12 November 2015 – Summary of tour for Limosa in the first week of November 2015

In the morning of 2 November 2015, a total of up to 600 shearwaters were seen north-west off Agadir, including more than 400 Cory’s Calonectris borealis, up to 100 Scopoli’s C diomedea, 10 Manx Puffinus puffinus, six Balearic P mauretanicus and four Great Shearwaters P gravis. Besides, four Great Skuas Stercorarius skua, four Pomarine Skuas S pomarinus and a Parasitic Jaeger S parasiticus were photographed. Perhaps the rarest taxon was a Moroccan Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis riggenbachi at the Bald Ibis Geronticus eremita roosting site north of Tamri on 1 November. At Oued Massa, two Great Egrets Casmerodius albus flew past the river’s mouth on 3/11; two days later, some seven flocks of Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus totalling more than 300 individuals flew upstream here. More than 20 Plain Martins Riparia paludicola were active at possible nesting sites near Tassila. In total, four Barbary Falcons Falco pelegrinoides were observed in the week of which one at Tamri on 1 November and, on 4 November, three south of Goulimime, where also four Lanner Falcons F biarmicus erlangeri were hunting. A striking female-type Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus with a green wingtag on each wing was photographed at Oued Massa on 3 November. Just three eagles were found: an immature Golden Aquila chrysaetos homeyeri at Sidi Ifni on 5 November and a pair of Bonelli’s A fasciata near Imouzer on 6 November. High gull totals included more than 1000 Audouin’s Larus audouinii between Agadir and Tamri on 1 November, 35 first-winter Mediterranean L melanocephalus at Oued Souss on 7 November (plus two handfuls at sea and north of Agadir on 1-2 November), and a handful of Slender-billed Chroicocephalus genei at Oued Souss on 7 November. Arguably, the best desert birds south of Goulimime were more than 10 Hoopoe Larks Alaemon alaudipes in a field along the Tan Tan road, two Thick-billed Larks Ramphocoris clotbey at close range near Asrir, and three Scrub Warblers Scotocerca saharae at two sites. Other popular songbirds were several Tristram’s Warblers Sylvia deserticola above Agadir, a Bluethroat Luscinia svecica at Oued Souss and several Eurasian Siskins Spinus spinus around Agadir. The rarest bird  for Morocco in this week was a Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus at Oued Souss on 7 November. (Arnoud B van den Berg)

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