18 March 2019 – News from Merzouga

‘At Merzouga lake there are plenty of birds. I had at least 4 Spotted Crakes a few days ago, and also 2 Water Pipits which I wasn’t expecting to see so far south!’ (Marc Illa)

The water Pipit (A. s. spinoletta) is a scarce winter visitor to Morocco. In autumn, the earliest arrivals in north are from mid August, but from late October in south. The spring departures of wintering birds begin from early March and are over by early April. Many sightings between mid March and early April outside the normal wintering areas probably involve pipits that have wintered further south in the Sahara; these are observed mostly along the Atlantic coast south to the Massa estuary but also inland as far east as Bouarfa. In winter, it is regular and common in the Plains of Eastern Morocco but more rare along the ‘North Atlantic’ coast between Tangier and Moulay Bousselham and further south at Sidi Moussa – Oualidia, at the Souss and Massa estuaries ; it is regular but uncommon inland in Saïs at Douyiet and around lakes of Middle Atlas. Also recorded in Chaouïa at Settat and locally up to 2200-2600 m in High Atlas ; there are only 10 winter records in Saharan Morocco, mostly in Tafilalt near Oued Ziz from Errachidia to Erfoud and in Dadès-Draa in Ouarzazate area.

One thought on “18 March 2019 – News from Merzouga

  1. Water Pipit at Rabat: ‘in three years of visiting the marshes of the Bouregreg, the Water Pipit is regular here. The maximum number I have seen is 9 but more often it is 4 or less birds. So far the early record I have is from October, 22 and the latest March, 14’ (Pedro Fernandes)

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