14 November 2017 – Records near Agadir

No problems in finding Bald Ibises Geronticus eremita as there were some 30 still present in the hills around the Tamri river mouth on 29 October. Other surprises here were a foraging Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus (I had never seen one at Tamri before) and two male Ferruginous Ducks Aythya nyroca.


Our pelagic some 16 km out from Agadir the next day, on 30 October 2017, was quite entertaining with lots of shearwaters (six species, all photographed) and a fair number of skuas (the three common species). There was little wind so most birds were swimming when we found them. The total numbers were c 350 Scopoli’s Shearwaters Calonectris diomedea and c 50 Cory’s Shearwaters C borealis (NB: later, I identified 10 times more Scopoli’s on my photographs than Cory’s), 28 Manx Shearwaters Puffinus puffinus (some in flocks of three to five), 3 Balearic Shearwaters P mauretanicus (two photographed), 2 Sooty Shearwaters P gravis (one photographed swimming together with a Balearic) and a remarkable 32 Great Shearwaters P gravis (all photographed and submitted; including flocks of three and four). Furthermore, we had at least three Great Skuas Stercorarius skua, more than three Pomarine Skuas S pomarinus  and more than six Arctic Skuas S parasiticus.


Other birds seen in our week worth mentioning are 400 Ruddy Shelducks Tadorna ferruginea, 98 Marbled Ducks Marmaronetta angustirostris, two Pintail Anas acuta and some Northern Shoveler A clypeata at the reservoir south of Goulimime (Guelmim) on 1 November. At Oued Souss, we found, eg, a first-year Lesser Crested Tern Sterna bengalensis on 29 October and a Barbary Falcon Falco pelegrinoides on 29 October and 4 November. A rather early Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus flew over Oued Massa on 2 November. Perhaps the biggest landbird surprise, however, was a Levaillant’s Woodpecker Picus vaillanti along the road from Alma to Immouzer near Agadir, Haha, on 3 November; I had seen one in this area five years ago but not since (Arnoud B. van den Berg)


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