16 April 2019 – The Glossy Ibis colony of Rabat

‘Mohammed Hilmi and I have been monitoring the Glossy Ibis colony in Rabat and this last Sunday (February 14th), along with Hassan Hassani, we managed to get a better idea about its actual size — we now know that there are at least 150 nests. A part of the colony was not visited due to access issues, so this number will possibly increase. At this stage, some juveniles are very close to be free-flying, but most nests still had downy juveniles (and possibly only eggs).

Sadly, like the Takkadoum daya, these marshes are also being threatened with development. It seems that a road is planned to be built right across where the colony is. These marshes not only harbour possibly the biggest Glossy Ibis colony in Morocco (and possibly one of the most important in the whole Maghreb region, I suppose) but also host other breeding species such as Night Herons, Little Egrets, Cattle Egrets and possibly Squacco Herons (we are yet to find a nest but keep seeing individuals in the area, although they are more common in the daya of Takkadoum). Marbled Teal is often recorded here, having bred there last year. 149 species of birds have been recorded here so far including Bonelli’s Eagle, Great White Egret, Common Gull and Olive-backed Pipit’ (Pedro Fernandes)

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