Morocco, 27th December 2001 until 5th January 2002

Published by Surfbirds Admin (surfbirds AT


with: Siep "le professeur" Kromsigt, Marga "the treasurer" van Meel, Guus "the driver" van Duin - Schagen/Amsterdam - the Netherlands


27 dec 2001 arrival Agadir. Late journey to Tarroudant, hotel Tarroudant, with famous bar.

28 dec 2001 via Tazenakt and Ourzazate to Boulmalnes de Dades (hotel Chems: nice view, good rooms and service, but no bar).

29 dec 2001 Tagdillt track, Gorge de Todra, Erfoud. Good roads everywhere. Nice hotel (Ziz) with bar.

30 dec 2001 flat tire while leaving to Merzouga. With some help repaired within an hour (100 dirham = 11 US dollars)

31 dec 2001 same hotel (sorry, Marga), no flat tire. Via Rissani we took the (very new) southern desert road to the Draa Valley. Great savannah landscape, really great. We ended in Ait Benhaddou, hotel Kashba. A tourist trap, but very nice, and great for a morning walk. We celebrated New Year at 8.30 p.m. with champagne (brought from the Netherlands) at the swimming pool. No bar.

1 jan 2002 up in the mountains of Oukaimaiden. No skiing, too little snow. Very nice hotel (Chez Ju Ju). Bar.

2 jan 2002 a day to be remembered (see above). Heading to the coast: Essaouri. Nice hotel, nice beach, nice town. Alcohol available on top floor of restaurant in centre. Rather expensive, but who cares.

3 and 4 jan 2002 Southward, via Tamri (no ibisses) to hotel La Pergola, just south of Agadir. Great value for rather little money. Good food, good atmosphere. The very starting point for Oued Sous and Oued Massa. Bigger bar than we could handle.

5 jan 2002 Back to Amsterdam.

Species seen:
Tachybaptus ruficollis Little Grebe
Oued Massa 100s

Morus bassanus Gannet
10s at sea. All ages.

Phalacrocorax carbo Cormorant
c.carbo or c.sinensis

Phalacrocorax carbo maroccanus Morrocan Cormorant
Oued Massa

Bubulcus ibis Cattle Egret
locally common

Egretta garzetta Little Egret
not rare

Ardea cinerea Grey Heron
funny place: 29 dec 2001 Gorge de Torda 1

Ciconia ciconia White Stork
Oued Sous 60

Plegadis falcinellus Glossy Ibis
Oued Sous 1, Oued Massa 4

Platalea leucorodia Spoonbill
Oued Sous 4

Phoenicopterus ruber Greater Flamingo
Oued Sous 90+. 2 White and 1 yellow ringed birds

Anser anser Greylag Goose
Oued Massa 5

Tadorna tadorna Shelduck
Oued Massa and Oued Sous

Mareca penelope Wigeon
Oued Massa 10

Anas crecca Teal
Oued Massa 10

Anas platyrhynchos Mallard
Oued Massa 10

Anas acuta Pintail
Oued Massa 10s

Anas clypeata Shoveler
Oued Massa 10

Marmaronetta angustirostris Marbled Teal
Oued Massa 100s

Aythya ferina Pochard
Oued Massa 100s

Circaetus gallicus Short-toed Eagle
Oued Sous 1

Circus aeruginosus Marsh Harrier
Oued Sous and Oued Massa total of 4

Accipiter nisus Sparrowhawk
4 jan 2002 Oued Massa 1

Buteo rufinus Long-legged Buzzard
total of about 10

Aquila chrysaetos Golden Eagle
pair near Oukaimaiden

Hieraaetus fasciatus Bonelli’s Eagle
Oued Sous 1 2nd cy

Pandion haliaetus Osprey
Oued Sous 1, Oued Massa 3

Falco tinnunculus Kestrel
commonest raptor, though no more than appr. 25

Falco biarmicus Lanner
3 jan 2002 1 pair some 50 km N of Tamri

Falco peregrinus Peregrine
31 dec 2001 Ait Benhaddou 1

Alectoris barbara Barbary Partridge
4 jan 2002 Oued Sous 1, near Tiferhal 1 pair

Gallinula chloropus Moorhen
Oued Massa 3 heard

Fulica atra Coot
Oued Massa 100s+

Grus grus Crane
Oued Massa 5

Haematopus ostralegus Oystercatcher
Oued Massa 10s

Himantopus himantopus Black-winged Stilt
Oued Sous 100s+, Oued Massa +

Burhinus oedicnemus Stone Curlew
Oued Sous 2

Charadrius dubius Little Ringed Plover
28 dec 2001 1 1st cy in muddy pond along C7027
4 jan 2002 10 in muddy field near Oued Massa

Charadrius hiaticula Ringed Plover
4 jan 2002 Oued Sous 1 ad

Pluvialis squatarola Grey Plover
Oued Massa 10s

Calidris alba Sanderling
Oued Massa 10s+

Calidris minuta Little Stint
Oued Massa 10s
Muddy field near Oued Massa 1

Calidris alpina Dunlin
Oued Massa 10s

Philomachus pugnax Ruff
Oued Sous 10

Gallinago gallinago Snipe
Oued Sous 3

Limosa limosa Black-tailed Godwit
Oued Sous 10s

Numenius arquata Curlew
Oued Massa and Oued Sous 10s

Tringa totanus Redshank
Oued Sous and Oued Massa 10s

Tringa nebularia Greenshank
Oued Sous and Oued Massa 10s

Tringa ochropus Green Sandpiper
in all kinds of habitats, total of 10s

Tringa glareola Wood Sandpiper
Oued Massa 2

Actitis hypoleucos Common Sandpiper
Oued Sous and Oued Massa 10s

Stercorarius parasiticus Arctic Skua
at sea near Tamri 1

Larus ridibundus Black-headed Gull

Larus audouinii Audouin's Gull
near Tamri and 15 km N of Agadir 250+

Larus fuscus Lesser Black-backed Gull

Larus michahellis Yellow-legged Gull

Larus argentatus Herring Gull
3 jan 2002 Essaouri 1 ad

Sterna sandvicensis Sandwich Tern
35 some 15 km N of Agadir

Columba livia Rock Dove

Columba palumbus Wood Pigeon
Oued Sous 1 and Oued Massa 1

Streptopelia decaocto Collared Dove

Streptopelia senegalensis Laughing Dove
Oued Massa 3 (2+1)

Clamator glandarius Great Spotted Cuckoo
28 dec 2001 along C7027 1 1st cy
4 jan 2002 Oued Massa 1 2nd cy

Apus apus Swift
2 jan 2002 Essaouri 1 heard

Apus pallidus Pallid Swift
along the coast only: 100s

Upupa epops Hoopoe
Oued Sous 1-2

Picus vaillantii Levaillant's Green Woodpecker
1 jan 2002 at 31º15.37' N 9º 39.56' W 1 female (not far from Oukaimaiden)

Ammomanes cincturus Bar-tailed Desert Lark
rather common between Erfoud and Merzouga and along southern desert route

Ammomanes deserti Desert Lark
rather common. Feathers of dead bird now in Zoological Museum of Amsterdam

Aleamon alaudipes Hoopoe Lark
29 dec 2001 some at Tagdillt track
30 dec 2001 Erfoud-Merzouga 10

Calandrella rufescens Lesser Short-toed Lark
28 dec 2001 2 along C7027

Galerida cristata Crested Lark
very few. 31 dec 2001 Ait Benhaddou first 2 birds. Total <10

Galerida theklae Thekla Lark
very common

Eremophila alpestris atlas Shore Lark
1 and 2 jan 2002 Oukaimaiden 160

Eremophila bilopha Temminck's Horned Lark
29 dec 2001 Tagdillt track 10

Riparia paludicola Brown-throated Sand Martin
3 jan 2002 S of Essaouri 10
4 jan 2002 Oued Sous and Oued Massa

Ptyonoprogne rupestris Crag Martin
rather common

Hirundo rustica Barn Swallow
rather common

Delichon urbica House Martin
not many

Anthus campestris Tawny Pipit
just 1, 4 jan 2002 Oued Sous

Anthus pratensis Meadow Pipit
especially at beach Essaouri. Also at other places.

Anthus spinoletta Water Pipit
31 dec 2001 Ait Benhaddou 1 calling in flight

Motacilla flava Yellow Wagtail
several places. 4 jan 2002 about 15 in 1 palm tree near Oued Massa

Motacilla cinerea Grey Wagtail
at the places you'd expect them

Motacilla alba White Wagtail
all M. a. alba

Motacilla subpersonata Moroccan Wagtail
4 jan 2002 Oued Sous 1 female

Pycnonotus barbatus Common Bulbul

Cinclus cinclus Dipper
2 jan 2002 Oukaimaiden 1

Troglodytes troglodytes Wren
not very many

Erithacus rubecula Robin
rather common

Phoenicurus ochruros Black Redstart
common. 29 dec 2001 Gorge de Torda 1 beautiful male aterrimus

Phoenicurus moussieri Moussier's Redstart
beautiful and rather common

Saxicola rubicola Stonechat

Oenanthe deserti Desert Wheatear
30 dec 2001 Auberge Kasbah Derkaouah 1 male.
31 dec 2001 along southern desert road 1 male

Oenanthe leucura Black Wheatear
rather common in expected habitat

Oenanthe moesta Red-rumped Wheatear
29 dec 2001 Tagdillt track 10-15. Nowhere else

Oenanthe lugens Mourning Wheatear
31 dec 2001 along southern desert road 1 male and probably 2 distant females

Oenanthe leucopyga White-crowned Black Wheatear

Monticola solitarius Blue Rock Thrush
at the expected places

Turdus merula Blackbird
rather common

Turdus philomelos Song Thrush
rather common. Small migrating groups

Turdus viscivorus Mistle Thrush
2 jan 2002 Oukaimaiden 1+2

Cettia cetti Cetti's Warbler
29 dec 2001 Gorge de Torda 1

Cisticola juncidis Fan-tailed Warbler
4 jan 2002 Oued Sous 3-4 in display flight

Scotocerca inquieta Scrub Warbler
31 dec 2001 along southern desert road 2
(31º15.1' N 04º38.34' W)

Sylvia undata Dartford Warbler
just 1 on 28 dec 2001

Sylvia deserticola Tristram's Warbler
2 together on 29 dec 2001 (at least 1 female) between Jorf and Erfoud

Sylvia conspicillata Spectacled Warbler
just a few

Sylvia melanocephala Sardinian Warbler

Sylvia nana Desert Warbler
30 dec 2001 halfway Erfoud-Merzouga 1

Sylvia atricapilla Blackcap
some 10's

Phylloscopus collybita Chiffchaff
especially along the coast abundant.
1 palm tree near Oued Massa contained 15 birds

Turdoides fulvus Fulvous Babbler
30 dec 2001 Auberge Kasbah Derkaouah half way Erfoud-Merzouga
2 jan 2002 some 30 km W of Marakech 5 birds

Parus caeruleus Blue Tit
some nice ultramarini

Parus major Great Tit

Tchagra senegala Black-crowned Tchagra
4 jan 2002 Oued Massa 2. 1 heard, 1 heard and seen
(30º03.5' N 09º 39.56' W)

Lanius meridionalis elegans Southern Grey Shrike
rather common

Lanius senator Woodchat Shrike
just 1: 28 dec 2001

Pica mauritanica Moroccan Magpie
the first at only 4 jan 2002. After that 10's seen the same day Oued Sousa

Pyrrhocorax graculus Alpine (Yellow-billed) Chough
2 jan 2002 Oukaimaiden 150+

Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax Red-billed Chough
1 and 2 jan 2002 Oukaimaiden 200+

Corvus ruficollis Brown-necked Raven
in the dessert. Not very many

Corvus corax Raven
not common. 2 jan 2002 Oukaimaiden 2

Sturnus vulgaris Starling
4 jan 2002 Oued Sous 1

Sturnus unicolor Spotless Starling
good numbers only in Essaouri 3 jan 2002

Passer domesticus House Sparrow
common. Very obviously streaked

Passer hispaniolensis Spanish Sparrow
3 jan 2002 Essaouri 2-3 males

Passer simplex Desert Sparrow
30 dec 2001 1 km from café Jasmina near Merzouga: 34 in one tree.
After that some 10s in the vicinity of Jasmina. What a bird ..!

Petronia petronia Rock Sparrow

Fringilla c. coelebs Chaffinch
common, for instance at Oukaimaiden (where no spodiogenys seen)

Fringilla sopiogenys African Chaffinch
1 jan 2002 on the way to Oukaimaiden 10s

Serinus serinus Serin
abundant. A lot of group display

Chloris chloris Greenfinch

Carduelis carduelis Goldfinch

Carduelis cannabina Linnet
+ (not very many the first days)

Rhodopechys sanguinea Crimson-winged Finch
HIGHLIGHT. See hereunder

Bucanetes githagineus Trumpeter Finch
in total some 10's

Emberiza cirlus Cirl Bunting

Emberiza cia Rock Bunting

Emberiza striolata House Bunting
common and beautiful


Rhodopechys sanguinea Crimson-winged Finch

2 jan 2002 near hotel Chez Ju JU in Oukaimaiden at around 07.35 we heard a bird. It turned out to be sitting on our car..! Very approachable, in the company of a Rock Sparrow and - 10 minutes later - of a second male Crimson-winged Finch. Marga took some photos of the bird sitting on another car (at 31º11.63 N 07º51.385 W)

Guus van Duin