March 2013

23 March 2013

Whilst in Western Sahara recently (28th Feb to 14th March), I visited Oued Jenna. While birding an area of Acacia scrub 200m on the north side of the road, I was approached by military personnel. They were extremely pleasant and polite. They advised me that the area I was walking was potentially dangerous and recommended I should return to the road. This I did without hesitation. I asked whether or not all land mines have been removed and which areas are safe. The response was vague, however, they were not sure all mines have been cleared and did not offer any safe areas. I have walked away from both sides of the road fairly extensively in the past and survived! Just lucky maybe?

My trip was pretty standard regarding both birds and migration. Latter blocked throughout the trip by persistent northerly winds. My highlight or surprise of the trip was a 2CY Tawny Eagle drifting south over the mouth of Oued Massa on 13th March. My first in Morocco since 1992. The Awserd Road was excellent as usual with all expected species seen (Trevor Charlton)

19 March 2013

Two new papers are available in Go-South Bulletin:

    • Thévenot, M. & Bergier, P. 2013. Éléments de bibliographie ornithologique marocaine – 9. Go-South Bulletin 10 : 86-101.

 

  • Bougaham, A.F. & Moulaï, R. 2013. Observations sur quelques espèces d’oiseaux de la côte à l’ouest de Jijel (Algérie). Go-South Bulletin 10 : 76-85.

18 March 2013

Oued Draa South of Assa today: Subalpine Warblers 100+, Hippolais reiseri 50+, Hypolais opaca 5, Rufous Bush Robin 5, Western Orphean Warbler 2 (Thomas & Krister)

16 March 2013

A new trip report is available on the Trip Report webpage. Thanks to Howard.

16 March 2013

Un Vautour moine Aegypius monachus photographié au Jbel Moussa, Tanger, le 14 mars. L’oiseau était en migration vers le Nord avec un groupe de Circaètes Jean-le-Blanc. Ont également été détectés un Falco peregrinus (local), 120 Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax (locaux), 467 Circaetus gallicus, deux Accipiter nisus, 151 Milvus migrans, 27 Columba palumbus (locaux), 8 Corvus corax (locaux), 34 Gyps fulvus, 162 Hieraaetus pennatus, 45 Hirundo rustica, un Elanus caeruleus local, et 22 Circus aeruginosus (Rachid El Khamlichi et Jean-Marc Schneider).

9 March 2013

Observations le 8 mars à Martil, nord du Maroc, 35°35’14.59″N-5°15’35.88″O, de Goélands d’Audouin espagnols bagués : sur 176 oiseaux observés, 14 étaient bagués et 10 bagues PVC (lettres noires sur fond blanc) ont pu être lues : BMN1, ASTH, BAUP, AZDZ, AF3F, ATRM, BFBW, BFBJ, BB39 et 6NV (Rachid El Khamlichi – Cocn)

5 March 2013

A new trip report is available on the Trip Report webpage. Thanks to Pawel.

4 March 2013

Naturetrek trip reports to Morocco in February 2011 and 2012 are available on the Trip Report webpage. Thanks to Peter Dunn.

4 March 2013

Early March: an Isabelline Wheatear east of Erg Chebbi at approximately 31.03N 3.56W and two pair of Brambling feeding with other finches at the Tinfat Saffron Coop at 30.28N 7.44W. Three pairs of Western Mourning Wheatears all in the same place at 31.17N 5.52W (Peter Dunn)

4 March 2013

Observations du 2 mars près de Tétouan : 24 Grus grus, 40 Upupa epops, 5 Streptopelia senegalensis, 5 Lanius algeriensis, 3 Circus aeruginosus, 4 Larus melanocephalus, 1 Larus genei, 6 Sterna sandvicensis, 48 Pluvialis squatarola, 10 Charadrius alexandrinus, 9 Haematopus ostralegus, 3 Burhinus oedicnemus, 5 Corvus corax, 13 Pycnonotus barbatus, 2 Lanius senator, 30 Calidris alba

La présence de la Tourterelle maillée est confirmée, avec au moins 2 couples et une forte probabilité de reproduction dans la zone de Sidi Abdeslam à quelque 7 km de Tétouan et 3 km de Martil. La première observation de cette espèce à cet endroit avait eu lieu en compagnie de Mohamed Amezian le 15 février 2013 (Rachid El Khamlichi)

4 March 2013

Great Snipe at Massa on 1st March, the 3rd record only since the creation of the Moroccan Rare Birds Committee (Peter J. Dunn and Stuart Elsom per Mohamed Amezian, seeMoroccan Birds blogspot)

4 March 2013

Observations dans les Plaines du Maroc Oriental (Diego Jerez Abad, Rosa Ramirez Espinar et al. ; details in Spanish at http://www.avesynaturanorteafricanas.blogspot.fr/) :

    • 3 décembre 2012. Observations du port de Melilla de 12h à 14h : Puffinus mauretanicus 19, Calonectris diomedea 1, Morus bassanus 129, Phalacrocorax carbo 10, Ardea cinerea 3, Pandión haliaetus 1, Falco pelegrinoides 1 couple, Falco tinnunculus 3, Actitis hypoleucos 3, Catharacta skua 2, Stercorarius parasiticus 3, Larus audouinii 35, Chroicocephalus genei 4, Chroicocephalus ridibundus 61, Larus melanocephalus 135, Rissa tridactyla 2, Larus minutus 1, Sterna bengalensis 4, Sterna sandvicensis 42, Ptyonoprogne rupestris 16, Delichón urbicum 2, Monticola solitarius 2, Phoenicurus ochruros 2.

 

    • 12 janvier 2013. Journée RAM, observations de 8h30 à 11h30 à Melilla : Puffinus mauretanicus 9 NW, Morus bassanus 225 NW, Phalacrocorax carbo 36 SE, Ardea cinerea 8 Mv/L, Egretta garzetta 22 Mv/L, Bubulcus ibis 9, Chroicocephlus ridibundus 139 Mv/L, Larus malanocephalus 27 SE, Larus audouinii 17 NW, Sterna bengalensis 6 NW, Sterna sandvicensis 81 NW. Mammifères marins: Tursiops truncatus 6 NW.

 

    • 15 janvier 2013. Observations de 12h à 14 :30 à Melilla : Puffinus mauretanicus 385, Morus bassanus 137, Phalacrocorax carbo 9, Melanitta nigra 3, Catharacta skua 6, Stercorarius parasiticus 2, Chroicocephalus ridibundus 25, Larus melanocephalus 12, Larus audouinii 19, Sterna bengalensis 2, Sterna sandvicensis 13.

 

    • 16 janvier 2013. Observations de 11h30 à 14h30 à Melilla, fort vent du NW : Puffinus mauretanicus 1.319, Morus bassanus 663, Phalacrocorax carbo 15, Pandion haliaetus 2, Calidris alpina 13, Arenaria interpres 7, Catharacta skua 8, Stercorarius pomarinus 1, Stercorarius parasiticus 5, Chroicocephalus ridibundus 49, Larus melanocephalus 41, Larus audouinii 43, Sterna bengalensis 5, Sterna sandvicensis 46.

 

    • 29 janvier 2013. Observations de 11h30 à 14h à Melilla : Puffinus mauretanicus10, Morus bassanus 145 avec des Dauphins, Phalacrocorax carbo 18, Ardea cinerea 5, Casmerodius albus 1, Pandion haliaetus 1, Grus grus 1, Stercorarius parasiticus 1, Larus audouinii 21, Chroicocephalus ridibundus 65, Larus melanocephalus 6, Sterna bengalensis 3, Sterna sandvicensis 39. Mammifères marins: Delphinus delphis 52.

 

    • 2 février 2013. Jourmée RAM, observations de 8h30 à 11h30 à Melilla : Puffinus mauretanicus 52 NW, Morus bassanus 432 NW, Phalacrocorax carbo 29 NW, Accipiter nisus 1 NW, Catharacta skua 37 NW, Stercorarius parasiticus 20 NW, Larus audouinii 101 NW, Chroicocephalus ridibundus 48 NW, Larus melanocephalus 20, Sterna sandvicensis 48 NW.

 

    • 7 février 2013. Observations de 12h à 14h30 à Melilla : Puffinus mauretanicus 11, Morus bassanus 95, Phalacrocorax carbo 9, Egretta garzetta 3, Pandion haliaetus 1, Falco pelegrinoides 1, Catharacta skua 7, Stercorarius parasiticus 3, Larus audouinii 42, Chroicocephalus ridibundus 16, Larus melanocephalus 3, Sterna bengalensis 1, Sterna sandvicensis 19.

 

    • 9 février 2013. Observations à la Sebkha Fida Amezian : Tachybaptus ruficollis 12, Tadorna ferruginea 166, Anas platyrhynchos 142, Anas crecca 65, Anas clypeata 182, Netta rufina 7, Aythya fuligula 2, Aythya ferina 33, Oxyura leucocephala 4, Accipiter nisus 1, Buteo rufinus 2, Circus aeruginosus 1, Falco tinnunculus 2, Fulica atra 17, Charadrius dubius 12, Charadrius alexandtrinus 37, Calandrella brachydactila 11, Melanocorypha calandra 68, Galerida cristata 8, Hirundo rustica 13, Ptyonoprogne rupestris 41, Delichón urbicum 14, Anthus pratensis 100+, Motacilla alba 50+, Lanius elegans algeriensis 2, Saxicola rubicola ibernans 8, Phoenicurus ochruros 5, Carduelis carduelis 17, Chloris chloris 13, Carduelis cannabina 42, Passer hispaniolensis 51, Corvus corax tingitanus 2.Observations au barrage Tleta Boubker, presque à sec : Tadorna ferruginea 52, Anas platyrhynchos 29, Buteo rufinus 1, Falco tinnunculus 1, Charadrius dubius 9, Charadrius alexandrinus 25, Galerida cristata 3, Ptyonoprogne rupestris 10, Anthus pratensis 13, Motacilla alba 19, Lanius elegans algeriensis 4, Sylvia undata 2, Saxicola rubicola ibernans 6, Oenanthe leucura 2, Phoenicurus ochruros 2, Passer hispaniolensis 24.

 

    • 14 février 2013. Observations à Melilla : Delphinus delphis 72, en deux groupes à 300 mètres du rivage, pêchant et se séplaçant vers le SE.

 

    • 16 février 2013. Observations au Barrage Mohamed V : Podiceps cristatus 126, Podiceps nigricollis 59, Tachybaptus ruficollis 97, Phalacrocorax carbo 236, Ardea cinerea 51, Casmerodius albus 8, Egretta garzetta 66, Bubulcus ibis 138, Phoenicopterus roseus 10, Tadorna ferruginea 25, Anas platyrhynchos 308, Anas strepera 152, Anas penelope 103, Anas crecca 314, Anas acuta 47, Anas clypeata 426, Marmaronetta angustirostris 47, Netta rufina 91, Aythya fuligula 79, Aythya ferina 563, Aythya nyroca 41, Oxyura leucocephala 129, Circus aeruginosus 7, Falco tinnunculus 4, Grus grus 7, Fulica atra 1215, Chroicocephalus ridibundus 425, Larus fuscus 3, Galerida cristata 26, Hirundo rustica 35, Ptyonoprogne rupestris 135, Delichón urbicum 200+, Anthus pratensis 200+, Motacilla alba 200+, Lanius elegans algeriensis 4, Sylvia communis 3, Phylloscopus collybita 6, Saxicola rubicola iberans 15, Phoenicurus ochruros 5, Phoenicurus moussieri 3, Turdus philomelos 10, Passer hispaniolensis 50+, Sturnus vulgaris 100+. Mammifères : Vulpes vulpes 1.

 

    • 17 février 2013. Observations à Melilla : Calonectris diomedea 11 (les premiers de l’année), Morus bassanus 143, Catharacta skua 3. Mammifères marins: Tursiops truncatus 18.

 

    • 17 février 2013. Observations à Melilla : Puffinus mauretanicus 11, Calonectris diomedea (435 associés à des Dauphins communs, premier groupe important de l’année), Morus bassanus 71, Phalacrocorax carbo 5, Catharacta skua 2, Stercorarius parasiticus 1, Larus audouinii 23, Chroicocephalus ridibunus 58, Larus melanocephalus 7, Sterna caspia 1, Sterna bengalensis 2, Sterna sandvicensis 14, Apus pallidus 3 (premiers de l’année). Mammifères marins : Delphinus delphis 41.

 

    • 27 février 2013. Observations à Melilla : Uria aalge 1

 

  • 28 février 2013. Observations à Melilla : Calonectris diomedea 351, Pandion haliaetus 2, Falco naumanni 3 (les premiers de l’année), Catharacta skua 5

1 March 2013

Details of Hubert’s trip:

17 February: After the transfer from Marrakech the day before we started very early at Agadir. We ticked the first Moroccan specialities like Thekla Lark, House Bunting, Common Bulbul, Spotless Starling and Moussier’s Redstart and made our first proper stop at Oued Sayad. Fulvous Babbler was soon detected. It perched on a bush and performed its full song for a good time. At Oued Boukila we walked along the valley through the higher bushes, but we only had Stonechat and Grey Shrike. When we turned to the right in the drier area with the lower bushes we saw the more interesting Red-rumped Wheatears und Desert Wheatears. Finally on our way back we found the most wanted species for this place, the Scrub Warbler.

We wanted to reach Khnisfiss Lagoon not too late, so we passed the Sandy Plains without longer stop and saw only Rough-legged Buzzard. To visit the Lagoon you no longer need a permission for access. You only have to pay 5 DH per car. We saw lots of the expected waders, flamingos, herons, 6 Ospreys, many gulls including Greater Black-backed but no Kelp. Unexpected were two Black Storks.

18 February: After spending the night at Tarfaya we again started in the dark. We reached Laayoune in the first daylight and had a fantastic view on hundreds and even thousands of waterbirds. Most of them were Black-winged Stilts (about 2000). There were also nearly 200 Glossy Ibises, 100 Spoonbills, 100 Avocets and at least 7 Marbled Ducks. On the way farther we saw Black Wheatear, Hoopoe Lark and Brown-necked Raven. We reached the roundabaout to Dakhla in the afternoon and had enough time to see our first Royal Tern at the bay frequented by kite surfers. Then we headed to the farthest point of the peninsula near the village La Sarga. The waterbirds there were in very high numbers (400 Caspian Terns and 300 Sandwich), but no further Royals.

19 February: This day was our Awserd day. We again started very early and after driving through a foggy darkness we reached famous km 41 at dawn. The welcome there was fantastic. We heard voices from everywhere and saw lots of bird flying around. We identified not less than 100 Black-crowned Finch-Larks, up to 200 Desert Sparrows in large flocks, about 10 Dunn’s Larks including youngsters and one Desert Lark. Besides this the impressive displaying habits of Hoopoe Lark were most amusing. The adult Lanner was also a very good thing. We saw no Cricket Longtail and so we decided to go to Awserd and check every place with a good stock of acacia. We started at km 7 and there we were successful. The detected male not only perched every now and then but also performed its nice song. On our way back we visited Oued Jenna and had a family group of Babblers and a flock of at least 11 Stone Curlews.

We reached Dakhla before sunset and we had the chance to see 4 Royal Terns at very close distance in the “surfing” bay. Far out in the sea there were wide banks of sand and we saw lots of birds resting there, too far to be identified (except flamingos), and several walking people. So if one has enough time maybe it is advisable to check this area.

20 February: In the morning we had two hours of sea-watching near the light tower and saw gannets and skuas. When we left Dakhla a group of Little Swift gave us a pleasant farewell. Laayoune was a disappointment this time because we were chased away by the military. Khnifiss Lagoon delivered no Kelp Gull again.

21 February: A third visit to Khnifiss Lagoon again without our target species but with Red-throated Pipits. About 600 Audouin’s Gulls in Oued Waael. Stops at the Sandy Plains brought lots of Lesser Short-toed Larks und Corn Buntings and at about km 30 a flock of 12 Trumpeter Finches, 1 Cream-coloured Cursor and 1 Bar-tailed Desert Lark.

22 February: Massa National Park was our last destination. We had Pale Sand Martins, again 7 Marbled Ducks, a pair of Barbary Partridges and a pair of displaying Tchagras. The Bald Ibises were shown to us by two local guides (Hubert Krieger et al.)

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