Photos with this report (click to enlarge)
A fifteen day tour of Morocco incorporating a trek around the High Atlas mountains, the sights and sounds of Marrakech, and the seaside beauty of Essaouira provided a wonderful insight into Berber culture, and to birds, plants and other wildlife of this wonderful country. This report concentrates on the birding aspect of the tour.
David Tattersfield (tour leader & botanist)
Alan Miller (co-leader and ornithologist)
Jerry Hatcher South Wales
Steve Gilliard Glos.
Jane Gilliard Glos.
Tom Austin British Columbia, Canada
Gail Austin British Columbia, Canada
Stephen Ashby York
Jane Ashby York
Ian Brookes York
Chris Brookes York
Rob Hardcastle West Yorkshire
Sue Eustace Cheshire
Rob Willis Staffordshire
Marion Brotherston Staffordshire
Day 1 22 May Evening flight from Gatwick to Marrakech. Overnight Hotel Ayoub
Day 2 23 May Full day in Marrakech. Overnight Hotel Ayoub
Day 3 24 May Travel to High Atlas and commence trek near Asni. Camp at Imsker
Day 4 25 May Trek up the Imenane Valley. Afternoon climb above Gliz to campsite
Day 5 26 May Trek to Oukaimeden and overnight in Club Alpin Francais refuge.
Day 6 27 May Trek over Tizi n’ou Addi to campsite near Tachdirt
Day 7 28 May Trek over Tizi n’Tamatert to Aroumd. Overnight in gite.
Day 8 29 May Return walk up Mizane Valley and visit shrine of Sidi Chamharouch
Day 9 30 May Trek over Tizi Mzik to campsite near Tamsoult
Day 10 31 May Return walk to Refuge de la Tazarhart at 3000m.
Day 11 1 June Trek down Azzaden Valley. Camp in valley
Day 12 2 June Trek down Azzaden Valley. Camp opposite Reserve des Moufflons
Day 13 3 June End trek. Drive to Essaouira via Marrakech. Stay at Hotel Beau Rivage
Day 14 4 June Full day at Essaouira. Overnight Hotel Beau Rivage
Day 15 5 June Return to Marrakech for afternoon flight to Gatwick
Sunday 22nd May
During the afternoon members of the tour party arrived at Gatwick airport. Some old acquaintances were renewed, and new friends made. After airport admin and security the group boarded Atlas Blue (previously Royal Air Maroc) flight AT9039 to Marrakech. The flight landed at 11.20pm local time and although late in the evening the temperature was a pleasant 20deg. Once through immigration and with bags collected the group met its local representative and guide, Bouchahoud Mohamed (Haj). The minibus was located and bags loaded. The group had just settled into their seats when the first bird was seen which caused a stir of excitement as a Tawny Owl put in a brief appearance flying past the lights around the Terminal building. It was only a short drive to Hotel Ayoub, the base for two nights.
Monday 23rd May
A bright sunny cloudless day with the temperature rising to 30deg.
The early morning sky was full of Pallid Swifts wheeling over the city. Closer inspection revealed small numbers of Little Swift, a pair of Plain Martin, Red-rumped Swallow and Barn Swallow. A Hobby passed overhead whilst Common Bulbul sang from the wires.
After breakfast we headed for the Medina (old city). A fleet of petit taxis (mainly Peugeot 205’s and Fiat Uno’s) was arranged for the 10-minute journey. Once in the Medina the group met its guide for the morning, Sherif Mustapha. They were then loaded into Caleche (horse-drawn carriages) for a tour around the city walls. The stop to take photographs was appreciated, but not the place, which was next to a rather pungent tip! White Storks were on the city walls.
The next adventure was a walk through the souks. The group visited a communal bake house, the 14th Century Koran School building, experienced the odours at Herboriste La Baraka where the medicinal qualities of herbs, spices and creams were explained, and finally saw a presentation of the many types and styles of carpets. Whilst walking through the Medina Spotless Starlings, House Buntings and a Black Redstart were spotted.
Lunch was taken at Restaurante El Bahja where the group enjoyed a mixture of salad, meatballs, kebabs, sausages, chips, yoghurt and drinks, all for just over £2 a head.
In the afternoon we visited Jardin Majorelle, a peaceful place incorporating a mix of colours, mainly greens and blues, and a number of water features. Birding around the garden turned up Western Olivaceous Warbler, Turtle Dove and a showy Nightingale.
After walking back to the hotel to freshen up we returned to the Medina for the sights and sounds of Djemma el F’na, the main square, where snake charmers, girl boxers, local artistes and salesmen were entertaining the crowds. Dinner was taken in Hotel Foucauld next to the square.
After coffee on the terrace of Café Argana overlooking the square the last six of the group returned to Hotel Ayoub in a Grand taxi (Mercedes) with two and the driver in the front, and four squashed in the back!
Tuesday 24th May
The day dawned clear and sunny and after a leisurely breakfast we departed at 10am for the drive south towards the High Atlas Mountains.
Enroute a stop was made at Tahannout where the weekly souk was taking place for members to wander round and soak up the atmosphere. A Corn Bunting was singing close to the car park upon arrival.
Just through the village of Asni the group met Hussain the cook and the team of muleteers who would be looking after them on the trek. Bags were unloaded, introductions made, and then everyone enjoyed their first trek lunch, a platter of salad (mainly diced tomatoes, onions, peppers, and sweetcorn) with sardines, cheese and local bread followed by fresh melon and mint tea. The surrounding bushes held Serin, Cetti’s Warbler, Chiffchaff, Chaffinch, Spotted Flycatcher and Nightingale.
After lunch the group trekked up the valley to Imsker. Enroute they were treated to views of Golden Oriole, Rock Bunting, Cirl Bunting, Grey Wagtail, Barbary Falcon, Kestrel and the first North African speciality, Moussier’s Redstart. The weather in the lower valley was very hot and reached 32deg in the shade and 40deg in Gail’s rucksack!
The first campsite was in a cherry orchard at Imsker where cherries straight from the tree were sampled before a dinner of soup, stew and fruit.
Wednesday 25th May
The dawn chorus woke most people at 5.30am. The sky was clear and sunny. There was a little wispy cloud later in the day with the temperature rising to 24deg.
It was a brilliant birding start to the day with the nest hole of Levaillant’s Green Woodpecker found in a Eucalyptus tree behind the campsite. Scope views were had of both parents coming to the nest to feed young.
After a 7am breakfast of porridge, breads and jams we set out along the Imenane Valley towards Gliz. More Moussier’s Redstart were seen, together with Black Wheatear, Crag Martin, Blue Rock Thrush, Melodious Warbler and the local race of Magpie of the distinctive North African form.
Lunch was taken on the dry river bed near Gliz under the shade of trees before the hard climb up to a plateau at 7270 feet. It was then a short walk along the plateau to the campsite.
Some members bathed in the mountain stream before a dinner of soup, couscous and vegetables, and mixed fruit. The evening was rounded off with an attempt at singing accompanied by Rob W who produced a pair of rhythm sticks.
Thursday 26th May
We had quickly settled into a routine of waking around 6am, breakfast at 7am then trekking by 8am.
It became obvious that Steve had an interest in insects and Jerry in butterflies. As the days progressed not only did David talk about the many plants, and Alan the birds, but the party would look at bramble bushes for butterflies and turn rocks over for insects and peer into pools for frogs which added another interest and dimension to the trip. Thanks must go to Steve and Gerry for their input. Also David was able to impart many interesting facts about the Berbers and their way of life both whilst passing through villages and when sitting round after dinner once the day’s sightings had been discussed.
Today’s route took the party up through the forest above the campsite, then across a scree slope and to the lush plateau at Oukaimeden. The highest point of the trek so far was just before Oukaimeden at 9030’.
The day started well with a pair of Long-legged Buzzards above the campsite. Rock Bunting, Moussier’s Redstart, Serin, Rock Thrush, Blue Rock Thrush and Firecrest were added as the group passed through the trees, then at the top of the pass and into Oukaimeden the first Seebohm’s Wheatear, Black-eared Wheatear, Shore Lark, Short-toed Lark, Iberian Yellow Wagtail and Rock Sparrow were seen.
The sky was again clear and cloudless with the temperature reaching 24deg. The group arrived at the Club Alpin Francais refuge in time for lunch. The meadow outside was a delight with many Southern Marsh Orchids and a large flock of Chough including a few Alpine Choughs.
After lunch time was taken to examine some prehistoric rock carvings near the refuge but attention was diverted when Jerry and Steve found scorpions under stones nearby. The rest of the afternoon was spent around the nearby reservoir.
Dinner at the refuge was soup, spaghetti and stew followed by pineapple. It turned out to be a noisy evening as a party of young French school children were also staying there and having a last-night party!
Friday 27th May
Another bright, clear, sunny day with a little high cloud in the afternoon and the temperature reaching 24deg.
A 6am rendezvous before breakfast and one group went searching for rare flowers whilst others checked out the birds. Near the refuge was a flock of Crimson-winged Finches feeding with Serin and Linnet on the roadside verge within 10 yards of the observers. Hoopoe, Mistle Thrush, Chough, Alpine Chough and Seebohm’s Wheatear were also nearby.
At 8am the trek continued up to the pass, Tizi n’ou Addi at 9650’. Enroute there were Seebohm’s Wheatear, Moussier’s Redstart, Shore Lark, Black Wheatear, Thekla Lark and displaying behind a resting stop a super Mourning Wheatear. Descending down a steep, rocky mule path towards Tachdirt the group encountered Crag Martin and Rock Bunting. Lunch was disturbed with fantastic views of a Booted Eagle.
The trail led through Tachdirt, the highest inhabited village in the High Atlas, and a stop at a cultivated area revealed Woodchat Shrike, a Quail that flew when nearly trodden on, and the only Tristram’s Warbler of the trip.
Dinner was soup, omelette and salad, and peaches followed by a discussion led by David on Berber life.
Saturday 28th May
At 6am the sky was clear and the sun rising over the mountains but there was a chill in the wind. At 7am as breakfast started there were a few drops of rain in the air and by 8am the wind had strengthened and freshened with more raindrops. Everyone set off in waterproofs except Rob H. who’d left his in his bag on the mule. It hardly mattered as the group had only gone a few hundred yards when the sky cleared so coats were removed. That was the only coat wearing on the trip!
After examining some meadows containing Early Purple Orchids, the trek went along an old, fairly level, mine road to the pass Tizi n’Tamatert before descending to the village of Aroumd. Lodging for the night was a gite beside the river-bed. The building had a flat roof which was ideal as a birding platform and on which some members were intending to sleep out under the stars, however on returning from dinner in the owner’s auberge it was raining steadily. From the roof more swallows and swifts were seen, and the first House Martin. There were also two distant Golden Eagles.
Most people took the opportunity to do some washing on arrival at the gite and some bushes in the courtyard were used for clothes drying and christened the ‘underpants trees’!
Sunday 29th May
The temperature was only 5 degrees at 6am with cold mist rolling up the valley. We set off at 8am for the shrine of Sidi Chamharouch, a place to which many Berbers make a pilgrimage. It is believed that visiting the shrine will cure ailments. Only Muslims are allowed to the shrine itself. Some of the group reported feeling much better when they got back to Aroumd.
After a misty climb with poor visibility the sky cleared a little at the shrine itself. Around the shrine were numerous shops and Steven, Rob W. and David bought themselves fetching Berber headgear. Locals told us that two eagles had been seen perched on rocks above the shrine on the previous days (presumably the Golden Eagles that had been seen the day before) but unfortunately the mist prevented any chance of a view.
Lunch was in a sunny interlude below the shrine with Red-rumped Swallows and Crag Martins passing close by, and Alpine Chough cleaned up the fruit remains. Then half the party continued on up the mule track whilst the rest returned to the gite. The upward party were hoping to climb above the mist but after an hour it seamed to get thicker so the idea was abandoned. A detour was taken along an overgrown cliff path, which proved good for Blackcap, Spotted Flycatcher, Rock Bunting and Hoopoe.
Dinner in the auberge comprised soup, chicken tagine and fresh melon and cherries.
Monday 30th May
Although bright and sunny at 6.15am watching House Martin, Crag Martin, House Bunting, Alpine Chough and Serin from the roof, by breakfast time at 7am the mist had rolled in again so the day’s trek started with poor visibility. The group did see Moussier’s Redstart, Rock Bunting, Blue Rock Thrush and Thekla Lark as it climbed to the pass of Tizi Mzik at 8150’. On the top the temperature was 18deg. Haj produced a mid-morning snack for the group which was a big bag of Fakia, a trail mix, which became a relished feature of mid-morning breaks as the trek continued.
The route down through Juniper trees produced Short-toed Treecreeper and Firecrest before reaching camp near Tamsoult. The stream next to the camp held Dipper and Grey Wagtail.
Dinner comprised soup, vegetable spaghetti, and peaches.
Tuesday 31st May
After a cold night down to 5deg the group woke to a clear sky and by 7am the sun was on the campsite and the temperature shot up.
After a breakfast of fried eggs, the group set off for a walk up to a waterfall above the camp. Around the waterfall were nesting House Martin, Crag Martin, Kestrel and Black Redstart.
As the trail was steep and the group had to return to the same campsite, lunch was carried by a muleteer. Some decided to stay at the waterfall and return for a lazy afternoon whilst others continued up to Refuge de la Tazarhart at 9800’ (3000 metres). Lunch was split and the upward party ate there’s whilst watching the only Alpine Accentors of the trip.
Jerry decided to virtually run back to the campsite from the refuge and managed the distance in 1 hour 4 minutes, which he laid down as a gauntlet to challenge other groups. When the rest of the party reached camp he was bathing in the stream!
Earlier David had negotiated to buy a goat and the muleteers, directed by Hussain the cook, had built a traditional oven for a meschoui. The goat had been killed and prepared and we watched the fire being lit, the goat carcass introduced and the oven sealed.
As dinner was expected to be a little later than normal, afternoon mint tea was enhanced with donuts.
The evening’s dinner commenced with soup and then the meschoui of goat and vegetables followed by pineapple. The evening was rounded off with a light-hearted attempt at Desert Island Discs.
Wednesday 1st June
The day dawned bright, sunny and clear at a warmer temperature of 10deg. Today we started the descent from the High Atlas down the Azzaden Valley.
By midday the group had reached a walnut grove that was used for shade where a lunch of pasta salad, cheese and sardines was enjoyed. A check of the surrounding habitat produced both Levaillant’s Green Woodpecker and Great Spotted Woodpecker.
During the afternoon the group passed through the village of Id Aisa where the family of one of our muleteers, Hussain, lived. The group were able to visit the family home and take mint tea with Hussain’s uncle. Electricity had only reached the village six months earlier and one visible sign was a television and video. The group were amazed as they were proudly shown a Kung Fu video of Bruce Lee with French subtitles, perhaps a sign of times to come.
Camp was under another walnut grove. Jane G and Sue tried their hand at mule riding and whilst dinner was being prepared good views were enjoyed of Jay, Levaillant’s Green Woodpecker, Spotted Flycatcher and Turtle Dove whilst Golden Eagle and Barbary Falcon flew overhead.
Dinner comprised soup, omelette and chips and peaches followed by a round of ‘101 uses for a shower cap’.
Thursday 2nd May
Most of the camp was woken at 5.15am by the dawn chorus of Golden Oriole overhead in the walnut trees. This was shortly followed by a truck engine and local women gathering crops to be loaded onto the vehicle. A pre-breakfast check of the surrounding area produced Nightingale, Blackcap, Levaillant’s Green Woodpecker, Wren, Serin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch and Turtle Dove.
The sky was again clear and sunny with a light breeze. After breakfast the trek continued down the Azzaden Valley passing through many more Berber villages. There were good views of Rock Bunting, Black Wheatear, Dipper and Grey Wagtail.
The last campsite was next to the Reserve des Moufflons, the protected Barbary Sheep, and was set amid Oleander bushes in full flower. Before dinner the group visited the Moufflon viewing platform where it was hoped to see them coming from the hills to a stream just before dusk to drink. Unfortunately none were spied. Returning to camp the only real accident of the trip occurred when Ian slipped crossing the stream and did a Dipper impression. Unfortunately he also dunked his camera in the water.
The last camp dinner was soup, goat couscous, and mixed fruit. This was followed by an impromptu music session where Rob W. joined the singing muleteers and beat out a rhythm on an empty plastic container.
It was the last night on trek so David, Steve and both Janes slept out under the stars. Others had contemplated doing the same until a Mole Cricket was discovered in the mess tent just before bed-time.
Friday 3rd June
Another clear, bright, sunny start to the day at 6am. Final packing took place and a short walk after breakfast saw us say farewell to the muleteers at Wirgane and bags were loaded onto the minibus. As it was still early the group walked a further hour down the valley, which proved very productive with good views of Cuckoo, Roller, House Bunting, Turtle Dove, Common Bulbul, Sardinian Warbler and Western Subalpine Warbler.
After joining the minibus a stop was made at Asni to view a roadside colony of nesting White Stork and Cattle Egret before continuing on to Marrakech. Lunch was again taken at Restaurante El Bahja before calling at Hotel Ayoub to collect cases left during the trek. Whilst bags were being sorted a sky watch revealed the only White-rumped Swift of the trip.
The afternoon drive to the coastal town of Essaouira was broken by a few stops, one at La Cooperative Feminine Tiguemine Argane to see the production of products from Argan nuts. Just outside Essaouira a viewpoint over the town produced four new birds; Eleonora’s Falcon, Western Yellow-legged Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull and Crested Lark. Unfortunately heat haze detracted from the panoramic view.
The hotel for the next two nights was Hotel Beau Rivage, overlooking the main square with access to the Medina and souks. Dinner was taken at Restaurante Essalam where most people tried Harira, a traditional Moroccan soup, and a Tagine.
Saturday 4th June
Essaouira lived up to its name as ‘the windy city’ with a strong gale blowing from the Atlantic, however the sky was bright and sunny.
After breakfast half the group got a lift to the far side of the bay and walked out onto the marshes. A whole array of new birds were present including Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Sanderling, Ringed Plover, Spoonbill, Common Tern, Sandwich Tern and Grey Heron. We enjoyed a few light-hearted moments paddling and sea-watching in the Atlantic, and sliding down the sand dunes. During the walk back to the old town a group of Collared Pratincole flew overhead.
The whole group assembled for a fish lunch near the harbour and were amused as a Western Yellow-legged Gull landed on the adjacent fish display and helped itself to two sardines before being chased away.
The afternoon was free time to wander round the Medina and Souks which everyone enjoyed as a hassle-free experience compared to the manic pace and hassle of Marrakech.
The final evening was spent at Restaurante Beldy enjoying another traditional Moroccan meal and reminiscing over the trip. The service was a little slow for some, but the food was delicious.
Sunday 5th June
A last view over the harbour was thwarted due to a heavy see fret. Most took it as a sign to leave! After breakfast the minibus was loaded and the group departed Essaouira.
The mist cleared as the group headed inland and a stop was made near Mogador to scan for larks. The stop turned out to be next to a local dump. Members were delighted to get excellent views of Stone Curlew whilst Bee-eaters flew close by.
The last stop of the trip was at Al Menara near the airport where the temperature had risen to 36deg. and it was too hot for some. The group arrived at the airport around midday, booked in then said fond farewells and thanks to Haj.
The return flight was again by Atlas Blue, which left on time and landed at Gatwick at 7.15pm to a cloudy evening with a temperature of 14deg.
Farewells were made and the trip came to an end.
1. Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo maroccanus – 4 at Essaouira on 4th.
2. Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis – 3 at Marrakech on 23rd. 50+ around Asni on 24th & 3rd.
3. Little Egret Egretta garzetta – 3 at Essaouira on 4th.
4. Grey Heron Ardea cinerea – 2 at Essaouira on 4th.
5. Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia – 11 at Essaouira on 4th.
6. White Stork Ciconia ciconia – 24+ at Marrakech on 23rd. 25+ at Asni on 24th & 3rd
7. Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos – 2 on 28th near Aroumd. 1 on 1st in Azzaden Valley
8. Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus – 1 at Marrakech on 23rd. 1 at Oukaimeden on 26th. 2 on 27th and 1 on 28th near Tachdirt
9. Black Kite Milvus migrans – 1 at Marrakech on 23rd. 1 at Essaouira on 4th.
10. Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus cirtensis – 2 near Gliz on 26th.
11. Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus – 1 near Gliz on 25th. 2 on 1st & 1 on 2nd in Azzaden Valley
12. Kestrel Falco tinnunculus – seen almost daily on tour. Max. 5 on 24th
13. Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo – 1 over Marrakech on 23rd.
14. Eleonora’s Falcon Falco eleonorae – 5 on 3rd, 10 on 4th & 2 on 5th at Essaouira
15. Barbary Falcon Falco pelegrinoides – 1 on 24th near Imsker. 1 on 1st in Azzaden Valley
16. Barbary Partridge Alectoris barbara – seen & heard regularly on trek.
Max 7 on 12th
17. Common Quail Coturnix coturnix – Heard on trek. 1 seen near Tachdirt on 27th.
18. Stone Curlew Burhinus oedicnemus – 1 at Mogador on 5th
19. Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola – 5 at Essaouira on 4th
20. Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula – 18 at Essaouira on 4th
21. Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus – 2 at Essaouira on 4th
22. Sanderling Calidris alba – 8 at Essaouira on 4th
23. Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres – 6 at Essaouira on 4th
24. Dunlin Calidris alpina – 30 at Essaouira on 4th
25. Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea – 1 at Essaouira on 4th
26. Western Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis – up to 300 daily at Essaouira
27. Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus – 6 on 3rd & 40 on 4th at Essaouira
28. Little Tern Sterna albifrons – 200+ at Essaouira on 4th
29. Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis – 4 at Essaouira on 4th
30. Common Tern Sterna hirundo – 1 at Essaouira on 4th
31. Caspian Tern Sterna caspia – 1 at Essaouira on 4th
32. Black Tern Chlidonias niger – 50+ at Essaouira on 4th
33. Rock Dove Columba livia – seen daily in High Atlas
33a. Feral Pigeon Columba livia (domest.) – Good numbers around Marrakech,
Essaouira and lower Atlas villages
34. Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus – seen almost daily on tour
35. Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto – Up to 10 seen at Marrakech and Essaouira
36. Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur – 1 or 2 seen at Marrakech & Azzaden Valley
Up to 12 seen at Essaouira
37. Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus – 3 near Wirgane on 3rd. Also heard on trek.
38. Tawny Owl Strix aluco – 1 at Marrakech airport on 22nd. Heard at camp on 1st
39. Pallid Swift Apus pallidus – 200+ at Marrakech and 150+ at Essaouira
On trek 4 on 28th, 1 on 29th & 5 on 30th
40. Alpine Swift Apus melba – 4 at Oukaimeden on 27th
41. White-rumped Swift Apus caffer – 1 at Marrakech on 5th
42. Little Swift Apus affinis – Up to 6 over Marrakech and Essaouira
43. Hoopoe Upapa epops – heard on trek. 1 seen Oukaimeden 27th & Mizane Vly on 29th
44. European Bee-eater Merops apiaster – 3 nr. Wirgane on 3rd & 4 at Mogador on 5th
45. European Roller Coracias garrulus – 1 near Imsker on 24th, 2 near Wirgane on 4th
46. Levaillant’s Green Woodpecker Picus vaillantii – 2 adults at nest hole with juv on 25th at Imsker, 2 in Mizane Valley on 29th, 5 in Azzaden Valley on 1st & 2 on 2nd, 2 at Essaouira on 4th
47. Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major – 1 near Oukaimeden on 26th, 1 near Tachdirt on 28th. 1 in Azzaden Valley on 1st
48. Crested Lark Galerida cristata – 1 enroute Asni on 24th, 2 on 3rd& 4th at Essaouira
8 at Mogador on 5th
49. Thekla Lark Galerida theklae – 4 Tizi n’ou Addi on 27th, 4 Tizi Mzik on 30th
50. Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla – 1 at Oukaimeden on 26th
51. Shore Lark Eremophila alpestris atlas – 6 on 26th & 9 on 27th near Oukaimeden
52. Plain Martin Riparia paludicola – 2 at Marrakech on 23rd
53. Crag Martin Ptyonoprogne rupestris – Up to 10 seen almost daily in High Atlas.
54. House Martin Delichon urbica – 1 at Marrakech on 23rd, 2 at Essaouira on 4th,
Up to 6 seen almost daily in High Atlas
55. Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica – Up to 20 at Marrakech, up to 8 at Essaouira,
2 at Aroumd on 28th
56. Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica - Seen almost daily on tour. Max 20 on 26th
57. White Wagtail Motacilla alba – 1 at Essaouira on 4th
58. Iberian Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava iberiae – 1 at Oukaimeden on 26th
59. Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea – Seen regularly on trek. Max 10 on 31st
60. Wren Troglodytes troglodytes – Heard daily on trek. Seen on 6 occasions.
61. White-throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus – seen regularly on trek. Max 4 on 29th
62. Common Bulbul Pycnonotus barbatus – Up to 25 at Marrakech and 4 at Essaouira.
Also small numbers in lower Atlas valleys
63. Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris – 4 on 31st at Refuge de la Tazarhart
64. Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos – Often heard. Singles seen at Marrakech
on 23rd, near Asni on 24th, near Gliz on 25th & near Wirgane on 3rd
65. Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros – 1 at Marrakech on 23rd. Seen regularly
on trek; max 6 on 27th
66. Moussier’s Redstart Phoenicurus moussieri – Common on trek. Max 24 on 26th
67. Seebohm’s Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe seebohmi – 4 on 26th & 7 on 27th near Oukaimeden
68. Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe hispanica – 1 on 26th near Oukaimeden,
2 on 3rd near Wirgane and 2 on 4th at Essaouira
69. Mourning Wheatear Oenanthe lugens halophila – 1 above Oukaimeden on 27th
70. Black Wheatear Oenanthe leucura – Seen regularly on trek. Max 5 on 25th
71. Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius – 2 near Gliz on 24th, 1 near Oukaimeden on
25th, 4 near Tizi n’ou Addi on 27th and 1 near Tizi Mzik on 30th
72. Rock Thrush Monticola saxatilis – 2 near Oukaimeden on 26th
73. Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus – 1 on 26th & 2 on 27th at Oukaimeden
74. Common Blackbird Turdus merula – Common throughout tour
75. Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla – singles seen near Gliz on 25th, Aroumd on 29th,
Tamsoult on 30th and Azzaden Valley on 2nd
76. Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala – 2 on 3rd near Wirgane and 1 on
4th at Essaouira
77. Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans – 2 on 2nd & 1 on 3rd in Azzaden Valley
78. Tristram’s Warbler Sylvia deserticola – 1 near Tachdirt on 27th
79. Cetti’s Warbler Cettia cetti – 1 near Asni on 24th
80. Melodious Warbler Hippolais polyglotta – 1 near Gliz on 25th
3 at Essaouira on 4th
82. Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita – 1 near Asni on 24th
83. Firecrest Regulus ignicapillus – 1 or 2 seen on 4 days in High Atlas
84. Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata – Except Marrakech, up to 8 seen regularly
85. Great Tit Parus major – seen almost daily. Max 6 on 28th
86. Coal Tit Parus ater – 1’s & 2’s seen almost daily on trek
87. Blue Tit Parus caeruleus ultramarines – Up to 4 seen almost daily on trek.
88. Short-toed Treecreeper Certhia brachydactyla – 3 on 30th near Tizi Mzik
89. Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator – 2 on 24th enroute Asni, 2 on 27th near Tachdirt,
3 on 13th near Wirgane & 5 on 5th at Mogador
90. Southern Grey Shrike Lanius meridionalis – 1 at Marrakech on 23rd, 1 enroute Asni
on 24th, 2 near Wirgane on 3rd and 3 at Essaouira on 4th
91. Common Magpie Pica pica mauritanica – seen regularly on trek. Max 9 on 30th
92. Jay Garrulus glandarius – 1 near Gliz on 25th, 1 on 1st & 2 on 2nd in Azzaden Valley
93. Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax – up to 500 most days in High Atlas
94. Alpine Chough Pyrrhocorax graculus – seen daily in high areas. Max 200 on 30th
95. Common Raven Corvus corax – up to 4 seen regularly in High Atlas
96. Spotless Starling Sturnus unicolor – seen at Marrakech and Essaouira
97. Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus – 1 near Asni on 24th, 2 in Azzaden Valley on 2nd &
1 at Essaouira on 4th
98. House Sparrow Passer domesticus – Seen regularly on trip
99. Rock Sparrow Petronia petronia – 20 at Oukaimeden on 26th & 27th
100. Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs africana – >20 seen regularly on trek and at Essaouira.
101. Linnet Carduelis cannabina – Seen on trek and at Essaouira. Max 50 on 27th.
102. Goldfinch Carduelis Carduelis – >4 seen most days between 26th and 5th
103. Greenfinch Carduelis chloris – 1 or 2 seen regularly on trip.
104. Serin Serinus serinus - >40 seen daily on trek and at Essaouira
105. Crimson-winged Finch Rhodopechys sanguinea – 16 at Oukaimeden on 27th
106. Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus – 1 near Asni on 24th
107. Corn Bunting Miliaria calandra – single birds seen on 24th, 26th, 27th & 28th
108. Rock Bunting Emberiza cia - >12 seen daily on trek
109. House Bunting Emberiza striolata sahari – 3 at Marrakech on 23rd, >5 in on trek on
28th,29th, 30th, 1st & 3rd. 3 at Essaouira on 4th.
Small White Pieris rapae
Large White Pieris brassicae
Bath White Pontia daplidice
Green-veined White Pieris napi
Wall Brown Lasiommata megera
Scarce Swallowtail Iphiclides podalirius
Moroccan Orange Tip Anthocaris belia euphenoides
Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni
Clouded Yellow Colias crocea
Cleopatra Gonepteryx cleopatra
Cardinal Pandoriana pandora
Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria
Lorquin’s Blue Cupido lorquinii
Amanda’s Blue Agrodiaetus amanda
Adonis Blue Lysandra bellargus
Mazarine Blue Cyaniris semiargus
Moroccan Small Skipper Thymelicus hamza
Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas
Purple-shot Copper Heodes alciphron
Moroccan Marbled White Melanargia lucasi
Vaucher’s Heath Coenonympha vaucheri
Marbled Skipper Carcharodus lavatherae
Giant Grayling Berberia abdelkader
Rosy grizzled Skipper Pyrgus onopordi
Painted Lady Cynthia cardui
Moroccan Meadow Brown Hyponephele maroccana
Green Hairstreak Callophrys rubi
Purple Hairstreak Quercusia quercus
Comma Polygonia c-album
Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus
Dark Green Fritillary Mesoacidalia aglaja
Glanville Fritillary Melitaea cinxia
Brown Argus Aricia agestis
Moorish Gecko Tarentola mauritanica
Atlas Agama Agama impalearis
Wall Lizard Podarcis hispanica?
Lizard sp. (black with small white spots covering whole body)
Barbary Ground Squirrel Atlantoxerus getulus
Red Fox Vulpes vulpes
OTHER ITEMS OF INTEREST
Green Toad Bufo debilis
Marsh/Pond Frog Rana ridibunda?
Scorpion Buthus occitanus
Field Cricket Gryllus campestris
Shield Bug Aethus flavicornis
Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum
Gloworm Lampyris noctiluca
Scarab Beetle Scarabaeus semipunctatus
7-spot Ladybird Coccinella 7-punctata
Buprestid Beetle Anthaxia lungarica
Mole Cricket Gryllotaipa gryllotaipa
Cricket Gryllomorpha dalmatina
Golden-ringed Dragonfly Cordulegaster boltonii
Beetle Mylabris polymorpha
Violet Carpenter Bee
Hummingbird Hawk Moth