Tunisia - 15th - 22nd December 1999

Published by Ross Ahmed (ma002a5887 AT blueyonder.co.uk)

Participants: Ross Ahmed, Steve Chinnery, Peter Collins


Weather variable, warm 1-2 days, rain 1 day, very cold in desert 1-2 days

c1200 miles travelled. Habitats incl desert, semi-desert, salt pans, farmland, freshwater, mountains

Trip List = 132

El Haoureb Barrage

Large reservoir with small marsh, surrounded by rocky hills/cliffs.

White-headed Duck, Black-necked Grebe, Black Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Marmora's Warbler, Barbary Partridge, Thekla Lark, Great White Egret, Serin, Spectacled Warbler, Purple Gallinule and Temminck's Stint

Sebkhat Kelbia and El Metbasta Marshes

Vast freshwater marsh.

Cattle Egret, Common Crane, Marsh Sandpiper, Barbary Partridge, Serin, Barn Owl and Fulvous Babbler

Gabes-Kebili road

Semi-desert with oueds.

Desert, White-crowned Black, Mourning and Red-rumped Wheatears, Lesser Short-toed Lark, Temminck's Stint, Merlin and Blue Rock Thrush

Tozeur-Chibika road


Desert, Temminck's Horned, Thick-billed, Hoopoe and Lesser Short-toed Larks, White-crowned Black, Black, Red-rumped and Mourning Wheatears, Trumpeter Finch

Mountains above Chibika


Trumpeter Finch, White-crowned Black, Black and Mourning Wheatears, Bonelli's Eagle, Desert Lark

Douz area/El Hessai Oasis


Tristram's Warbler, Desert Wheatear, Fulvous Babbler, Marbled Teal, Water Pipit, Marsh Sandpiper, sandgrouse sp, Brown-necked Raven, Hoopoe Lark

Tyna Salt Pans


Whiskered Tern, Caspian Tern, Slender-billed Gull, Marsh Sandpiper, Water Pipit, Spectacled Warbler

Species Lists

Little Grebe - small numbers at several wetlands
Great Crested Grebe small numbers several wetlands
Black-necked Grebe - good numbers at c5 wetlands incl c50 at Sebkhat Kelbia, c20 at Tyna Salt Pans
Gannet - 2 off Monastir
Cormorant - small numbers
Little Egret - good numbers most wetlands
Grey Heron - small numbers
Great White Egret - small numbers including c10 at El Haoureb Barrage
Cattle Egret - 1 Menzel Temime, 1 El Metbasta, several elsewhere
Spoonbill - moderate numbers incl 10-30 at El Haoureb Barrage, El Metbasta, Menzel Temime, Tyna Salt Pans
Greater Flamingo - good numbers most wetlands incl c300 Tyna Salt Pans
White-headed Duck - 150+ El Haoureb Barrage
Greylag Goose - up to 100 El Metbasta
Shelduck - small numbers incl 50+ El Metbasta, 50+ Douz Pools
Wigeon - very large numbers incl several thousand El Metbasta, several hundred Sebkhat Kelbia
Gadwall - small numbers at most wetlands
Mallard - only site El Hauoreb Barrage where 50+
Pintail - moderate numbers at several wetlands incl 100+ El Metbasta
Shoveler - very large numbers all wetlands incl 1000+ El Metbasta
Marbled Duck - only site Ghidma Pool (near Douz) where c70 (incl 1 shot by wildfowler)
Ruddy Shelduck - 3 Douz Pool
Pochard - small numbers several wetlands plus 300+ El Haoureb Barrage
Marsh Harrier - fairly common and widespread, max c10 El Metbasta
Long-legged Buzzard - fairly common and widespread
Bonelli's Eagle - pair at Chibuka and adult at Selja Gorge. Very good views of difficult species in country.
Kestrel - common and widespread
Merlin - male came into roost at oued along Gabes to Kebili road
Lanner - 1 near El Haoureb and male at Kasserine
Peregrine - 2 males at El Hauoreb Barrage - 1 on territory
Barbary Falcon - 2 Zaafrane Pool A
Barbary Partridge - 4 Sebkhat kelbia and 1+ calling el Haoureb Barrage
Purple Gallinule - 1 Haoureb Barrage
Moorhen - 1 Menzel Temime
Coot - common
Common Crane - c100 Sebkhat Kelbia, 2 El Metbasta, 6 near Enfida
Black-winged Stilt - moderate numbers all wetlands
Avocet - moderate numbers all wetlands incl c300 El Haoureb Barrage and c200 near Enfida
Grey Plover - up to 30 Tyna Salt Pans
Ringed Plover - 1 Tyna Salt Pans
Little Ringed Plover - small numbers several sites
Kentish Plover - good numbers and widespread incl 50+ Douz Pools and 30+ Tyna Salt Pans
Lapwing - small numbers, max 30 near El Haoureb Barrage
Snipe - small numbers at several sites
Black-tailed Godwit - good numbers at several wetlands incl 70 Tyna Salt Pans and 50 Menzel Temime
Curlew - only site Tyna Salt Pans where c50
Spotted Redshank - good numbers most wetlands incl 50 Menzel Temime
Redshank - 1 Monastir and several Tyna Salt Pans
Greenshank - small numbers several wetlands
Green Sandpiper - small numbers several wetlands
Common Sandpiper - small numbers several wetlands, max 5 Monastir
Marsh Sandpiper - 15 Tyna Salt Pans, 1 El Metbasta, 1 Monastir, 3 Zaafrane Pool A
Turnstone - 10 Tyna Salt Pans beach
Little Stint - good numbers all wetlands incl 150+ Tyna Salt Pans
Dunlin - 100+ Tyna Salt Pans and 2 Monastir
Temminck's Stint - 3 El Haoureb Barrage, 1 Monastir and 1 Gabes-Kebili road
Curlew Sandpiper - small numbers several wetlands except 300+ Tyna Salt Pans
Ruff - 20 Tyna Salt Pans
Yellow-legged Gull - fairly common and widespread
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 5 Tyna Salt Pans
Black-headed Gull - small numbers several wetlands, max 300 El Haoureb Barrage
Mediterranean Gull - 150 Tyna Salt Pans and 15 off Monastir
Slender-billed Gull - 200 Tyna Salt Pans off seawall
Sandwich Tern - small numbers over sea
Caspian Tern - 3+ Tyna Salt Pans
Whiskered Tern - 10 Tyna Salt Pans
sandgrouse sp - 5 high over desert at Douz
Collared Dove - 2 Monastir
Laughing Dove - fairly common
Barn Owl - 1 found dead on motorway by El Metbasta
Little Owl - 1 Tyna Salt Pans, 1 near Chibika, 1 Sebkhat Kelbia
Little Swift - 2 Enfida Village
Kingfisher - 1 Tyna Salt Pans, 1 Monastir, 1 Menzel Temime
Hoopoe - noted 3 sites incl 5 Douz rubbush dump
Desert Lark - small numbers at semi desert/mountainous sites, max 8 Chibika (Tozeur-Chibika road)
Hoopoe Lark - 3 Douz, 1 Tozeur-Chibika road
Thick-billed Lark - 10 Tozeur-Chibika road just before Chibika
Lesser Short-toed Lark - 300 Tozeur-Chibika road, 11 Gabes-Kebili road, 1 Selja Gorge
Crested Lark - very common in all habitats
Thekla Lark - found in hilly/rocky areas: 15 Selja Gorge, 5 El Haoureb Barrage, 1 near Chibika
Skylark - 25 neat Kasserine and 1+ Sebkhat Kelbia
Temminck's Horned Lark - 11 Tozeur-Chibika road
Swallow - 2 unknown village
Crag Martin - pairs at El Haoureb Barrage and Selja Gorge, plus 1 Monastir
Meadow Pipit - small numbers
Water Pipit - 1 Tyna Salt Pans, 1 Zaafrane Pool A
White Wagtail - very common in all habitats
Grey Wagtail - 1 El Haoureb Barrage
Wren - several Menzel Bouzelfa and 1 unknown site
Robin - fairly common at several sites
Black Redstart - fairly common in all habitats
Moussier's Redstart - fairly common in most habitats (not farmland or urban)
Stonechat - very common in all habitats
White-crowned Black Wheatear - small at c5 semi-desert sites, max 10 Tozeur-Chibika road
Black Wheatear - small numbers hilly/mountainous sites
Mourning Wheatear - small numbers several semi-desert sites
Red-rumped Wheatear - small numbers semi-desert sites incl 15 Tozuer-Chibika road
Desert Wheatear - 3+ El Hessai, 1 Gabes-Kebili road
Blue Rock Thrush - small numbers hilly/mountainous sites
Ring Ouzel - 1 Selja Gorge
Blackbird - small numbers at a few lowlands sites
Song Thrush - singles 2-3 sites
Fan-tailed Warbler - c10 unknown village, 1-5 at 2 other sites
Blackcap - 1 Monastir
Sardinian Warbler - fairly common in lowland/non-desert areas
Spectacled Warbler - a few at hilly sites
Tristram's Warbler - 1 El Hessai, 1 Douz
Marmora's Warbler - 5 El Haoureb Barrage
Chiffchaff - common in all non-desert habitats
Firecrest - 2 Monastir
Fulvous Babbler - 15 El Hessau Oasis, 10 Sebkhat Kelbia
Blue Tit- small numbers 3+ sites
Southern Grey Shrike - very common in all habitats
Brown-necked Raven - 2 El Hessai Oasis
Raven - small numbers several upland sites, max 11 Menzel Bouzelfa
Starling - moderate numbers
Spotless Starling - 7 positively indentified (Monastir), but probably more
House Sparrow - probably present in large numbers but not specifically looked for amongst Spanish Sparrows
Spanish Sparrow - abundant in every habitat, several resembled Spanish X House hybrids
Chaffinch - very small numbers at a few sites
Serin - 10 El Haoureb Barrage, 10 Sebkhat Kelbia
Greenfinch - very small numbers 2+ sites
Goldfinch - 1 El Haoureb Barrage
Linnet - small numbers scattered
Trumpeter Finch - 8 near Chibika, 1 near Chibika (different site), 5 Selja Gorge, 5 Algerian border near Chibika
House Bunting - 2 Tozeur, 5 Selja Gorge, 7 near Chibika, 1 unknown site
Reed Bunting - 1 El Haoureb Barrage
Corn Bunting - fairly common in several habitats incl desert