevants, une seule mare avec reproduction de pélobates vers Ouled Bourahema…

Migration le 22 mars depuis le sud de Ouled Bourahema (entre 15h et 18h) : pour le plus notable, 118 Busards des roseaux ; 96 Busards cendrés ; 2 Cigognes noires ; 62 Milans noirs ; 2 Faucons laniers ad. ; 18 Spatules.

22 Cigognes noires en migration au sud de Ouled Bourahema le 23 mars. Milan noir : 150 en migration à l’est de Rabat le 23 mars. Bécassine sourde : min. 2 entre Tamesna et Sidi Bettache le 23 mars. Sarcelle d’été : 100 en migration à la nuit tombée entre Tamesna et Sidi Bettache le 23 mars. Francolin à double éperon : 6 ind. différents au Nord Sidi Bettache (33.70118 / 6.92054, la plupart des individus dans la zone défrichée près de la clôture en bordure réserve de chasse avec de très belles obs à la clé) le 24 mars. Busard pâle : 1 mâle 3e année au nord de Sidi Bettache le 24 mars. Pipit à gorge rousse : 1 à 10ne km au nord de Sidi Bettache le 24 mars. Francolin à double éperon : 3 ind. différents entre Sidi Bettache et Ben Slimane (33.53346 / 6.98052). Traquet oreillard : 1 mâle entre Sidi Bettache et Ben Slimane (33.53346 / 6.98052). Pipit à gorge rousse : 1 à l’entrée est de Ben Slimane (33.57577 / 7.077303) le 24 mars (E. Durand)

25 March 2012

An Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler seen very close and well at Oued Massa on 11th March. First record for Morocco if accepted by MRBC (Andrea Corso)

25 March 2012

An adult male Pallid Harrier at Barrage Mansour Edhabbi (the part closest to the town) on 23 March. Also, 2 brambling at Oukaimeden with 100+ European Chaffinches and the usual species such as Crimson-wings, Crowned Sandgrouse, Thick-billed larks etc. (James Lidster)

25 March 2012

L’apparition récente de l’écrevisse de Louisiane dans la Merja Zerga a fini par attirer en masse l’ibis falcinelle : cette espèce n’était que rarement observée dans cette lagune mais deux bandes de plus de cent oiseaux chacune, se gavant de jeunes écrevisses, ont été observées 14 mars (Abdellatif Al Ouardi)

20 March 2012

Dans la région de Dakhla : un Busard des roseaux au PK25 le 8 janvier, 2 Pipits à gorge rousse au forage de la piste Mijk le 29 janvier, 60+ Spatules blanches en vol nord au PK25 le 12 février, 3 Cratéropes fauves par 23°03’00,7″N 15°14’20,3″W le 26 février, 10+ Busards des roseaux, 10+ Milans noirs et 5 Cigognes blanches à MDS2 le 4 mars, 25 Hérons cendrés au PK25 le 5 mars.

Gros passages migratoires mi-mars : je n’ai jamais vu autant de rapaces à Dakhla… 10+ Busards des roseaux, 5 Busards cendrés, 20+ Milans noirs entre MDS3 et Mijk le 17 mars, 1 Héron pourpré, 1 Gallinule poule-d’eau dans la Roselière de Mijk le 17 mars, 10+ Guêpiers d’Europe et 1 Guêpier de Perse à Mijk le 17 mars, 10+ Faucons crécerelles entre MDS3 et Mijk le même jour, 6 Guêpiers de Perse, 10+ Guêpiers d’Europe, 3 Gorgebleues à miroir et 1 Hirondelle rousseline à Mijk, 1 Héron pourpré et un Aigle botté à MDS1 et 10+ Busards des roseaux, 10+ Busards cendrés, 10+ Milans noirs, 20+ Faucons crécerelles et 20+ Huppes fasciées entre MDS3 et Mijk le 18 mars (F. Chevalier)

20 March 2012

Records from 10 to 17th March in South Morocco: Along the Souss Valley, 10 km before arriving at Aoulouz, we saw a strong passage of raptors with 500-700 Black Kites in 30 minutes, an adult Egyptian Vulutre, 10 Circaetus gallicus, 4 Aquila pennata, 5 Circus pygargus, 20 Circus aeruginosus but the best was a typical dark perfectly ID juvenile SAKERmobbed by an adult Lanner (20% bigger, even if the Lanner was an adult female – great view, no photos unfortunately). Also, several Sylvia conspicillata too.

Then at Aoulouz gorge, we saw 500 Milvus migrans, 15 Circaetus gallicus, one 2nd cy Golden Eagle, 3 Bonelli’s Eagles, 5 Aquila pennata, 3 Buteo rufinus, 12 Circus aeruginosus etc…. here again the usual odd Falco « peregrinus » ssp was breeding (sure not a pure Barbary but not a pure Peregrine either…..).

Nice migration at Sidi Ifni as well (16th March) with no less than 80 Subalpine Warblers (of which one male call and look like a moltonii!). Also, 2 Bluethorats white spotted male, several Lanius senator senator, Tawny pipit, Nightingale, Motacilla flava iberiae, flava, one feldegg! Also, one Isabelline Wheatear 2nd cy (possibly male), several Oeananthe oeananthe, 2 Oenanthe hispanica hispanica.

The Tchagra was seen at Massa as usual but also at Taroudant city park and at Sidi Ifni right on the shore. We’ve got a record number of Moussier’s Redstarts, Desert Wheatears, and 50 Cream-coloured Coursers…. I’ve never seen so many in N Africa…. they were in tens everywhere, that’s why so many arrived in Italy and Malta too and Europe! (it was the same in Tunisia in January). 

At Tissint on 14 March, we saw a pair of Baillon’s Crakes, there was also a « Barbary » like Peregrine, Ruddy Shelducks, Night herons in huge number, 4 Little Bitterns, several Moustached and Sedge Warblers, a Great Reed and a Reed Warbler…. (this last one was a rather interesting bird… may be an African Reed W. ???) (Andrea Corso)

20 March 2012

Records from late February – early March 

— Café Chtoukane: no Pied Crow on both 28 February (despite long searching) and 2 March. 

— Khnifiss lagoon: only Great Black-backed Gulls on 27 February and 3 March. Perhaps one hybrid between GBBG and Kelp Gull (small white mirror on P10, small dark eye, but with pinkisk legs and white trailing edge on rear inner wing not so large). 

— Sidi Akhfenir: great sea-watching from the beach behind La Courbine dArgent on 3 March (late afternoon) and 4 March (early morning). There was an impressive northward passage of Great Skuas: I counted 32 on 3 March and at least 15 next morning (in one hour), all single birds approximately one each 3-5 minutes, and all at the same distance from the coast. Birds were still passing when I left on both days, so I guess numbers were higher. On 4 March also 2 Cory’s Shearwaters and one Balearic Shearwater, 23 Common Scoters, at least 200 Gannets and more than 500 Sandwich Terns, all flying north, and on the beach in front of the hotel there were at least 50 Turnstones all together, besides several other shorebirds. 

— Rhouiba: I explored the scrub area on the other side of the road in front of the radio masts just after reaching the plateaux (about 7 km from Sidi Akhfenir). Here, after a short searching, I found six Scrub Warblers, besides other common birds. 

— Oued Sayed: nice morning spent exploring the oued (western side) and the adjacent small cultivated fields on 6 March: Cream-coloured Courser (8), Stone Curlew (4), Barbary Falcon (1 ad), Black-bellied Sandgrouse (9), Laughing Dove (6), Hoopoe (5), Fulvous Babbler (8), Short-toed Lark (200+), Thekla Lark (4-5), Red-throated Pipit (1), Bluethroat (2, cyanecula), Tawny Pipit (2), Meadow Pipit (5), Tree Pipit (1), Common Bulbul (4), Yellow Wagtail (6, iberiae), Moussiers Redstart (1), Subalpine Warbler (10+), Woodchat Shrike (3), Northern Wheatear (2), Corn Bunting (30+), Spanish Sparrow (50+), Sardinian Warbler (3), Cettis Warbler (2), Chiffchaff (20+), and Zitting Cisticola (2), plus Moorhen (5), Cattle Egret (3), Black Kite (1), Kestrel (1), Little Ringed Plover (1), Green Sandpiper (1), Swift (2), Robin (2), Black Redstart (1), Linnet (13-15), Barn Swallow (3), White Wagtail (3), and Blackbird (1). 

— Oued Massa: after reading the following article: Amezian M., Cortes J., Thompson I., Bensusan K., Perez C., Louah A., El Agbani M.A. & Qninba A. 2010. Complete moult of an undescribed resident taxon of the Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus / baeticatus complex in the Smir marshes, Northern Morocco. Ardea 98: 225-234, I checked a reedy area along the Oued Massa, near the second bridge over the river (coordinates 30°00’09.74 » N; 9°39’24.78 » O). Here I found four singing birds, apparently defending their territory, with characteristics corresponding to those reported in the above paper: shortwinged compared with European birds and rather greyer above and more whitish below. Upperparts brownish-grey with the mantle and head much greyer, much less rufous on the rump with only a slight contrast between rump and back. Underparts white with much less yellowish buff on sides of breast and on flanks. Undertail coverts whitish with only some yellowish tones. In one bird the grey tone of the head was particularly evident. Song and alarm calls were the same I know for birds here in Italy. Could they be of the sedentary Reed Warbler population found recently in Morocco in the northern marshes? — Agadir: I found a singing Red-necked Nightjar in the valley below the Atlas Kasbah Hotel on 7, 8 and 9 March. 

— The strong wind along the Awserd road affected birding and I found neither Dunns Lark nor Desert Warbler, but at least I found tens of Desert Sparrows!! Also 8 Thick-billed Larks about two km after Gleb Jidane. The two above species (Dunn’s Lark and Desert Warbler) were not found also by a british group on two consecutive days. A bad year (a winter too dry?) or just the wind? (Ernesto Occhiato)

18 March 2012

Records in northern Morocco: At Sidi Moussa (Salé), 3 March: Northern Gannet 25, Arctic Skua 8, Moroccan great cormorant 8 (Imad Cherkaoui, Adel Bouajaja & Said Lahrouz).
At Jetée of Oued Sebou, 4 March: Northern Gannet 10, Arctic Skua 5, Osprey 1, Oystercatcher 15 (Imad Cherkaoui, Adel Bouajaja & Said Lahrouz).
At Lower Tahaddart, 9 March: Great Bustards 2 males, Common crane 6, Glossy Ibis, Jack Snipe, Black Kites Black-winged kite, Marsh harrier, Montagu’s Harrier (when crossing Larashe wetlands), Stone curlew, Lapwing, Hoopoe, Bluetroat, Red-rumped Swallow, Reed warblers, Subalpine warbler, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Corn bunting (Imad Cherkaoui, Adel Bouajaja & Said Lahrouz, Abdeljabbar Qninba, MA El Agbani, Aziz El Idriss)

18 March 2012

Additional rare records at Barrage Mansour Eddahbi, Ouarzazate: a female-type Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus photographed on 9 March, and a Reed Bunting photographed the next day (A.B. van den Berg, H. Delin & K. Mullarney)

17 March 2012

A sound-recording tour in the south-east of Morocco between Ouarzazate, Merzouga and Midelt from 9 to14 March brought the ‘regular rarities’ such as, for instance, Desert Warbler or Desert Sparrow at Merzouga. Other interesting sightings have included: In the early morning of 9 March, six Great White Egrets Casmerodius albus were standing together with Grey Herons Ardea cinerea at the lake along the eastern edge of Ouarzazate. At a shallow part of this site, on 9 March, eight Water Pipits Anthus spinoletta, three Red-throated Pipits A cervinusand several Meadow Pipits A pratensis were foraging together with more than 10 Bluethroats Luscinia svecica (of which most did not show any white (or red) spot on the blue throat). At the Zeida plains, one Dupont’s Lark Chersophilus duponti was briefly singing at dawn on 13 March. Along the N13 at km 461 (205 km south of El Hajeb; near N’zala, Eastern High Atlas), an Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris foraging on the roadside was photographed on 13 March. Also along the N13 on 13 March, an Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina was photographed near Âït-Labbès. Later that day, a male Isabelline was found east of Timadriouine, at 20 km west of Tinerhir. On 14 March, two single Isabellines were photographed at 33 (Imiter) and 39 km west of Tinerhir along the road to Boumalne. Lesser Kestrels Falco naumanni flew overhead at Ouarzazate (one on 9 March) and Derkaoua, Merzouga (four on 11 March) (A.B. van den Berg, H. Delin & K. Mullarney)

11 March 2012

Two new trip reports are available on the Trip reports webpage (B. & C. Recorbet, M. Bally et al.)

2 March 2012

50 Glossy Ibis, 1 Hen Harrier, Marsh Harriers, 2 Black-winged Kite, 2 Common Buzzard, 2 Black Kites, 1 Peregrine Falco, 200 Eurasian Wigeons, 12 Greylag Geese, 500 Lapwings, 1 Little Gull, 2 Shags (off Ceuta) near Tetouan on 16 – 17 February. A Great white Egret, 2 Bonelli’s Eagles and Black wheatears at Barrage Abdelmounen (North of Agadir) on 21 February (I. Cherkaoui)

26 February 2012

A new trip report is available on the Trip reports webpage (B. Maire, A. Mathurin & K. Laidi)

25 February 2012

A new paper is available in Go-South Bulletin:

  • Ramírez Román, J. 2012. First record of Rüppell’s Vulture Gyps rueppellii arriving in Morocco from Spain. Go-South Bull. 9 : 44-45.

25 February 2012

Additional interesting records from Mark in February include: 
    – Quail: Three at Tamri on 7th. 
    – Common Shelduck: One at Oued Massa on 7th. 
    – Ruddy Shelduck: 70 at Barrage Mansour Eddhabi on 13th with 40 on 14th. 
    – Gadwall: Six at Barrage Mansour Eddhabi on 13th and 14th. 
    – Marbled Duck: 13 at oued Massa on 7th, 20 at Barrage Mansour Eddhabi on 13th and 14th, very few at Barrage Hassan Addakhil near Errachidia. 
    – Manx Shearwater: 17 in one flock with three Balearics on pelagic off Agadir on 6th. 
    – Black-necked Grebe: One at Tamri estuary on 7th. 
    – Squacco Heron: One at Barrage Mansour Eddhabi on 8th. 
    – Purple Heron: One adult at Oued Massa on 7th. 
    – Black-winged kite: Two in Souss valley on 5th with one at Oued Massa on 7th. 
    – Short-toed Eagle: One 53km from Tinijdad when traveling from Erfoud on 13th. 
    – Peregrine: A male and a pair when traveling up Tizi ‘n’ Test on 5th. 
    – Common Crane: Ten at Oued Massa on 7th but they had gone over the ridge by 0800 so a dawn visit necessary to connect. 
    – Avocet: Ten at Oued Souss on 6th. 
    – Temmink’s Stint: Six at Barrage Mansour Eddhabi on 8th with seven there on 14th. 
    – Little Stint: 70 at Barrage Mansour Eddhabi on 13th and 14th. 
    – Mediterranean Gull: Three at Agadir Marina and seven at Oued Souss, both on 6th. 
    – Slender-billed Gull: Two adults and a first winter at Oued Souss on 6th. 
    – Great Skua: Two on pelagic off Agadir on 6th. 
    – Spotted Sandgrouse: 28 south of Rissani on 12th. 
    – Great-spotted Cuckoo: An adult at Oued Souss on 6th. 
    – Red-necked Nightjar: Three calling at Oued Souss on 6th. 
    – Levaillant’s Woodpecker: A female at the radio mast at Oukaimeden on 4th was rather high I though. 
    – Wryneck: Two Oued Massa on 7th. 
    – Western Jackdaw: 15 at Ait Ourika on 4th. 
    – Brown-necked Raven: 16 at Erg Chebbi on 12th. 
    – Common Raven: Flock of 150 at Tagdilt Track on 9th. 
    – No Thick-billed Larks found at Tagdilt Track on 9th (or by another tour group either). 
    – Maghreb Lark: Pair near Erfoud on 11th and another pair at a different site near Erfoud on 13th. 
    – Plain Martin: Two at Oued Massa on 7th. 
    – Desert Warbler: One at Erg Chebbi on 12th (not at usual Hotel Said site). 
    – Desert Wheatear: Four near Erg Chebbi on 12th. 
    – Desert Sparrow: Pair at Auberge Yasmina on 12th (with c20 reported by another group 45 minutes into the dunes from there the same day). 
    – Hawfinch: 13 at Ouirgane on 5th. 
    – Corn Bunting: 20 at Tamri on 7th (Mark Beever, Rockjumper Birding Tours)

25 February 2012

Lac de Douyiet le 22 février : L’hivernage se prolonge normalement pour de nombreux Anatidés, avec des effectifs encore très élevés, bien qu’un peu inférieurs à ceux enregistrés le 28 novembre, vraisemblablement suite au départ d’une partie des individus de retour vers leurs lieux de nidification européens. Ainsi, parmi les nombreuses espèces bien diversifiées, nous notons quand même toujours aujourd’hui d’importants contingents de Canards souchets (2000+), de Fuligules milouins (800+), de Nettes rousses (400+), de Canards chipeaux (200+), d’Érismatures à tête blanche (150+) et de Fuligules nyrocas (75+). Ces deux dernières espèces, menacées d’extinction au niveau mondial, confèrent toujours au site de Douyièt une grande valeur patrimoniale avifaunistique de niveau international.

Les Foulques caronculées restent aussi abondantes sur le lac occidental (150+), preuve des conditions favorables d’accueil pour cette espèce nationale emblématique et menacée. A noter qu’un bon nombre de Canards souchets profitent aussi de l’excellente mise en eau actuelle du lac oriental, puisque une bonne moitié de l’effectif total stationne sur ce lac. D’autres espèces profitent aussi de cette bonne mise en eau pour y stationner, comme les grands groupes de Foulques macroules, et la centaine de Flamants roses dont une grosse partie n’a pas hiverné sur place mais semble en remontée vers l’Europe méditerranéenne. Les passages de printemps ont aussi débuté pour certains Limicoles (Chevaliers, Bécasseaux, etc.).

Le dortoir d’une cinquantaine de Grands Cormorans, installé dans la végétation riveraine sur le bord N. du lac occidental, est une nouveauté à signaler pour le site. Même si cette espèce hivernante fût déjà, au cours des précédentes années, remarquée en petit nombre à Douyièt, son expansion européenne récente et fulgurante dans les aires protégées des côtes de la Mer du Nord (Pays-Bas, Danemark, …) a aujourd’hui pour conséquence un hivernage en nombre, de plus en plus régulier, sur les grands plans d’eau du nord du pays (Barrages Mohamed V, Idriss Ier, Sidi Chahed, …) et, remontant les oueds à cette période, au moins jusque dans les moyennes vallées des Oueds Moulouya et Ziz (Missour, Erfoud, etc…). A Douyièt, cette espèce piscivore ne semble pas (encore ?) pêcher sur les lacs durant la journée, mais utilise essentiellement la zone comme abri nocturne, vu la grande tranquillité du site…

Le Busard des roseaux, toujours bien représenté (preuve de la grande richesse en proies du milieu, et donc du bon équilibre écologique des plans d’eau), commence à se réinstaller dans les zones favorables, puisque la parade nuptiale d’un couple a été notée.

La qualité des eaux du lac occidental apparaît bonne et le début de nidification des Passereaux est enregistré en bordure de ce plan d’eau, au moins pour le Bruant proyer, la Bouscarle de Cetti, le Serin cini et le Chardonneret élégant (J. Franchimont & F. Touati-Malih)

25 February 2012

Ibis chauve :
    – Les résultats de la saison de reproduction 2011 de l’Ibis chauve sont disponibles sur http://ibis-chauve.blogspot.com/2012/01/rapport-sur-la-reproduction-de-libis.html. La population marocaine de la région de Tamri – Parc de Souss Massa est estimée à 511 oiseaux.

    – Jorge F. Orueta signale que, après quelques mois de silence, Odéinat, le male syrien télépisté a commencé à émettre de nouveau. On espère qu’on aura prochainement des bonnes nouvelles de Salama, la femelle, pour garder l’espoir d’un nouvelle reproduction en 2012. (http://ibis-chauve.blogspot.com/2012/02/odeinat-emet-de-nouveau.html)

22 February 2012

Just finished a fabulous trip to Morocco. The most important sightings were: 31 January: counted 60+ White-headed Duck and 1-2 Marsh Owl at Lac de Sidi Bourhaba, a flock of 200-300 Stone Curlew near Mohammedia. 1 February: 1-3 calling Double-spurred Francolins south of Sidi Yahya. 6 February: ca. 5 Desert Sparrows at nomad’s houses/tents east of Erg Chebbi. 9-10 February: 3 Skylark at Tagdilt Track. 12 February: 1-2 Red-throated Pipit at Ouarzazate. 13 February: 1 male Brambling in the cedar forest below Oukaimeden (2388m), 13-14 February: up to 4 Alpine Accentors at Oukaimeden (as well as ca. 200 Crimson-winged Finch, 20 Rock Sparrow and hundreds of Yellow-billed and Red-billed Chough, as well as a Long-legged Buzzard and 2 Atlas Woodpeckers at around 2700m altitude). 14-15 February: 1 dark morph Western Reef Heron and a more or less totally leucistic Little Ringed Plover (photo) at Essaouira. 15 February: 40+ Bald Ibis at Tamri estuary, 4 Pallid Swift south of Smimou (several birds were identified as this species at Oued Massa and Casablanca, whereas swifts at Meknes and Essaouira remained unidentified), 2 Water Pipit at Essaouira. 16 February: 1 Little Shearwater, 3 Balearic Shearwater, 2 Great Skua, 1 Pomarine Skua at Cap Rhir; 1 Short-toed Eagle at Guelmim 22km marker, 1 juv. Greater Black-backed Gull south of Cap Rhir. 17 February: Adouin’s Gull: 100 at Akhfennir and 200 at Oued El Ouaar – these were the largest noted concentrations of the species, 4 Thick-billed Lark and 1 Red-rumped Swallow near Tan Tan 100km marker. 17-18 February: 1 ad. Kelp Gull (photo), 3 Great Skua, 2 Arctic Skua at Akhfennir, 2 Woodchat Shrike near Tan Tan. 18 February: ca. 5 ad. « large Black-backed Gulls » at Khniffis Lagoon, the birds were too distant to identify Kelp/Greater Black-backed Gull as we didn’t do a boat trip, at least 2 Iberian Chiffchaff south of Guelmim. 19 February: 1 ad. Black-legged Kittiwake at Oued Massa. During the trip we were able to read 36 ringed birds (Flamingos, Spoonbills, Glossy Ibis, White Stork, Adouin’s Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gulls) (L. Khil, A. & M. Tiefenbach)

22 February 2012

Tout récemment dans la région d’Awserd : une seule observation d’Alouette de Dunn, au moins 5 Prinias avant l’Oued Jenaa, aucune Moinelette à front blanc. En revanche, le Fennec s’est laissé observé furtivement. Contrôle militaire 23 km après Awserd sur la route de Tichla, ce qui nous a couté de passer 2,5 heures dans le camp militaire (avec une observation de longue durée d’une Hirondelle isabelline ; la Tourterelle turque a envahi le camp avec au moins 25 inds, ainsi que le Moineau domestique), puis 2,5 heures dans la gendarmerie royale du village… A Dakhla et Khnifiss, aucun Goéland dominicain. Une Buse variable et une Mangouste à Massa (E. Roualet & A. Le Calvez)

19 February 2012

Two new trip reports are available on the Trip reports webpage (B. & C. Recorbet)

18 February 2012

Just finished a 12 day tour to Morocco where it was very cold and consequently very few migrants about. Oued Massa seems to be still saline so no ducks there and no water at Merzouga. Highlights were six Storm Petrels at Agadir yatch marina with six more offshore on pelagic on 6th Feb, 220 Audouins Gulls at Tamri Estuary on 6th Feb, 67 Northern Bald Ibis at Tamri on 6th Feb, a Caspian Tern on Oued Souss on 6th February. Great Egrets are still a bird for the Moroccan rarity committee yet we had one on the river at Aoulouz on 8th Feb, three at Rissani on 12th Feb, one at Barrage el Mansoor Eddhabi on 13th Feb with three the following day. At Oukaiimeden on 4th Feb 60 Crimson Winged Finches and six Alpine Accentors but no Ring Ouzels. One flock of 200 Trumpeter Finches at Barrage el Mansour Eddhabi (Ouarzazate) on 8th Feb with three Red-throated Pipits, with five Red-throated Pipits there on 14th Feb. 100 Trumpeter Finches at km 43 on the Errachidia Road where also six Streaked Scrub Warblers on 10th February (Mark Beevers, Rockjumper Birding Tours)

18 February 2012

Observations à Melilla :

Octobre 2011 : 369 Calonectris diomedea, 11 Morus bassanus, 3 Phalacrocorax carbo, 89 Larus adouinii, 44 Chroicocephalus ridibundus, 21 Larus melanocephalus, 32 Sterna bengalensis, 111 Sterna sandvicensis, 84 Hirundo rustica en vol sud, 2 Oenanthe oenanthe, 28 Erithacus rubecula le 1 octobre (8:30-11:30, journée RAM), 2 Turdus philomelos et 2 Phoenicurus phoenicurus le 8 octobre, 6 Pernis apivorus le 22 octobre, 2 Phoenicurus ochruros premiers hivernants le 23 octobre, 5 Pernis apivorus, 1 Aquila fasciata, 10 Apus melba en vol sud et 73 Ptyonoprogne rupestris le 24 octobre, et 6 Phoenicurus ochruros le 30 octobre

Novembre 2011 : 13 Phalacrocorax carbo en vol sud, 1 Pandion haliaetus et 3 Phylloscopus collybita premiers hivernants le 1 novembre, 68 Puffinus mauretanicus, 168 Calonectris diomedea, 325 Morus bassanus, 4 Phalacrocorax carbo, 2 Ardea cinerea, 3 Egretta garzetta, 1 Falco pelegrinoides, 3 Pluvialis squatarola, 7 Catharacta skua, 2 Stercorarius parasiticus, 73 Larus adouinii, 30 Chroicocephalus ridibundus, 43 Larus melanocephalus, 3 Sterna bengalensis, 35 Sterna sandvicensis, 2 Apus apus, 37 Ptyonoprogne rupestris et 1 Vulpes vulpes femelle morte sur la plage le 5 novembre (8:30-11:30, journée RAM), 7 Streptopelia turtur, 25 Phylloscopus collybita, 2 Saxicola rubicola, 11 Phoenicurus ochruros, 15 Erithacus rubecula, 1 Natrix maura, 8 Discoglossus scovazzi et 11 Mauremys leprosa le 7 novembre

Décembre 2011 : 2 Podiceps cristatus, 1 Podiceps nigricollis, 2 Alca torda et 5 Larus melanocephalus le 25 décembre

Janvier 2012 : 4 Puffinus mauretanicus, 1 Catharacta skua, 2 Alca torda et 3 Sterna bengalensis le 8 janvier, 43 Morus bassanus, 7 Phalacrocorax carbo, 2 Ardea cinerea, 7 Egretta garzetta, 21 Arenaria interpres, 1à Larus audouinii, 75 Chroicocephalus ridibundus, 2 Sterna bengalensis et 5 Sterna sandvicensis le 9 janvier, 2 Ardea cinerea, 2 Accipiter nisus, 2 Falco pelegrinoides, 2 Acttitis hypoleucos, 10 Psitacula krameri, 1 Jynx torquilla, 4 Galerida cristata, 19 Anthus pratensis, 5 Motacilla alba, 2 Motacilla cinerea, 6 Pycnonotus barbatus, 12 Sylvia melanocephala, 3 Sylvia atricapilla, 25+ Phylloscopus collybita, 6 Saxicola rubicola, 4 Phoenicurus ochruros, 8 Erithacus rubecula, 6 Turdus merula, 4 Parus major, Cianistes teneriffae, 20 Fringilla coelebs (13 africana et 7 coelebs), 11 Carduelis carduelis, 8 Carduelis chloris, 4 Carduelis cannabina, 14 Serinus serinus, 10 Loxia curvirostra, 15 Mauresmys leprosa (Anfibios) et 6 Trachemys scripta (amphibien introduit) le 11 janvier, 2 Puffinus mauretanicus, 57 Morus bassanus, 36 Phalacrocorax carbo, 1 Ardea cinerea, 8 Egretta garzetta, 1 Acttitis hypoleucos, 1 Catharacta skua, 31 Larus audouinii, 106 Chroicocephalus ridibundus, 1 Sterna bengalensis, 22 Sterna sandvicensis et 2 Alca torda le 14 janvier (8:30-11:30, journée RAM), 1 Larus delawarensis de deuxième hiver le 17 janvier, 28 Puffinus mauretanicus, 26 Morus bassanus, 10 Phalacrocorax carbo, 2 Ardea cinerea, 4 Catharacta skua, 11 Larus audouinii, 35 Chroicocephalus ridibundus, 7 Larus fuscus, 2 Sterna bengalensis, 9 Sterna sandvicensis et 1 Balaenoptera physalus d’une vingtaine de mètres le 27 janvier.

A l’embouchure de la Moulouya le 21 janvier : 3 Podiceps cristatus, 6 Tachybaptus ruficollis, 83 Phalacrocorax carbo, 49 Ardea cinerea, 3 Casmerodius albus, 36 Egretta garzetta, 25 Bubulcus ibis, 2 Ardeola ralloides, 23 Platalea leucorodia, 3 Plegadis falcinellus, 15 Phoenicoptrus roseus, 316 Anas platyrhynchos, 288 Anas clypeata, 7 Anas acuta, 29 Aythya farina, 2 Pandion haliaetus, 2 Elanus caeruleus, 1 Aquila fasciata immature attaquant un Ardea cinerea, 1 Aquila pennata adulte, 2 Circus aeruginosus, 1 Falco peregrinus attaquant un A. fasciata, 2 Falco tinnunculus, 4 Alectoris barbara, 5 Gallinula chloropus, 5 Porphyrio porphyrio, 104 Fulica atra, 61 Charadrius alexandrinus, 4 Charadrius hiaticula, 88 Calideris alba, 3 Tringa nebularia, 1 Tringa glareola, 4 Tringa ochoropus, 2 Numenius pheopus, 13 Gallinago gallinago, 6 Larus audouinii, 8 Chroicocephalus genei, 17 Chroicocephalus ridibundus, 5 Larus melanocephalus, 200+ Larus michahellis, 43 Larus fuscus, 37 Sterna sandvicensis, 4 Sterna bengalensis, 3 Alcedo attis, 100+ Ptyonoprogne rupestris, 26 Anthus pratensis, 4 Anthus spinoletta, 19 Motacilla alba, 5 Motacilla subpersonata, 5 Lanius meridionalis algeriensis, 41 Cisticola juncidis, 3 Cettia cetti, 7 Sylvia melanocephla, 2 Sylvia conspicillata, 40+ Phylloscopus collybita, 13 Saxicola rubicola, 2 Phoenicurus ochruros, 6 Erithacus rubecula, 3 Luscinia svecica, 29 Carduelis carduelis, 15 Carduelis chloris, 41 Carduelis cannabina, 9 Serinus serinus, 53 Passer hispaniolensis, 300+ Sturnus unicolor et 1 Sus scrofa (femelle victime d’une collision avec un véhicule) (D. Jerez Abad & R. Ramirez Espinar)

12 February 2012

New posts are available on the excellent Moroccanbirds blog http://moroccanbirds.blogspot.com/
    
    — Seawatching at Mehdia and Sebou on Sunday 22 January. Interesting records include 20+ Balearic Shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus), 2+ Wilson’s Storm-petrel (Oceanites oceanicus), one Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia) and a very confident Razorbill (Alca torda) at the jetty of the mouth of Oued Sebou, an Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), a Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus), c10 Mediterranean Gull (Larus melanocephalus) and a Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia) at Mehdia harbour (Imad Cherkaoui, Said Lahrouz & Saâd Hanane, posted 23 January 2012)

    — Jack Snipe (Lymnocryptes minimus) near Tétouan. A bird photographed by Mohamed Larbi El Jebari in a marshland between El Malaliyine and Oued El Malah (some 8 Kilometres NE of Tétouan) on 8 January 2012 (Mohamed Amezian, posted 2 February)

12 February 2012

Olive-backed Pipits Anthus hodgsoni. ‘Together with Magnus Robb, I worked on my recordings for The Sound Approach during the past Morocco trip. We discovered that the calls I got from two tree pipits at Immouzzer on 23 January 2012 in fact concern Olive-backed Pipits Anthus hodgsoni. The pitch of the calls are diagnostically higher (above 7.5kHz) than in Tree Pipit A. trivialis and the sonagrams also leave no doubt at all that it is hodgsoni, not trivialis‘ (A.B. van den Berg)

Second record for Morocco. The first one is a bird photographed on 8-9 November 2007 at̀ Agadir (T. Berger & G. Holm, file #07/43 accepted by the Moroccan Rare Birds Committee –Bergier et al. 2009), not far from Imouzzer. Could we imagine that this species is an occasional Winter Visitor to this region but remains undetected?

12 February 2012

The second Bonaparte’s Gull for Morocco, an adult, was at Oualidia on 20 january (per Birding World 25: 16).

10 February 2012

Sélection d’observations réalisées dans l’est marocain :
4 février au Barrage Idriss Ier, Prérif : Oie cendrée : 1 ; Tadorne casarca : 50 ; Canard colvert : 1500 ; Canard chipeau : 2 ; Canard souchet : 100 ; Sarcelle d’hiver : 100 ; Grèbe huppé : 15 ; Grèbe à cou noir : 8 ; Grèbe castagneux : 10 ; Flamant rose : 2 ; Spatule blanche : 32 ; Héron cendré : 30 ; Grand Cormoran : 50 ; Aigle de Bonelli : 1 ; Busard des roseaux : 3 ; Faucon crécerelle : 8 ; Grue cendrée : 202 ; Oedicnème criard : 30 ; Avocette élégante : 1 ; Petit Gravelot : 4 ; Gravelot à collier interrompu : 10 ; Chevalier guignette : 1 ; Bécasseau minute : 10 ; Chevalier aboyeur : 1 ; Chevalier sylvain : 1 ; Bécasseau variable : 6 ; Mouette rieuse : 1000 ; Chevêche d’Athéna : 1 ; Hirondelle de rochers : 40 ; Hirondelle rustique : 10 ; Rougequeue de Moussier : 1 ; Moineau soulcie : 2 ; Moineau espagnol : 50 ; Bergeronnette ibérique : 100 ; Bergeronnette du Maroc : 2 ; Bergeronnette de Yarrell : 1 ; Bergeronnette grise : 300 ; Bruant proyer : 30.

5 février au Barrage Mohamed V, Plaines du Maroc Oriental : Fuligule milouin : 400 ; Canard chipeau : 250 ; Fuligule nyroca : 150 ; Fuligule morillon : 30 ; Canard souchet : 400 ; Canard siffleur : 120 ; Tadorne de Belon : 3 ; Sarcelle d’hiver : 400 ; Canard pilet : 35 ; Canard colvert : 3 ; Tadorne casarca : 50 ; Nette rousse : 80 ; Grèbe huppé : 30 ; Grèbe à cou noir : 150 ; Grèbe castagneux : 100 ; Flamant rose : 22 ; Ibis falcinelle : 10 ; Aigrette garzette : 15 ; Grande Aigrette : 15 ; Crabier chevelu : 2 ; Héron cendré : 40 ; Blongios nain : 1 femelle ; Grand Cormoran : 50 ; Balbuzard pêcheur : 1 ; Busard des roseaux : 25 ; Foulque macroule : 3000 ; Gallinule poule-d’eau : 10 ; Echasse blanche : 20 ; Avocette élégante : 50 ; Petit Gravelot : 2 ; Vanneau huppé : 40 ; Chevalier arlequin : 2 ; Chevalier culblanc : 2 ; Chevalier guignette : 1 ; Bécasseau minute : 5 ; Chevalier aboyeur : 2 ; Chevalier sylvain : 1 ; Barge à queue noire : 50 ; Bécassine des marais : 2 ; Mouette rieuse : 40 ; Chevêche d’Athéna : 1 ; Martin-pêcheur d’Europe : 4 ; Hirondelle de rochers : 100 ; Hirondelle rustique : 6 ; Pouillot véloce : 100 ; Fauvette à lunettes : 2 ; Gorgebleue à miroir : 1 ; Rougequeue de Moussier : 3 ; Moineau espagnol : 20 ; Bergeronnette du Maroc : 4 ; Bergeronnette grise : 100 ; Pipit farlouse : 30 ; Bruant des roseaux : 2.

6 février au Cap des Trois Fourches, Plaines du Maroc Oriental : Puffin yelkouan : 1 ; Puffin des Baléares : 50 ; Fou de Bassan : 30 ; Goéland d’Audouin : 3 ; Grand Labbe : 1 ; Pingouin torda : 1 probable.

6 février à la Sebkha-Bou-Areg, Plaines du Maroc Oriental : Canard colvert : 30 ; Canard pilet : 2 ; Canard souchet : 100 ; Canard siffleur : 100 ; Grèbe castagneux : 10 ; Grèbe à cou noir : 10 ; Grèbe huppé : 100 ; Flamant rose : 150 ; Héron cendré : 40 ; Aigrette garzette : 30 ; Grand Cormoran : 75 ; Balbuzard pêcheur : 1 ; Elanion blanc : 1 ; Busard des roseaux : 3 ; Faucon pèlerin « calidus » : 1 ; Foulque macroule : 300 ; Marouette ponctuée : 1 ; Gallinule poule-d’eau : 10 ; Echasse blanche : 10 ; Avocette élégante : 1 ; Grand Gravelot : 2 ; Chevalier guignette : 1 ; Chevalier gambette : 3 ; Chevalier aboyeur : 1 ; Bécasseau sanderling : 50 ; Tournepierre à collier : 3 ; Bécassine des marais : 2 ; Goéland leucophée : 100 ; Mouette rieuse : 200 ; Goéland railleur : 80 à 100; Sterne caugek : 1 ; Goéland d’Audouin : 20 ; Tourterelle maillée : 15 ; Huppe fasciée : 1 ; Torcol fourmilier : 1 ; Hirondelle de rochers : 20 ; Hirondelle rustique : 2 ; Pouillot ibérique : 1 ; Pouillot véloce : 60 ; Gorgebleue à miroir : 1 ; Pipit farlouse : 1 ; Pipit spioncelle : 2 ; Bergeronnette grise : 50 ; Chardonneret élégant : 30 (J. Franchimont & A. Mathurin)

5 February 2012

Pluie le mardi 17 janvier sur Marrakech, Tizi-n-Tichka bloqué par la neige. L’Oukaïmeden est faiblement enneigé le 18 (Roselins à ailes roses, Craves, Chocards et Alouettes hausse-cols, et Renard roux). Jeudi 19, traversée du Tizi-n-Tichka, route bordée de neige, et visite de la Kasbah du Glaoui de Telouet, puis descente sur Aït Benhadou par la nouvelle route goudronnée qui relie désormais ces deux localités. Rien de très notable en ornitho. 

Vendredi 20, descente sur la basse vallée du Draa, avec un arrêt mémorable sur les bords du barrage de Ouarzazate, aux abords de la ville. Rarement vu une telle concentration de passereaux : un tapis ininterrompu de Pouillots véloces picorant ça et là dans les roseaux et sur les herbes flottantes au bord du rivage. Des centaines à l’hectare ! Sûr qu’il y avait parmi eux des Pouillots ibériques… Plein de Tadornes casarcas, quelques Sarcelles marbrées, de belles ambiances des cimes du Haut Atlas se miroitant dans la lagune au pied des Flamants roses et des casarcas, et parmi les Bergeronnettes printanières, 4 Pipits à gorge rousse assez coopératifs. Deux observations d’Aigles de Bonelli jusqu’à Zagora. 

Lundi 23. Le lac de Merzouga est totalement à sec cette année. Les tamaris au bord du barrage sont excellents pour la Fauvette de l’Atlas. Et il y a plein de Corbeaux bruns et des Alouettes de Clot-Bey. Au Café Yasmina, bon spot à Moineaux blancs à une quarantaine de minutes de marche dans les dunes (1+7+1 individus). 

Mardi 24. Plein de Sirlis du désert, d’Alouettes bilophes, d’Ammomanes élégantes, de Traquets du désert, etc dans le lit d’un ancien oued, longue bande végétalisée parsemée de petits buissons près du Café Yasmina. 

Mercredi 25. Gorges du Ziz : Deux Aigles de Bonelli. Gorges du Todra, encore de l’Aigle de Bonelli au-dessus des basses gorges. Ecoute nocturne, repasse au Grand-duc dans les gorges, mais sans succès. 

Jeudi 26. Il neige un peu et le ciel restera gris et bouché toute la journée pour faire les gorges du Todra. Pas grand-chose sous un temps pareil, une centaine de Craves, des Goundis de l’Atlas. En fin de journée, 3 Fauvettes de l’Atlas, deux oiseaux remuant alarment et lancent des trilles sèches, la queue relevée, l’œil pâle tranchant sur le plumage gris strié de noir : enfin deux Dromoïques du désert ! 

Vendredi 27 : Piste de Tagdilt, très peu d’oiseaux mais belle diversité : Traquet à tête blanche, 16 Traquets à tête grise, 3 Sirlis du désert, 4 Cochevis de Thékla, 10 Alouettes pispolettes, pas moins de 17 observations de Buse féroce et un Milan noir. 8 Gangas couronnés et 2 unibandes. Gorges du Dadès : un Aigle royal, brièvement harcelé par une Buse féroce, puis un Aigle de Bonelli. 

Samedi 28 : Le barrage Mansour Eddhabi est presque aussi intéressant qu’à l’aller (Phragmite des joncs, hivernant très occasionnel) (F. & M. Dhermain)

4 February 2012 (corrected 12 Feb: Olive-backed Pipits instead of Tree Pipits at Imouzzer)

‘From 6 to 24 January 2012, Cecilia and I were birding in the south-western corner of Morocco, first for The Sound Approach and then for Limosa Holidays/Travelling Naturalist. First, we drove all the way down the Western Sahara from Agadir to Dakhla/Aousserd and back on 6-16 January to get sounds recorded. Then we birded with three friends in a tour around Agadir and Goulimime on 17-24 January. In all areas, we had a number of surprising sightings, of which a summary is listed below, in chronological order.

On 8 January, just south of El Ouatia/TanTan Plage at N28.27’366″ W011.21’13.4″, we found a Pharaoh Eagle Owl killed by a car and, given the fact that this area is not mountainous, one may wonder whether the species may perhaps breed on sea cliffs.

On 9 January (and 13 January), at Cafe Chtoukane near Oued Kraa, we watched c 40 Brown-necked Raven but no Pied Crows, and according to local information the latter species was not seen for a very long time (the last report received by Patrick Bergier was from April 2010).

In the late afternoon of 9 January, we had two Golden Jackals walking on the middle of the road to Aousserd at N22. 51’56.67″ W014.41’32.72″. We camped four nights along the Aousserd road and birded mostly from km 176 eastward, especially at Oued Jenna, where we had a flock of 20 Black-crowned Sparrow-Larks sound-recorded on 10, 11 and 12 January, (only) two Dunn’s Larks photographed on 10 January, many 10s of Desert Sparrows (the most common bird and several were nesting), three Lanners but no other raptors except for two Black Kites and a few Kestrels, flocks of three and six Great Spotted Cuckoos in Acacia trees, a Rock Martin photographed at Oued Jenna on 10 January (this bird and maybe a second probably also flew about here on 11 and 12 January), and a flock of six Crag Martins photographed at km 212 (close to Aousserd) on 12 January. Other passerines at Oued Jenna included a male Tristram’s, a singing Subalpine (ie, at km 212), two Sardinian and many Spectacled Warblers, and a flock of Fulvous Babblers (a full list of records for the Aousserd area has been submitted to Patrick); interestingly, no Cricket Warblers were present.

In the night of 12/13 January, we camped at a little pool at the Gleb Jdiana village, where we had, eg, a Common Snipe feeding all night, 30 Crowned Sandgrouse, 100 Spotted Sandgrouse and 10s of Temminck’s Larks present all morning, at least six Collared Doves including a peculiar leucistic one, and a presumed Rock Martin (not photographed).

On 13 January, we inspected the coasts and mudflats of Dakhla, watching mind-boggling numbers of gulls, terns and waders, such as a total of 1400 roosting Caspian Terns near the tip of the peninsula.

On 14 January, at 14:00, we arrived at Lagune de Khnifiss, where we camped at Naila in the night of 14/15 January but did not find any Cape Gull. The Khnifiss highlights were seven Ospreys, eight Black-necked Grebes, two Great Black-backed Gulls (a subadult and an adult), a first-winter Glaucous Gull photographed on 15 and 16 January (the first for the Western Sahara), 10 Cream-coloured Coursers flying high northward on 15 January, a Plain Martin photographed when it came to the seaside cliffs in the late afternoon of 15 January, a well-photographed Scrub Warbler on 15 and 16 January, and a female Moussier’s Redstart (our southernmost) on 16 January.

At Oued Chebeika, on 15 January, another two Cream-coloured Coursers migrated north. Generally, Barn Swallows were abundant and Common Chiffchaffs numerous as winterer or migrant along the entire Western Saharan coast; we also watched quite a few House Martins and Crag Martins and, on 14 and 15 January, we noted an obvious northward movement by a good number of Black Kites (a total of 48 between 175 and 1 km south of Laayoune on 14 January and 74 between 1 and 41 km north of Akhfennir on 15 January).

On 16, 20 and 21 January, at Goulimime, we sound-recorded/photographed a confiding pair of Scrub Warblers near Asrir, watched up to 70 Thick-billed Larks with Temminck’s and other lark species c 25 km south of Goulimime, sound-recorded a pair of Lanners at Asrir, watched a flock of Fulvous Babblers here as well, and had a Black-winged Kite on a wire 8 km south of Goulimime on 21 January.

On 17 January, at Oued Souss, two Marbled Ducks, a juvenile Barbary Falcon, 25 first-winter Mediterranean Gulls and perhaps up to 30 Plain Swifts flying north (too) high above the palace just before dusk were the highlights.

On 19 January, from a boat at 6 km off Agadir, we counted, eg, c 80 British Storm Petrels, 40 Manx Shearwaters, 1 Mediterranean Shearwater, a possible Madeiran Storm Petrel (not well-photographed though) and two Pomarine Skuas.

On 22 January, at Oued Massa, we found, eg, 16 roosting Common Cranes, a Common Chaffinch (by sound), a Common Starling (in a flock of Spotless), a Black-winged Kite, and a Great White Egret of which we could not decide whether it concerned the American or the European subspecies. In the hills north-east of Agadir, on 18 and 23 January, we found, eg, a male Tristram’s Warbler (on 18 January above Alma), two Olive-backed Pipits (at Imouzzer on 23 January), and a male Levaillant’s Woodpecker (on 23 January above Alma; one of the biggest surprises)’.

(Arnoud B van den Berg for The Sound Approach and Limosa Holidays/Travelling Naturalist)

2 February 2012

Recent records from Agadir area : on 15 January, c 20 Chiffchaff, Sardinian Warbler, Spanish Sparrow, House Martins flying northeast, 1 Swallow (Hotel Iberostar), c4 Plain Swift, c4 Swallow and Crag Martin flying overhead in a loose circus (The Plain Swift appeared darker than normal swift, with no visible white throat patch. A scaled down version of a Swift, of similar size to the Swallows – Agadir Marina), 2 Swift Agadir (Hotel Intouriste) 
On 16 January, a few Gannets and 3 Osprey flying north (Agadir Beach), a Stonechat at Aourir, a Blue Rock Thrush at Oulma: 
On 17-18 January at Tifrit-Paradise Valley (maquis west of Tifrit): Sardinian Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, 2 Greenfinch, Moussiers Redstart, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Black Headed Bush Shrike, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Serin, 5 Goldfinch, 2 African Blue Tit, 2 Bonelli’s Eagles, c10 Crag Martin, 1 Kingfisher. A Horse Shoe Whip Snake in the Palmerie. At Aourir/Banana Beach (lagoon): 6 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Grey Heron, 1 Little Egret , 2 Bald Ibis (head land north of Banana Beach) 
On 19 January: 86 Bald Ibis over the dune land scrub south of Oued Massa. 2 Crag Martin and 2 Blue Rock Thrush at Barrage Youssef ben Tachfine 
On 20 January, an Osprey flying south at Agadir Beach. The next day, a male Sardinian Warbler eating discarded lettuce beside the hotel pool! And 4 Swift at Hotel Intouriste, Agadir (R. Moss)

1 February 2012

Observations près de la côte à Salé le 1 février : 10 Calonectris diomedea, 28 Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis (including 7 P. c. marrocanus), 18 Egretta garzetta, 1 Falco perigrinus, 4 Falco tinnunculus, 8 Alca torda, 2 Chroicocephalus genei, nombreux Chroicocephalus ridibundusLarus fuscus et Larus michahellis, 15 Thalasseus sandvicensis, 15 Calidris alba, 3 Tringa totanus, 2Actitis hypoleucos, 5 Galerida cristata, 1 Monticola solirariusMotacilla alba, 4 Saxicola rubicola, 6 Phoenicurus ochropus et 50 Corvus monedula (I. Cherkaoui)

1 February 2012

Récentes observations dans le nord du pays : dortoir de 1176 Ciconia ciconia et 3 premiers Apus pallidus à Kénitra le 20 janvier, 18 Puffinus mauretanicus à la jetée de Mehdiya et 41Oxyura leucocephala au lac de Sidi Bou Rhaba le 21 janvier, un Aythya collaris (mâle nuptial), au moins 2000 Anas clypeata, 3000 Aythya ferina, 440 Aythya nyroca à Dayet Aoua le 25 janvier. 52 Tadorna casarca à Dayet Chahlouf, un Falco columbarius et 1 Elanus caeruleus à Meknès, plus d’une cinquantaine de Falco naumanni au Port de Mehdiya le 28 janvier (Renaudier et H. Jahaid)

1 February 2012

January rarities have included a Great Egret at Oued Massa, 40+ Manx Shearwaters at Agadir, a Madeira Storm Petrel at Agadir, Greater Black-backed Gulls at Khnifiss, Plain Swifts at Khnifiss and Agadir, and Glaucous Gull at Khnifiss. Interestingly, Pied Crows appeared to be absent from the Oued Kraa area, and all the people I asked at the Cafe Chtoukane told me that the birds were ‘fini’, not seen for a long time. Also, it is of interest that Oued Jenna and the other breeding sites of Cricket Warbler along the Aousserd road were very dry, and that I could not find any Cricket Warbler. Apparently, the species is partially migratory and not resident (A.B. van den Berg)

25 January 2012

Observations sur le lac oriental de Douyiet le 24 janvier (lac toujours bien en eau après les fortes pluies enregistrées au cours du mois de novembre 2011, et ce, malgré une sécheresse quasi persistante depuis plus d’un mois et demi) : 60 Chipeaux, 1200 Souchets, un Siffleur, 31 Sarcelles marbrées, 200 Sarcelles d’hiver, 9 Cigognes blanches et trois autres sur leurs nids sur une antenne-relais à Douyièt-village, 73 Flamants roses, un Milan noir très précoce, 12 Busards des roseaux, un Elanion, 100 Gravelots à collier interrompu, un Bécasseau de Temminck, 50 Bécasseaux minutes, 4 Bécasseaux variables, un Chevalier culblanc, un Chevalier arlequin, 2 Barges à queue noir, 11 Bécassines des marais, 17 Combattants, 171 Mouettes rieuses, plusieurs Bergeronnettes printanières (dont 30 iberiae et un mâle adulte cinereocapilla), une Gorgebleue, 12 Bruants des roseaux (J. Franchimont)

22 January 2012

The excellent Moroccanbirds blog http://moroccanbirds.blogspot.com/ include many good posts, including recent ones by Abdelhak Elbanak (Birding around the city of Kénitra, posted 18 January), Mohamed Amezian (Maghreb birds, posted 17 January), and Imad Cherkaoui, Said Lahrouz and Abdelhak Elbanak (Razorbill off Salé, posted 16 January)

Bald Ibis: the results of the 2011 breeding season are available on another excellent blog http://northernbaldibis.blogspot.com/

21 January 2012

Records from Essaouira. In November 2011, three color-marked spoonbills were from the Dutch scheme and one was from Spain. On 25 November, I was observing at a Martin nest beside the estuary at Essaouira, when two horsemen flushed an owl from bushes beside the river. I therefore got a good indication of size, which seemed right for Asio flammeus. The bird flew across the river for about 100m, and its shape was definitely that of either A. flammeus or A. otis. I clearly saw rufous patches on the wings at the primary bases, which would fit either species. There was no sign of ear tufts. The wing tips appeared black, and the underparts white, suggesting A. flammeus, but I was not able to see whether there was a white trailing edge to the wing, which would have decided it. Therefore I am very confident it was one of these two species, and believe it was probably A. flammeus, but could not entirely rule out the alternative.

On a recent visit (8-15 January) I followed up on a number of Brown-Throated Sand Martin nests but the population seems quite sparse this year. The only new record for the Essaouira list was a Common Buzzard, but I also had an Osprey on the river estuary one day. Otherwise, the birds present were mainly the familiar residents and winter visitors. A color-marked flamingo was from Algeria (Peter Greig-Smith)

20 January 2012

A new paper is available in Go-South Bulletin:

  • Thévenot, M. & Bergier, P. 2012. Eléments de bibliographie ornithologique marocaine – 8. Go-South Bull. 9 : 33-43.

14 January 2012

Une vingtaine de Choucas des tours au Douar Mghitene à proximité de Merja Zerga le 9 janvier. Un seul sujet observé vers mi-décembre sur le toit de l’immeuble où j’habite à Salé (quartier Bettana). Pullulation de l’écrevisse des marais de Louisiane dans le Rharb et les marais du Loukkos (Abdellatif Al Ouardi, Centre de Recherche Forestière, Rabat)

7 January 2012

Three new papers are available in Go-South Bulletin:

    • Chevalier, F. ; Thévenot, M. & Bergier, P. 2012. Notes sur quelques mammifères terrestres observés près de Dakhla, Oued Ad-Deheb. Go-South Bull. 9 : 1-6.
    • Bergier, P. ; Maire, B. & Mathurin, A. 2012. Records of doves Streptopelia at Awserd, Oued Ad-Deheb. Go-South Bull. 9 : 7-12.
    • Bergier, P. ; Franchimont, J. ; Thévenot, M. & CHM. 2012. Les oiseaux rares au Maroc. Rapport de la Commission d’Homologation Marocaine numéro 17. Go-South Bull. 9 : 13-32.

7 January 2012

Old records of interest from December 2010 – January 2011 : 3+ Water Pipit Anthus spinoleta with several Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis at Barrage de Ouarzazate on 29 December, 3+ Mourning Wheatear Oenanthe lugens and 2 African Desert Warbler Sylvia nana near M’Hamid on 31 December, a Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus on a nest built on an acacia c. 15 km East of Taroudant on 2 January, 3+ Red-knobbed Coot Fulica cristata, a Common Gull Larus canus and 3+ Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus at Oued Tamri on 3 January (J.J. Ramos Melo, F. Torrents & R. Muñoz)

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