MOROCCO Trip report

27th December 2001 until 5th January 2002

With: Siep « le professeur » Kromsigt, Marga « the treasurer » van Meel, Guus « the driver » van Duin – Schagen/Amsterdam – the Netherlands


27 dec 2001 arrival Agadir. Late journey to Tarroudant, hotel Tarroudant, with famous bar.

28 dec 2001 via Tazenakt and Ourzazate to Boulmalnes de Dades (hotel Chems: nice view, good rooms and service, but no bar).

29 dec 2001 Tagdillt track, Gorge de Todra, Erfoud. Good roads everywhere. Nice hotel (Ziz) with bar.

30 dec 2001 flat tire while leaving to Merzouga. With some help repaired within an hour (100 dirham = 11 US dollars)

31 dec 2001 same hotel (sorry, Marga), no flat tire. Via Rissani we took the (very new) southern desert road to the Draa Valley. Great savannah landscape, really great. We ended in Ait Benhaddou, hotel Kashba. A tourist trap, but very nice, and great for a morning walk. We celebrated New Year at 8.30 p.m. with champagne (brought from the Netherlands) at the swimming pool. No bar.

1 jan 2002 up in the mountains of Oukaimaiden. No skiing, too little snow. Very nice hotel (Chez Ju Ju). Bar.

2 jan 2002 a day to be remembered (see above). Heading to the coast: Essaouri. Nice hotel, nice beach, nice town. Alcohol available on top floor of restaurant in centre. Rather expensive, but who cares.

3 and 4 jan 2002 Southward, via Tamri (no ibisses) to hotel La Pergola, just south of Agadir. Great value for rather little money. Good food, good atmosphere. The very starting point for Oued Sous and Oued Massa. Bigger bar than we could handle.

5 jan 2002 Back to Amsterdam.

Species seen

Tachybaptus ruficollis Little Grebe  Oued Massa 100s

Morus bassanus Gannet  10s at sea. All ages.

Phalacrocorax carbo Cormorant  c.carbo or c.sinensis

Phalacrocorax carbo maroccanus Morrocan Cormorant  Oued Massa

Bubulcus ibis Cattle Egret  locally common

Egretta garzetta Little Egret  not rare

Ardea cinerea Grey Heron  funny place: 29 dec 2001 Gorge de Torda 1

Ciconia ciconia White Stork  Oued Sous 60

Plegadis falcinellus Glossy Ibis  Oued Sous 1, Oued Massa 4

Platalea leucorodia Spoonbill  Oued Sous 4

Phoenicopterus ruber Greater Flamingo  Oued Sous 90+. 2 White and 1 yellow ringed birds

Anser anser Greylag Goose  Oued Massa 5

Tadorna tadorna Shelduck  Oued Massa and Oued Sous

Mareca penelope Wigeon  Oued Massa 10

Anas crecca Teal  Oued Massa 10

Anas platyrhynchos Mallard  Oued Massa 10

Anas acuta Pintail  Oued Massa 10s

Anas clypeata Shoveler  Oued Massa 10

Marmaronetta angustirostris Marbled Teal  Oued Massa 100s

Aythya ferina Pochard  Oued Massa 100s

Circaetus gallicus Short-toed Eagle  Oued Sous 1

Circus aeruginosus Marsh Harrier  Oued Sous and Oued Massa total of 4

Accipiter nisus Sparrowhawk  4 jan 2002 Oued Massa 1

Buteo rufinus Long-legged Buzzard  total of about 10

Aquila chrysaetos Golden Eagle  pair near Oukaimaiden

Hieraaetus fasciatus Bonelli’s Eagle  Oued Sous 1 2nd cy

Pandion haliaetus Osprey  Oued Sous 1, Oued Massa 3

Falco tinnunculus Kestrel  commonest raptor, though no more than appr. 25

Falco biarmicus Lanner  3 jan 2002 1 pair some 50 km N of Tamri

Falco peregrinus Peregrine  31 dec 2001 Ait Benhaddou 1

Alectoris barbara Barbary Partridge  4 jan 2002 Oued Sous 1, near Tiferhal 1 pair

Gallinula chloropus Moorhen  Oued Massa 3 heard

Fulica atra Coot  Oued Massa 100s+

Grus grus Crane  Oued Massa 5

Haematopus ostralegus Oystercatcher  Oued Massa 10s

Himantopus himantopus Black-winged Stilt  Oued Sous 100s+, Oued Massa +

Burhinus oedicnemus Stone Curlew  Oued Sous 2

Charadrius dubius Little Ringed Plover  28 dec 2001 1 1st cy in muddy pond along C7027,   4 jan 2002 10 in muddy field near Oued Massa

Charadrius hiaticula Ringed Plover  4 jan 2002 Oued Sous 1 ad

Pluvialis squatarola Grey Plover  Oued Massa 10s

Calidris alba Sanderling  Oued Massa 10s+

Calidris minuta Little Stint  Oued Massa 10s,   Muddy field near Oued Massa 1

Calidris alpina Dunlin  Oued Massa 10s

Philomachus pugnax Ruff  Oued Sous 10

Gallinago gallinago Snipe  Oued Sous 3

Limosa limosa Black-tailed Godwit  Oued Sous 10s

Numenius arquata Curlew  Oued Massa and Oued Sous 10s

Tringa totanus Redshank  Oued Sous and Oued Massa 10s

Tringa nebularia Greenshank  Oued Sous and Oued Massa 10s

Tringa ochropus Green Sandpiper  in all kinds of habitats, total of 10s

Tringa glareola Wood Sandpiper  Oued Massa 2

Actitis hypoleucos Common Sandpiper  Oued Sous and Oued Massa 10s

Stercorarius parasiticus Arctic Skua  at sea near Tamri 1

Larus ridibundus Black-headed Gull  common

Larus audouinii Audouin’s Gull  near Tamri and 15 km N of Agadir 250+

Larus fuscus Lesser Black-backed Gull  common

Larus michahellis Yellow-legged Gull  common

Larus argentatus Herring Gull  3 jan 2002 Essaouira 1 ad

Sterna sandvicensis Sandwich Tern  35 some 15 km N of Agadir

Columba livia Rock Dove  common

Columba palumbus Wood Pigeon  Oued Sous 1 and Oued Massa 1

Streptopelia decaocto Collared Dove  common

Streptopelia senegalensis Laughing Dove  Oued Massa 3 (2+1)

Clamator glandarius Great Spotted Cuckoo  28 dec 2001 along C7027 1 1st cy   4 jan 2002 Oued Massa 1 2nd cy

Apus apus Swift  2 jan 2002 Essaouira 1 heard

Apus pallidus Pallid Swift  along the coast only: 100s

Upupa epops Hoopoe  Oued Sous 1-2

Picus vaillantii Levaillant’s Green Woodpecker  1 jan 2002 at 31º15.37′ N 9º 39.56′ W 1 female (not far from Oukaimaiden)

Ammomanes cincturus Bar-tailed Desert Lark  rather common between Erfoud and Merzouga and along southern desert route

Ammomanes deserti Desert Lark  rather common. Feathers of dead bird now in Zoological Museum of Amsterdam

Aleamon alaudipes Hoopoe Lark  29 dec 2001 some at Tagdillt track  30 dec 2001 Erfoud-Merzouga 10

Calandrella rufescens Lesser Short-toed Lark  28 dec 2001 2 along C7027

Galerida cristata Crested Lark  very few. 31 dec 2001 Ait Benhaddou first 2 birds. Total less than10

Galerida theklae Thekla Lark  very common

Eremophila alpestris atlas Shore Lark  1 and 2 jan 2002 Oukaimaiden 160

Eremophila bilopha Temminck’s Horned Lark  29 dec 2001 Tagdillt track 10

Riparia paludicola Brown-throated Sand Martin  3 jan 2002 S of Essaouira 10  4 jan 2002 Oued Sous and Oued Massa

Ptyonoprogne rupestris Crag Martin  rather common

Hirundo rustica Barn Swallow  rather common

Delichon urbica House Martin  not many

Anthus campestris Tawny Pipit  just 1, 4 jan 2002 Oued Sous

Anthus pratensis Meadow Pipit  especially at beach Essaouira. Also at other places.

Anthus spinoletta Water Pipit  31 dec 2001 Ait Benhaddou 1 calling in flight

Motacilla flava Yellow Wagtail  several places. 4 jan 2002 about 15 in 1 palm tree near Oued Massa

Motacilla cinerea Grey Wagtail  at the places you’d expect them

Motacilla alba White Wagtail  all M. a. alba

Motacilla subpersonata Moroccan Wagtail  4 jan 2002 Oued Sous 1 female

Pycnonotus barbatus Common Bulbul  common

Cinclus cinclus Dipper  2 jan 2002 Oukaimaiden 1

Troglodytes troglodytes Wren  not very many

Erithacus rubecula Robin  rather common

Phoenicurus ochruros Black Redstart  common. 29 dec 2001 Gorge de Torda 1 beautiful male aterrimus

Phoenicurus moussieri Moussier’s Redstart  beautiful and rather common

Saxicola rubicola Stonechat  common

Oenanthe deserti Desert Wheatear  30 dec 2001 Auberge Kasbah Derkaouah 1 male.  31 dec 2001 along southern desert road 1 male

Oenanthe leucura Black Wheatear  rather common in expected habitat

Oenanthe moesta Red-rumped Wheatear  29 dec 2001 Tagdillt track 10-15. Nowhere else

Oenanthe lugens Mourning Wheatear  31 dec 2001 along southern desert road 1 male and probably 2 distant females

Oenanthe leucopyga White-crowned Black Wheatear  common

Monticola solitarius Blue Rock Thrush  at the expected places

Turdus merula Blackbird  rather common

Turdus philomelos Song Thrush  rather common. Small migrating groups

Turdus viscivorus Mistle Thrush  2 jan 2002 Oukaimaiden 1+2

Cettia cetti Cetti’s Warbler  29 dec 2001 Gorge de Torda 1

Cisticola juncidis Fan-tailed Warbler  4 jan 2002 Oued Sous 3-4 in display flight

Scotocerca inquieta Scrub Warbler  31 dec 2001 along southern desert road 2 (31º15.1′ N 04º38.34′ W)

Sylvia undata Dartford Warbler  just 1 on 28 dec 2001

Sylvia deserticola Tristram’s Warbler  2 together on 29 dec 2001 (at least 1 female) between Jorf and Erfoud

Sylvia conspicillata Spectacled Warbler  just a few

Sylvia melanocephala Sardinian Warbler  common

Sylvia nana Desert Warbler  30 dec 2001 halfway Erfoud-Merzouga 1

Sylvia atricapilla Blackcap  some 10’s

Phylloscopus collybita Chiffchaff  especially along the coast abundant.   1 palm tree near Oued Massa contained 15 birds

Turdoides fulvus Fulvous Babbler  30 dec 2001 Auberge Kasbah Derkaouah half way Erfoud-Merzouga   2 jan 2002 some 30 km W of Marakech 5 birds

Parus caeruleus Blue Tit  some nice ultramarini

Parus major Great Tit  few

Tchagra senegala Black-crowned Tchagra  4 jan 2002 Oued Massa 2. 1 heard, 1 heard and seen (30º03.5′ N 09º 39.56′ W)

Lanius meridionalis elegans Southern Grey Shrike  rather common

Lanius senator Woodchat Shrike  just 1: 28 dec 2001

Pica mauritanica Moroccan Magpie  the first at only 4 jan 2002. After that 10’s seen the same day Oued Sousa

Pyrrhocorax graculus Alpine (Yellow-billed) Chough  2 jan 2002 Oukaimaiden 150+

Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax Red-billed Chough  1 and 2 jan 2002 Oukaimaiden 200+

Corvus ruficollis Brown-necked Raven  in the dessert. Not very many

Corvus corax Raven  not common. 2 jan 2002 Oukaimaiden 2

Sturnus vulgaris Starling  4 jan 2002 Oued Sous 1

Sturnus unicolor Spotless Starling  good numbers only in Essaouira 3 jan 2002

Passer domesticus House Sparrow  common. Very obviously streaked

Passer hispaniolensis Spanish Sparrow  3 jan 2002 Essaouira 2-3 males

Passer simplex Desert Sparrow  30 dec 2001 1 km from café Jasmina near Merzouga: 34 in one tree.   After that some 10s in the vicinity of Jasmina. What a bird ..!

Petronia petronia Rock Sparrow  common

Fringilla c. coelebs Chaffinch  common, for instance at Oukaimaiden (where no spodiogenys seen)

Fringilla sopiogenys African Chaffinch  1 jan 2002 on the way to Oukaimaiden 10s

Serinus serinus Serin  abundant. A lot of group display

Chloris chloris Greenfinch  +

Carduelis carduelis Goldfinch  +

Carduelis cannabina Linnet  + (not very many the first days)

Rhodopechys sanguinea Crimson-winged Finch  2 jan 2002 near hotel Chez Ju JU in Oukaimaiden at around 07.35 we heard a bird. It turned out to be sitting on our car..! Very approachable, in the company of a Rock Sparrow and – 10 minutes later – of a second male Crimson-winged Finch. Marga took some photos of the bird sitting on another car (at 31º11.63 N 07º51.385 W)

Bucanetes githagineus Trumpeter Finch  in total some 10’s

Emberiza cirlus Cirl Bunting  few

Emberiza cia Rock Bunting  few

Emberiza striolata House Bunting  common and beautiful

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