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After gaining inspiration from several trip reports backed with a long harboured ambition to visit, I decided to journey to Morocco with Alan Clewes, Andy Clifton and Stuart Piner in early April 2005.
Our simple aim of this trip was to see as much as we could in a little over a week and really aim to locate and appreciate several ‘target’ species that can be found in this extremely diverse country. We flew to Casablanca and performed a circular route - travelling as far north as Merdja Zerga, then traversing the Middle Atlas to reach the extreme south-east of the country at Erfoud and then heading west towards Agadir before heading north again to Casablanca.
Due to the restrictions on dates (due to work commitments for some of us), we were forced to travel using the comparatively expensive British Airways option (£386 per person including taxes) in order to optimize our time in Morocco. Additionally, our travel within the Easter holidays further ensured our inflated air price compared to other times of year or carrier (for example return flights by Airtours from Manchester to Agadir were available for as little as £199 including taxes in March 2004 – for further details see Chris Batty’s trip report).
We left London Heathrow mid afternoon on Saturday 2nd April (arriving in Casablanca mid evening) and returned from Casablanca late morning the following Sunday. Unfortunately, on arrival at the check-in desk for our return flight, we were told that there was no space on the flight despite the fact that we had a ticket (this was apparently due to the cancellation of a flight the previous day). After much conveyance that the reason why we had flown British Airways was so that such a situation would not occur, we were flown back to Heathrow (via Paris) with Air France and BMI for no additional charge.
Car hire was booked through the Holiday Autos website with Budget as our ground agent for a total of £393 for a Toyota Avensis with an additional local charge for a second driver. Unfortunately, due to one of our party mislaying the car keys near Erfoud, we had to transfer to a Peugeot 406 midway through our trip (which we picked up at the Budget office in the centre of Ouarzazate). This episode, occurring due to our own incompetence, highlighted the need to use a recognised ground agent with offices located throughout the country.
Overnight accommodation was found on arrival at each destination with relative ease, although we did struggle to find suitable accommodation near the airport at Casablanca on our final night and were forced to stay within the city itself. Typical decent standard accommodation cost £10 - £15 per person per night although we found acceptable standards for as little as £4.50 per person in central Ouarzazate. Additionally, a couple of us stayed at the Auberge Kasbah Dakaoua (whilst the other two decided upon the car) for one night where tented accommodation and an evening meal were priced at £28 per person. Outrageously luxurious for the meagre price of £10 per person, and worthy of a special mention, was the Auberge Kasbah Tombouctou at Merzouga.
Expecting food to be of variable standard to say the least, we had our usual contingency supply of nutri-grain bars. Thankfully, we were more than impressed by the general standard and soon put the ‘bread and crisps’ diet to the back of our mind and tucked into tajines almost every evening with the less culinary adventurous amongst our party enjoying a regular supply of pizzas and burgers. The only disappointment came in Agadir where, all psyched up for a McDonald’s breakfast, we found out that this establishment doesn’t offer these ‘early morning feasts’ in Morocco. Throughout the trip, we ensured that we only drank bottled water and all members of the team remained perfectly healthy throughout.
The local currency, the dirham (£1 equalled 15 dirhams during our visit), is a restricted currency and cannot be taken out of the country and is not available abroad. However it is easy to purchase within the country as all towns that we visited contained ATM machines that accepted internationally recognised cards. For the latest currency rates, details can be found at www.oanda.com.
Although Morocco is a large country, there is a relatively standard ‘birding route’ with several sites of interest being pinpointed by birders in order to see a variety of the target species. ‘Finding Birds in Northern Morocco’ and ‘Finding Birds in Southern Morocco’, both by Dave Gosney, were invaluable to the trip and can be purchased from Birdguides with updated details available. The new edition of ‘A Birdwatchers’ Guide to Morocco’ by Patrick and Fedora Bergier was also useful, in particular as it covers many sites that Gosney does not mention as well as providing tips for accommodation. ‘A Birdwatching Guide to Morocco’ by Pete Combridge and Alan Snook was relatively light in terms of content for our purpose. A 1992 Morocco trip report by Tim Allwood et al, purchased from Steve Whitehouse’s FBRIS some years ago, provided details for our Tristram’s Warbler site.
We used a 1:800,000 GeoCenter World Map of Morocco throughout our visit; purchased from Stanfords. A Lonely Planet guide to Morocco was also used during the trip, allowing us to discover the range of accommodation available in areas that we wished to visit. The Collins Bird Guide (Mullarney, Svensson, Zetterstrom and Grant) was used throughout the trip while the 17 CD set Die Vogelstimmen by Andreas Schulze was also a useful resource.
Websites and acknowledgements
Information on birdwatching in Morocco can be gained from the many trip reports to be found on various websites such as Surfbirds, Eurobirding and Birdtours. Additionally, Go-South contains recent Moroccan sightings and further information on birdwatching in Morocco. Particularly useful is Chris Batty’s report from March 2004 whilst further information was kindly provided by Chris Batty, Martijn Bot, Tony Clarke, Dave Farrow, Andrew Holden, Marnix Jonker, James Lidster and Arnoud van den Berg.
We were impressed by the standard of roads in the country, with asphalt surfaces experienced everywhere except between Erfoud and Merzouga. With little traffic and relatively low speed limits, the Moroccan police force are exceptionally hot on speed traps using radar guns. These tended to all be located on the outskirts of city limits (where the 40 km per hour zones continue inexplicably far from the built-up areas) or on the auto-routes in the north of the country. Although we had been warned about night driving, the only danger we noted were the many pedestrians on conurbation peripheries and the odd motorbike with little in the way of lights.
In the Erfoud area, if you are travelling in a conventional car, it is currently not possible to drive the old road to Merzouga due to re-construction. However, if you continue from Erfoud to Rissani and proceed along the asphalt road east of Rissani, Merzouga (and Auberge Kasbah Dakaoua) can be successfully accessed along the sandy tracks leading off the main road.
Moroccan people have a reputation to enjoy a bit of haggling – our visit was no exception. Conversely, though, this is done in a friendly way and on no occasion did we feel as though we had to buy anything or were being swindled. The only slight problem that we had to deal with was when our guide failed to produce the hoped for Houbara – having negotiated a reduced rate of pay for the lack of this species (as everybody in Erfoud will claim to be able to show you Houbara), he appeared slightly surprised when we presented him with the amount. After initially giving us a sob story, he then claimed that he would phone the police! I calmly announced that this was an impossibility as he had no battery left on his phone (as I had picked this up from his earlier actions) and, realising he was not going to extract any more cash from us, shook our hands laughing and drove off.
The only area where you may experience ‘in your face harassment’ will be in the town of Erfoud. One way to combat this, and to make this part of your trip a little less stressful, would be to hire the services of Idriss or his brother – both multi-lingual guides and top blokes who can point you in the direction of Desert Sparrows etc. Additionally, when we lost our car keys at the Pharaoh Eagle Owl site near Rissani they were able to fetch mechanics and arrange taxis so that we could (eventually) continue our trip.
Finally, it would be advisable to have at least one member of your crew to be conversant in French – though this is not a necessity, my French had to be fully utilised when we were sorting out our second hire car of the trip with Budget in Ouarzazate!
A brief outline of our trip (with approximate driving times) is detailed below: -
Saturday drove north from Casablanca airport to Temara-plage (south of Rabat) where we stayed overnight.
Sunday Sidi Yahya at dawn then drove to Merdja Zerga (c.2 ½ hour drive). 1 ½ hour drive back south to Lac de Sidi Bourhaba (and Mehdiya Plage) and finally driving (3 ½ hours) to Ifrane where we stayed overnight at the Hotel Chamonix.
Monday Dayet Aoua from first light then a couple of hours driving (after several roadside stops) to Zaida. An hour or so drive to Col Talghomt (south-east of Midelt) with a further 2 ½ hour drive to a site 43km west of Errachidia. Overnight at the Auberge Kasbah Tombouctou at Merzouga (after searching for Egyptian Nightjar).
Tuesday Merzouga area from early morning with a visit to the Auberge Erg Chebbi and the wadi adjacent to the Auberge Kasbah Dakaoua then the late morning and afternoon spent on a 4x4 in the desert area north-east of Erfoud and east of Aoufouss. Evening birding at the Auberge Kasbah Dakaoua with an overnight stay here.
Wednesday a short early morning drive from the Auberge Kasbah Dakaoua to cliffs 4.9km west of Rissani. 5 hour drive west to Ouarzazate with overnight accommodation in the town centre.
Thursday stony desert area from 57km east of Ouarzazate to similar areas 26km west of Ouarzazate til dusk. Overnight drive of c.8 hours to area south of Guelmine (punctuated with a visit to Agadir airport and Oued Sous for Red-necked Nightjar). Overnight in the car just south of Guelmine.
Friday stony desert areas up to 22km south of Guelmine til mid morning then a couple of hours drive north to Oued Massa and then, finally, an hour or so drive to Oued Sous on the southern fringes of Agadir for dusk. Overnight at the Hotel Pergola near Oued Sous.
Saturday Oued Sous early morning with a couple of hours drive north along the coast to Tamri. Brief stop at Essaouira with a 2 ½ hour drive to Cape Beddouza (for a brief bit of seawatching) and then a further half hour or so drive to the vast coastal lagoons between El Oualidia and Sidi-Moussa (south of El-Jadida). Overnight spent in Casablanca city centre.
Sunday departure from Casablanca airport late morning.
I have aimed to write this report considering two distinctly different types of birder. Firstly the ‘target birds’ section will be of use to those individuals who are considering a similar clean-up trip and have a distinct interest in the locations of specific species. Secondly, the daily sightings section will hopefully cater for those birders who are more interested in the avian diversity that is offered at each site or are largely confined to a specific geographic area due to, for example, a family holiday.
Target Birds Found
6 on the open water at the mouth of the Oued Massa (Gosney Southern page 10 site 6). There was no water in the lake at Merzouga and we similarly failed to locate any water north of Maadid, near Erfoud (where this species had been seen the previous week).
The long-staying drake was easily located with the Pochard flock south of the causeway at Lac de Sidi Bourhaba (Gosney Northern page 10 site 3).
8 at Lac de Sidi Bourhaba south of the causeway (Gosney Northern page 10 site 3). 2 on the pools at Oued Massa (Gosney Southern page 10 site 6) and 2 on lagoons between Oualidia to Sidi Moussa (Gosney Northern page 18).
1 by the asphalt road by the entrance to the car park at Sidi Yahya (Gosney Northern page 12 site 1) and another adjacent to the road 3.5km beyond the hunting lodge returning to Sidi Yahya village. A further individual on roadside rock face between Ouarzazate and Tazenakht by a small pink castle-type building near the ‘Agadir 297’ post and 3 birds flushed from coastal scrub at the Oued Sous (Gosney Southern page 8 site 2).
At least 3 males calling from dawn, audible from the car park at Sidi Yahya (Gosney Northern page 12 site 1) including 1 bird located in the scrub immediately adjacent to the car park. Early morning mist, however, reduced our chances of locating any further calling birds in the valley. Although the directions in Gosney are adequate, further directions to the site from Temara may be helpful. Approaching Temara from the main coast road, go straight on at the first x-roads in the town and then turn right at the t-junction. Follow this road for 1.4km and turn left, at the next t-junction turn right and then turn left at the obvious cross-roads. Drive down this road for c.9km when you will reach the village of Sidi Yahya – just before you reach the village proper, take the obvious right as the road goes downhill and follow this road for 13km passing the hunting lodge on your right. The car park can be reached via an unobvious track on the right a few hundred metres before the ‘Sidi Betache 17km’ post.
Northern Bald Ibis
This species was easily observed from the main road between 6 and 9km north of Tamri village. Additionally, we stumbled upon the colony where we were informed that at least 200 individuals were present this year. For obvious reasons, it is necessary not to reveal the location of this colony.
3 individuals showed very well over poppy and arable fields 1.5km north of the hunting lodge (i.e. back towards the village of Sidi Yahya from the ‘car park’) at Sidi Yahya. A further individual was seen by the roadside between Casablanca town and the airport.
1 south of Guelmine and south of the bridge over the Oued Sayad on telegraph posts adjacent to the ‘Tan Tan 122’ post and directly opposite a camel sign (Gosney Southern page 2 site 2).
2 were located in reeds to the south of the causeway at Lac de Sidi Bourhaba (Gosney Northern page 10 site 3).
At least 15 at Lac de Sidi Bourhaba (Gosney Northern page 10) and at least 30 on the lake at Dayet Aoua (Gosney Northern page14 sites 1 and 2).
We readily stumbled upon this species in pretty much any suitable desert habitat. 5 were located north of Zaida c.2km south of the junction to Itzer, at least 9 in the area 43km west of Errachidia, 5 c.15km east of Ouarzazate and 3 south-west of the junction to Marrakech/Agadir ‘348’ (26km west of Ouarzazate).
7 flew north over the desert area just west of the ‘Agadir 421’ post east of Ouarzazate (and east of Skirou).
3 in the stony desert south of the main road 55km east of Ouarzazate.
Regularly encountered in southern and south-eastern areas of habitation such as Erfoud, Errachidia and Ouarzazate.
Pharaoh Eagle Owl
The ‘popular’ individual was easily located roosting in its favoured cave west of Rissani. Heading north from Rissani village, you will soon locate a green Ziz petrol station on your left. Immediately after this turn left on the road signposted to Alnif and clock 4.9km from here and park adjacent to the roadside near the ‘Alnif 84’ km post. There is an obvious ridge of rocks immediately to the north of the road – walk along the eastern base of these for approximately 1.5km until you reach a low ridge of rocks followed by a fairly large ‘slag mound’. Climb this largest mound and look at 11 o’clock where you will locate the favoured cave just to the left of an obvious fault in the cliff-face.
4 birds showed well at the south end of Merdja Zerga. From the main coast road, take the turn off to Moullay Bousselham. Instead of driving to this village, proceed south along the road east of Merdja Zerga, through the village of Gnafdi, for several kilometres until you reach an obvious bridge over the Nados Canal. Turn right onto the sandy track immediately after the bridge and drive as far as you can and park in the poplar woodland on the left. Continuing on foot, with the canal on your right, the poplars will end and the Marsh Owls were located over the first extensive area of juncos on the left hand side (Gosney Northern page 6 site 5). Note that these birds are vulnerable to disturbance and, under no circumstances, should you stray from the path.
3 birds were readily seen, and heard singing, at dusk at the Oued Sous (Gosney Southern page 8 site 3). We had excellent views of one individual on the entrance track immediately before you reach the car park by the guard building. In a brief midnight search at Agadir airport, we were unable to locate this species.
At least a couple were seen at Casablanca airport on our departure.
One was noted on wires in the village of Aoufouss (to the north of Erfoud) and a further 3 in the small village to the west of ‘Skirou 12’ km post (east of Ouarzazate). Several were also seen by other observers during our visit on the road between Timejdad and Erfoud.
Levaillant’s Green Woodpecker
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At least 3 showed well at Dayet Aoua (in the roadside trees between Gosney Northern page 14 sites 2 and 3). One was also heard in Ifrane town centre immediately adjacent to the Hotel Chamonix.
This is a typical species of the sandy desert in the south of the country. At least 6 were noted on either side of the main road 43km west of Errachidia, several were seen on our 4x4 trip into the desert north-east of Erfoud and a few were also present 22km south of Guelmine (Gosney Southern page 2 site 3).
The fluty song of this species is instantly recognisable and far carrying in the arid, stony desert areas of the south. 2 pairs were located on our 4x4 drive into the desert north-east of Erfoud with additional birds being present in suitable habitat 55km and 57km east of Ouarzazate.
At least 3 showed well, with birds present on either side of the road, 43km west of Errachidia.
In an excellent year for this species, two pairs were seen (one pair either side of the road) 43km west of Errachidia and at least 5 showed well on the stony desert a couple of hundred metres to the west of the road near the ‘Guelmin 22’ km post (Gosney Southern page 2 site 3) . The week prior to our visit, this species had been noted 4km east of Mellab on the road west of Erfoud towards Timejdad.
A pair showed to a few yards in the desert area to the south of the main road 43km west of Errachidia.
Only seen in the Oued Massa area (Gosney Southern page 10) – from the main road, take the turning to Massa village. At the t-junction turn left and proceed for a couple of km until you reach a bridge over a dried up river bed and park here (Gosney Southern page 10 site 8). Walk right from this bridge and this species nests in the riverbank several hundred metres along the rough path. Other birds were located over the arable fields adjacent to the river (near Gosney Southern page 10 site 4).
Two in the drainage ditch running at right angles to the path opposite the guard hut at the Oued Sous (Gosney Southern page 8). The only other individual noted was near the bridge over the Ksob Wadi south of Essaouira (Gosney Southern page 4 site 2).
Seen regularly and fairly numerous on the coastal strip from Guelmine (Gosney Southern page 2) north to Sidi Yahya (Gosney Northern page 12).
At least 4 males at Dayet Aoua along the track to the ‘orchard’ (Gosney Northern page 14) with a further male by the roadside south of Azrou, a pair by the roadside 55km north of Rich, 3+ at the ‘Tristram’s Warbler site’ south-east of Midelt on the Tizi-n-Tairhemt pass and several on the Oued Massa reserve (Gosney Southern page 10).
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We only noted this species between Azrou and Itzer (south of Ifrane and north of Zeida) where several were noted by the roadside in suitable Middle Atlas habitat.
Common in desert areas near Erfoud, Guelmine and Ouarzazate.
Surprisingly, we only noted this species at two sites – appeared common in the desert area south of Guelmine with at least 3 noted to the west of the road adjacent to the ‘Guelmine 22’ km post (Gosney Southern page 2 site 3) and a family party just south of the Oued Sayad (Gosney Southern page 2 site 2). A further individual showed well on the plains 13km south of Zeida (Gosney Northern page 16).
Western Mourning Wheatear
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A pair showed well by the roadside 29km west of Ouarzazate. 26km west of Ouarzazate on the main road you will reach a junction where ‘Agadir 348’ km is to the left and Marrakech is straight on – continue in the direction of Marrakech. The birds were immediately adjacent to the ‘Ouarzazate 29’ km post with the male singing from the roadside wires to the left of the road and the female showing well on the rocky hillside to the right of the road. Searching of stony desert areas up to 57km east of Ouarzazate proved fruitless (including last year’s site south of the road at ‘Ouarzazate 55’ km post).
White-crowned Black Wheatear
Commonly seen in the Erfoud and Ouarzazate desert areas.
Much less numerous than the previous species with singles noted in Zeida town (Gosney Northern page 16), by the main road west of the Tizi-n-Tairhemt pass 55km north of Rich and 1 by the obvious road tunnel on the main road north of Errachidia.
A pair (of the race saharae) were seen 43km west of Errachidia north of the main road. Just west of the ‘Errachidia 43’ km post, park by the bridge over the small wadi. Looking north-west from the bridge, you will note an obvious area of low green scrub that you need to walk towards. After walking through the first 150 yards or so of these bushes, you will come to an area of bare sand and then another, more extensive area of bushes will start fairly imminently. We located this species after a further 200 yards on the eastern edge of this more extensive area. Additionally, we failed to find this species (of the race theresae) in the bushes west of the main road south of Guelmine immediately south of the Oued Sayad and to the east of the plastic covered structures (Gosney Southern page 2 site 2).
In early April, this species has returned to its mid altitude breeding areas and, as such, we located a pair at a favoured site south-east of Midelt on the Tizi-n-Tairhemt pass. If you are coming from Midelt, park in the lay-by on the hairpin bend by the ‘Er-Rich 51’ and ‘Errachidia 114’ signpost exactly 1.5km before you reach the pass summit (signed Col Talghomt 1907m). You will know this is the correct locality as the roadside rock face is strewn with obvious graffiti and an ‘attention au feu’ (fire) sign is also present. Walk down the obvious valley and the birds favour the bushes to the left of the ravine.
African Desert Warbler
A pair showed well to the north of the road 43km west of Errachidia (see Scrub Warbler for site directions) – they favoured the scrub c.400 yards north of the road before flying into the obvious bright green ‘strip’ running east beyond the small hillock to the right of the main area of vegetation. A further individual was noted in similar desert scrub habitat on the 4x4 drive to the north-east of Erfoud.
At least a pair favoured the gardens and the adjacent wadi at the Auberge Kasbah Dakaoua south of Erfoud (Gosney Southern page 26 site 3), 10+ were seen in similar habitat on the 4x4 drive to the north-east of Erfoud and at least 7 were noted in the bushes to the south of the Oued Sayad, south of Guelmine (Gosney Southern page 2 site 2).
A pair showed very well in saline scrub at Oued Sous (to the east of Gosney Southern page 8 site 2) – park by the entrance gate and walk behind the guard house keeping the small channel on your left, cross the bridge and view the small area of bushes where the Tchagras were favouring. This species was also heard at Sidi Yahya and at Oued Massa (though we failed to see this species here due to our mid afternoon visit).
A single seen in the desert adjacent to Merzouga village, a flock of 7 2km west of Auberge Kasbah Dakaoua adjacent to the track to the asphalt road to Rissani and at least 17 birds over the road 4.9km west of Rissani (where you park for the Pharaoh Eagle Owl).
A pair and a further male showed very well in the mucky courtyard immediately adjacent to the Auberge Erg Chebbi in Merzouga. We did not try the usual site at Café Yasmina (Gosney Southern page 26 site 4 - birds have apparently been irregular in their appearance here recently) and neither did we look for this species north-west of Auberge Kasbah Dakaoua (Gosney Southern page 26 site 3) at Auberge Kasbah Said where a pair have nested in an outhouse this year.
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A very common desert species noted at all suitable locations including Merzouga (Gosney Southern page 26), Ouarzazate and Guelmine (Gosney Southern page 2).
African House Bunting
Although not specifically looked for, this species is common in and around human habitation. Our records included individuals in Merzouga, Rissani, east of Ouarzazate and in Casablanca.
Although we had no precise locations, reports of this species are extremely widespread in the southern half of the country from Agadir right the way east to Erfoud.
We had an unsuccessful 4x4 attempt looking for this species in the desert area to the north-east of Erfoud despite our guide claiming that he would be able to show us this species – fortunately we had negotiated a lower rate of pay for this eventuality. This species is still present in the desert area to the east and south-east of Erfoud – indeed it was noted here in March 2004 (per Chris Batty). Additionally, our 4x4 driver sadly seemed pleased to have a Houbara foot dangling from his wing mirror, collected from the desert near Zagora (in the Draa Valley) after taking Saudi hunters there in January 2005.
An adult of this species was reported on lagoons near Oualidia (Gosney Northern page 18) during our visit.
Although we failed to see this species, it is occasionally recorded at the Oued Sous (Gosney Southern page 8) and, additionally, a visit further south into Western Sahara to the Dakhla area would certainly have added this species.
Lesser Crested Tern
Searching for this species on a rather ad-hoc basis at Oued Massa (Gosney Southern page 10), Oued Sous (Gosney Southern page 8) and the coastline to the north of Agadir proved fruitless. The species was seen on the beach at Paradis-Plage near Tarhazoute (north of Agadir) during our visit.
This year has been incredibly dry and hence records of all species of sandgrouse have been thin on the ground. This species has been recorded in previous years in the Erfoud and Merzouga area.
Due to time constraints, we were unable to visit the Tagdilt track where this species has been seen by others (Gosney Southern page 22).
This species has been extremely difficult to find this year due to the dry weather and the lack of cultivation in the fields behind the Auberge Kasbah Dakaoua (Gosney Southern page 26 site 3). The owner of Dakaoua said that he had last seen them a fortnight before our visit hawking over the swimming pool at midnight. Further efforts driving the tracks to the north of Auberge Kasbah Dakaoua on the track back to Erfoud also proved fruitless. Interestingly this species had been noted on a couple of occasions on the asphalt road c.3km east of Rissani near the Auberge Tresor in the week prior to our visit (though again, we were unable to locate any).
An ill-timed late morning visit to the plains south of Zeida (Gosney Northern page 16) in a half-hearted attempt for this species produced the inevitable blank. The week before our visit, this species had been seen early morning 13km south of Zeida.
Due to time constraints, we were unable to visit Oukaimeden (Gosney Southern page 16 site 2) where they are numerous. Additionally, areas to the south of Ifrane have been productive for this species (per Chris Batty).
We felt it too early for this species to be back on its breeding grounds (for example, the Foret de Cedres immediately south-east of Azrou, south of Ifrane) yet there were reports of migrants of this species in the Merzouga area during our visit.
We failed to visit Oukaimeden (Gosney Northern page 16 site 2) where several of this species had been seen in ‘Car Park P2’ (in Gosney) the previous week.
Additionally, Helmeted Guineafowl, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Tawny Eagle, Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse, Black-crowned Sparrow-lark and Rock Martin seemed too remote a chance or outside the geographical limits of our itinerary even to consider as ‘misses’ on our trip.
The following provides a daily overview of our birding activities and allows the reader to gain an insight into the general birding at each locality that we visited. For specific detailed directions on target species, please refer to the previous section entitled ‘Target Birds Found’.
Sunday 3rd April
Sidi Yahya (Gosney Northern page 12)
Parking in the car park (site 1) at dawn, we soon heard a couple of Double-spurred Francolins in the misty valley before seeing a closer individual calling from the scrub at the far end of the car park. A couple of Black-crowned Tchagras uttered their fluty song from the other side of the valley but we were unable to locate either of them. Many Bee-eaters were noted flying over, whilst several Black Kites and Cattle Egrets were also noted. The area was alive with bird sound, this largely comprising Nightingales, Serins, Sardinian Warblers, Thekla Larks and Corn Buntings. A small flock of Common Bulbul moved through the bushes in the car park whilst the North African races of Chaffinch and Blue Tit impressed us immensely with their appearance along with several Woodchats. Walking back towards the road in the direction of site 2, we quickly located a Barbary Partridge on the roadside with a bright Western Bonelli’s Warbler showing well in an adjacent bush and a Booted Eagle overhead.
Road between the Royal Hunting Lodge and Sidi Yahya village
3 Black-winged Kites performed extremely well over the poppy and arable fields c.1.5km north of the hunting lodge whilst Quail and Corn Buntings called from the adjacent fields. A flyover Calandra Lark proved to be a bonus with a couple of Fan-tailed Warblers ‘zitting’ from the same area of arable fields. Journeying a further 2km towards Sidi Yahya village, a Barbary Partridge showed well by the roadside. At least ten White Storks and many Cattle Egrets set the scene for the rest of the trip.
Many Pallid Swifts were noted in the town whilst roof nesting White Storks gave a distinctly Mediterranean feel as we headed north towards the main coastal toll road.
Toll road north from Rabat to Moulay Bousselham
At least 10 Gull-billed Terns flew east 17.5km south of Kenitra, a Short-toed Eagle was noted thermalling 13km south of Kenitra and a couple of male Montagu’s Harriers were seen over fields to the south of the Moulay Bousselham turn-off.
Merdja Zerga (Gosney Northern page 6)
On the southern side of Merdja Zerga, walking towards site 5, 4 Marsh Owls showed very well late morning in the first large area of juncus to the left of the main path. Spotless Starlings, Common Sandpipers, Little Ringed Plover and hundreds of White Storks fed on the grazed area to the right of the path beyond the Canal Nados whilst a couple of Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, several Black-winged Stilts and Fan-tailed Warblers took advantage of the excellent damp habitat to the left. A Western Subalpine Warbler and male Marsh Harrier also enlivened proceedings at this site.
Lying on the coastal side of Lac de Sidi Bourhaba, there is an obvious estuary immediately adjacent to the small fishing port of Mehdiya-Plage. This estuary, viewed from the main coast road, proved fairly productive with an Audouin’s Gull and a Black-headed Gull located in amongst the large numbers of Western Yellow-legged Gulls and Lesser Black-backed Gulls whilst a Caspian Tern, a Marsh Sandpiper and a couple of Sanderling were noted in amongst the commoner Whimbrel and Oystercatchers.
Lac de Sidi Bourhaba (Gosney page 10)
Arriving at this site at the north end, we were immediately rewarded with excellent views of Crested Coot from the causeway (site 2) as well as a fly over Marbled Duck. With a high level of disturbance due to it being a Sunday afternoon, the only other birds noted from the causeway included a couple of Green Sandpipers and a Greenshank. Walking south along the eastern edge of the lake (site 3), many waterbirds were located with ease – totals included at least 15 Crested Coots, up to 8 Marbled Duck, a winter-plumaged Black-necked Grebe, a pair of Ferruginous Duck, many Red-crested Pochards, a handful of Greater Flamingos, 15+ Spoonbill whilst 2 Western Swamphens were eventually located in reeds midway along the lake. From a Moroccan perspective though, pride of place went to the drake Ring-necked Duck in amongst the 60+ Pochard on the open water to the south of the causeway. Other birds noted in the environs of the lake included several vocal Cetti’s Warblers and a couple of Great Tits whilst the air was filled with White Storks interspersed by the odd Marsh Harrier and Black Kite.
Fes town centre
Many Alpine Swifts and Pallid Swifts patrolled the skies over the city early evening.
Monday 4th April
Dayet Aoua (Gosney Northern page 14)
An early morning visit to the south side of the lake immediately revealed at least 3 Levaillant’s Green Woodpeckers as they moved through the lakeside trees and the poplar plantation (site 3). We then walked towards site 4 as far as the orchard where 4 male Moussier’s Redstarts were located whilst other species noted here included Great Spotted Woodpecker, Short-toed Treecreeper, Cirl Bunting, Rock Sparrow, Western Bonelli’s Warbler as well as many Chaffinches and Serins. Birds on the lake included at least 30 Crested Coots, a Greenshank, several Black-winged Stilts, 3 Gadwall and 80+ Shoveler.
A colony of at least 15 Lesser Kestrels showed extremely well on the extreme south side of the town by a new housing development immediately adjacent to the main road to Azrou. Several Pallid Swifts were also noted in the vicinity.
Main road south from Azrou to Itzer (north of Zeida)
At least 2 male Seebohm’s Wheatears were located by the roadside c.10km south of Azrou (near the summit of Jbel Hebri) along with a male Moussier’s Redstart, a Water Pipit and a couple of Rock Sparrows in the same location. Driving further south, 3 Calandra Larks flew over the road near Timahdite whilst at least 50 Ravens were noted by the roadside.
2km south of the turnoff to Itzer (on the main road to Zeida)
5 Cream-coloured Coursers showed well by the roadside whilst an adjacent small wadi produced a male Western Black-eared Wheatear, a Tawny Pipit, a Spectacled Warbler whilst a couple of Lesser Short-toed Larks were located and a Booted Eagle circled overhead.
A Black Wheatear showed well by the main road in the centre of Zeida.
13km south of Zeida town boundary (Gosney Northern page 16)
Due to our ill-timed arrival time, it was inevitable that our brief search for Dupont’s Lark would draw a blank. Nevertheless, a Red-rumped Wheatear, a Tawny Pipit and a handful of Lesser Short-toed Larks proved ample compensation in this arid habitat.
Tizi-n-Tarhemt pass, south-east of Midelt
Coming from Midelt, park in the lay-by on the hairpin bend by the ‘Er-Rich 51’ and ‘Errachidia 114’ signpost exactly 1.5km before you reach the pass summit (signed Col Talghomt 1907m) and walk down into the steep ravine where we easily located a pair of Tristram’s Warblers as well as a couple of Moussier’s Redstarts, a Coal Tit and 2 Rock Buntings.
10km north of Rich
3 Crag Martins were noted over the main road as they flew adjacent to a large rock face and the Oued Ziz.
Tunnel de Legionnaire, north of Errachidia
A couple of House Martins and at least 3 Black Wheatears were found by the roadside adjacent to this large tunnel.
38km west of Errachidia (on the road to Ouarzazate)
A roadside male Desert Wheatear, 2 White-crowned Black Wheatears and 3 Cream-coloured Coursers near the ‘Errachidia 38km’ post provided us with an introduction to desert birding in the south-east of the country.
43km west of Errachidia (on the road to Ouarzazate)
Just west of the ‘Errachidia 43km’ stone, park by the small bridge over the dried up wadi. To the north-west is an obvious area of low scrub where we located a pair of Scrub Warbler, a pair of African Desert Warbler and a pair of Thick-billed Lark as well as more numerous desert species such as Woodchat, Desert Wheatear, Trumpeter Finch and Western Black-eared Wheatear. On the hillock to the east of this scrubby area (north of the road), at least 9 Cream-coloured Coursers were present. To the south of the road, a similar area of dry scrub extends and this area was exceptional for lark activity – a pair of Thick-billed Lark, a couple of Temminck’s Horned Lark, several Bar-tailed Larks, 3 Hoopoe Lark, 3 Short-toed Lark as well as very good numbers of Trumpeter Finch.
A couple of Laughing Doves were seen on the main road through this dusty town.
Tuesday 5th April
Following a fruitless search of the area the previous night for Egyptian Nightjar, early morning activity in this desert village (a scattering of houses) comprised of a couple of White-crowned Black Wheatears, a Brown-necked Raven and a House Bunting.
Auberge Erg Chebbi
After hearing that the usual site at Café Yasmina (Gosney Southern page 28) had been less than reliable this year, we located 2 male and 1 female Desert Sparrow in the small stables immediately adjacent to the Auberge Erg Chebbi. A small wet area here attracted a couple of Little Ringed Plovers whilst this obvious desert oasis provided a decent migrant trap with a Whinchat, Redstart, Nightingale, Western Bonelli’s Warbler, Western Subalpine Warbler, Yellow Wagtail (race flava) all being located.
Wadi just north of Auberge Kasbah Dakaoua (Gosney Southern page 26 site 3)
A mid morning visit to this dry wadi and area of palms proved quiet on the migrant front although a pair of Fulvous Babbler on the Auberge walls were our first of our trip whilst a Nightingale, a Redstart, a Bee-eater, a Western Black-eared Wheatear and a couple of White-crowned Black Wheatears were also noted. Throughout our presence in the desert, the sheer numbers of Swallows and House Martins heading north were a sight to behold.
4x4 desert excursion north-east of Erfoud
The sole purpose of this expedition was to give ourselves the chance of looking for Houbara Bustard. Unfortunately, with only an afternoon to give it, we did not locate this species. However, many desert species were found including our first Desert Larks and another African Desert Warbler. Disembarking the vehicle at any ‘likely looking’ oasis proved fruitful with a migrant Roller shading itself from the hot sun whilst resting in a palm tree, a gathering of at least 10 Fulvous Babblers in another area of greenery whilst other birds noted on this trip included a Peregrine, a Hoopoe Lark, a couple of Western Black-eared Wheatears as well as several White-crowned Black Wheatears and Trumpeter Finches.
Aoufouss (north of Erfoud)
Whilst driving back along the main road to Erfoud, a stunning Blue-cheeked Bee-eater was located sallying from roadside wires adjacent to some agricultural fields in the village of Aoufouss.
Auberge Kasbah Dakaoua (Gosney Southern page 26 site 3)
The evening was spent searching the lush vegetation in the grounds of the Auberge Kasbah Dakaoua with the highlights including a male Rock Thrush and a Wryneck. Other birds noted here included a couple of Fulvous Babblers, a Hoopoe, a Northern Wheatear, a White-crowned Black Wheatear and a Yellow Wagtail (race flava) whilst at least 50 Common Swifts flew north. The hoped for Egyptian Nightjars failed to materialise.
Wednesday 6th April
Auberge Kasbah Dakaoua (Gosney Southern page 26 site 3)
An early morning stroll around the grounds revealed little in the way of migrants with a single Whitethroat and Nightingale noted as well as a couple of Redstarts. Driving north from the Auberge, in the direction of the asphalt road to Rissani, 7 Brown-necked Ravens were noted.
4.9km west of Rissani
The Pharaoh Eagle Owl was easily located sitting in its favoured cave c.1.5km north of the road (see Target Birds Found for detailed directions) whilst a couple of Crag Martins, a handful of White-crowned Black Wheatears and several Trumpeter Finches enlivened proceedings. Spending more time we wished at this site due to one of our party losing the car keys, 17 Brown-necked Ravens circled over the road mid afternoon.
Thursday 7th April
57km east of Ouarzazate
The majority of the day was focussed on searching for Western Mourning Wheatear where, from research, favoured sites include the areas of stony desert to the east and west of Ouarzazate along the main road. The first site we tried was near the ‘Ouarzazate 57km’ post where we were unsuccessful but did manage to see a group of 3 Black-bellied Sandgrouse, at least 5 Desert Larks and a Southern Grey Shrike.
55km east of Ouarzazate
A White-crowned Black Wheatear, a couple of Thekla Larks and many Trumpeter Finches were seen in the small ravine adjacent to the ‘Ouarzazate 55km’ post.
East of Ouarzazate by the ‘Agadir 421’ post
Whilst searching the stony desert for wheatear activity, a flock of 7 Crowned Sandgrouse flew over uttering their nasal call whilst 4 Desert Wheatears and a Woodchat were also noted here.
12 km west of Skirou (east of Ouarzazate)
In the small village to the west of the ‘Skirou 12’ km post (to the west of Skirou) 3 Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters performed admirably on roadside wires with 2 European Bee-eaters whilst a House Bunting sang from a nearby building.
c.15km east of Ouarzazate
1 km west of the ‘circular road junction’, where one can see the large lake Barrage El Mansour-Eddahbi in the distance to the south of the main road, we located a group of 5 Cream-coloured Coursers by the roadside as well as a couple of Crested Larks.
26km west of Ouarzazate
3 Cream-coloured Coursers showed well by the roadside just east of the Oued Ouarzazate bridge (just south-west of the Marrakech/Agadir road junction).
29km west of Ouarzazate (on the road to Marrakech)
Reaching the junction where one road goes south-west to Agadir and the main road continues towards Marrakech if you are coming from Ouarzazate; take this latter road towards Marrakech. Before reaching the village of Tadoula, we located a pair of Western Mourning Wheatear by the ‘Ouarzazate 29’ km post where the male sang from roadside wires and the female favoured the stony ground on the rocky hillside below the pylons. At least a dozen Trumpeter Finches were also located here as well as a Desert Wheatear and a few Thekla Larks.
Between the Marrakech/Agadir junction and Tazenakht (on the road to Agadir)
With the intention of an overnight drive to the Guelmine area, we located a Barbary Partridge immediately adjacent to the road near a small pink building near the ‘Agadir 297’ km post.
With the information that Red-necked Nightjars can be found by the perimeter fence near the arrivals terminal, we gave this site a brief search but this proved fruitless. However, a Stone Curlew showed exceptionally well as it fed in the floodlit darkness on the airport lawns whilst a Barn Owl flew over the main road near the airport.
Friday 8th April
22km south of Guelmine (Gosney Southern page 2 site 3)
An early morning search to the west of the main road by the ‘Guelmine 22’ km post included 5 Thick-billed Larks (including a superb male), a couple of Spectacled Warblers, 3 Red-rumped Wheatears, several Bar-tailed Larks, a couple of Northern Wheatears and many Trumpeter Finches.
7-8km south of Guelmine (Gosney Southern page 2 site 2)
We birded the scrubby area immediately to the south of the bridge over the Oued Sayad and west of the road. This area, between the road and the plastic sheds, is a site where Scrub Warbler has been seen with some regularity previously. We had no luck with this species, although a family party of Red-rumped Wheatear, at least 7 Fulvous Babblers, 3 Common Bulbuls, a couple of Nightingales, a couple of Western Subalpine Warblers, a Whitethroat, 9 Bee-eaters and a Southern Grey Shrike were all noted.
South of the Oued Sayad Bridge by the ‘Tan Tan 122’ km post
A Lanner was fortuitously located as it flew in and perched on a telegraph post adjacent to the main road (near a camel sign). A Long-legged Buzzard was also noted.
Massa village (Gosney Southern page 10 site 8)
After parking by the bridge over the river and walking north along the agricultural east bank that overlooks the reedbeds here, we swiftly located at least 2 Plain Martins whilst 4 Yellow Wagtails (of the race iberiae) showed well. An adult Purple Heron graced the sky over the reedbed briefly whilst several Alpine Swifts flew over and the fields were alive with Corn Buntings and Fan-tailed Warblers.
Oued Massa Reserve (Gosney Southern page 10 site 6)
Having parked in the car park at the reserve entrance, we failed to locate any Black-crowned Tchagras due to our early afternoon arrival (they are apparently very easy early mornings by the reserve entrance). However, the bushes by the entrance provided us with good views of Moussier’s Redstart as well as several Blackcaps, Sardinian Warblers and Common Bulbuls. We then walked along the footpath that follows the river to the mouth and the pools below us produced 1 Marbled Duck, several maroccanus race Cormorants, 6 Avocets, a Spoonbill, 35+ Glossy Ibis, 3 Curlew Sandpipers, c.15 Dunlin, 1 Little Stint, 2 Green Sandpipers, many Black-winged Stilts as well as several Kentish, Ringed and Little Ringed Plovers. At the mouth of the Oued Massa, we located 6 Ruddy Shelduck on the open water whilst gulls included several Audouin’s Gulls amongst the many Lesser Black-Backed Gulls and Western Yellow-legged Gulls. Once back at the car park, we drove back towards Massa village and visited the agricultural fields and the adjacent river scrub (Gosney Southern page 10 site 4) where a Red-rumped Swallow, several Moussier’s Redstarts, a Stonechat, a couple of Laughing Doves, several Thekla Larks and at least 5 Bee-eaters were seen whilst we fortunate to encounter 3 Quail as we flushed them from an arable field.
Oued Sous (Gosney Southern page 8)
We arrived at the entrance gate, adjacent to the Royal Palace, as dusk was approaching and parked our car by the guard house. The adjacent copse revealed a Long-eared Owl whilst a Stone Curlew, a Spoonbill and 9 Greater Flamingos flew over. The irrigation channel running at right angles to the track by the guard house produced 2 ‘Moroccan’ Wagtails (White Wagtails of the race subpersonata) as well as a couple of Yellow Wagtails (race iberiae) and 3 Little Ringed Plovers. Walking back along the track (towards the asphalt road that leads to the Royal Palace gates) 3 Red-necked Nightjars were located including one individual that favoured resting on the track itself.
Saturday 9th April
Oued Sous (Gosney Southern page 8)
We again parked our car by the guard house early morning and walked directly past this building towards the river, ensuring that we kept the irrigation channel to our left before crossing the bridge and walking east for c.100 yards. It was in this area of saline scrub that we noted a pair of Black-crowned Tchagra as well as several Sardinian Warblers, 3 Barbary Partridges, many Fan-tailed Warblers and a couple of Stone Curlews whilst a Tree Pipit flew over calling. Birds on the adjacent estuary included 5 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Avocet, 2 Little Terns, 40+ Gull-billed Terns, a couple of Black-headed Gulls, 5 Greenshank, 3 Greater Flamingos, 10+ Grey Plovers and several Kentish Plovers.
Tarazoute (on the main coast road north of Agadir)
On our drive north from Agadir towards Tamri we noted 3 Red-rumped Swallows and at least 100 Pallid Swifts spiralling above the road near the settlement of Tarazoute.
Tamri (Gosney Southern page 6)
Just before we entered the village from the south, we noted a flock of about 10 Spoonbills on the open lagoon (Gosney Southern page 6 site 1) whilst a Peregrine was seen over cliffs just north of the village. The star prize here, of course, is the Northern Bald Ibis and we were fortunate to locate a breeding colony (where at least 200 birds were apparently present this year) whilst several birds were noted flying over cliff-top fields adjacent to the main coast road between 6 and 9 km north of Tamri village.
Essaouira (Gosney Southern page 4)
On our coastal journey northwards, we paid a brief visit to the estuary just south of the town (Gosney Southern page 4 site 2) and amongst the many bathing gulls we were able to locate a handful of Audouin’s Gulls whilst 5 Spoonbill, a ‘Moroccan’ Wagtail and 3 Yellow Wagtails (of the race iberiae) were also seen in the vicinity of the bridge over the Ksob Wadi.
North of the town of Safi, and just before the village of Beddouza, drive along the asphalt track by the lighthouse to the sea. A half hour or so seawatch here produced an Arctic Skua, many Gannets as well as a couple of Little Terns and many Sandwich Terns.
Oualidia to Sidi Moussa (Gosney Northern page 18)
A series of coastal lagoons and saltpans extend north from the small town of El-Oualidia to Sidi Moussa and, although viewing can be distant from the coast road, this area proved to be an attractive environment for waders. One of the major highlights was a group of 3 Collared Pratincoles that flew alongside the car for a period of a kilometre or so just south of Sidi Moussa whilst 6 Slender-billed Gulls, an Audouin’s Gull, a pair of Pintail and 2 Marbled Ducks graced the saltpans. Other birds noted here included a couple of Black-headed Gulls, a Turnstone, 3 Ruff, 50+ Curlew Sandpiper, 4 Spotted Redshank, a Snipe, a couple of Little Terns, a Marsh Harrier and the ubiquitous Black-winged Stilts.
Sunday 10th April
After spending the night in Casablanca, a Black-winged Kite flew over the road between the city and the airport. Meanwhile, whilst waiting for our flight in the departures lounge, we managed to locate a couple of Little Swifts amongst the hordes of Pallid Swifts.
Morocco April 2005 - Trip List
The list below follows the taxonomy and nomenclature used at Western Palearctic Birds.
Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Northern Pintail Anas acuta
Gadwall Anas strepera
Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris
Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina
Common Pochard Aythya ferina
Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca
Barbary Partridge Alectoris barbara
Double-spurred Francolin Francolinus bicalcaratus ayesha
Common Quail Coturnix coturnix
Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis
Northern Gannet Morus bassanus
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo maroccanus
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
White Stork Ciconia ciconia
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
Northern Bald Ibis Geronticus eremita
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus
Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus
Black Kite Milvus migrans
Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus
Western Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus
Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus
Common Buzzard Buteo buteo
Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus cirtensis
Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni
Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
Lanner Falco biarmicus erlangeri
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Western Swamp-hen Porphyrio porphyrio
Eurasian Coot Fulica atra
Crested Coot Fulica cristata
Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta
Stone-curlew Burhinus oedicnemus saharae
Cream-coloured Courser Cursorius cursor
Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola
Sanderling Calidris alba
Little Stint Calidris minuta
Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
Dunlin Calidris alpina
Ruff Philomachus pugnax
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa limosa
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus
Common Redshank Tringa totanus
Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
Parasitic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus
Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
Slender-billed Gull Larus genei
Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus
Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis
Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica
Caspian Tern Sterna caspia
Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis
Crowned Sandgrouse Pterocles coronatus
Black-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles orientalis
Common Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus
Collared Dove Streptopelia dacaocto
European Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur
Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis
Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
Barn Owl Tyto alba erlangeri
Pharaoh Eagle Owl Bubo ascalaphus
Tawny Owl Strix aluco mauritanica
Long-eared Owl Asio otus
Marsh Owl Asio capensis tingitanus
Red-necked Nightjar Caprimulgus ruficollis
Common Swift Apus apus
Pallid Swift Apus pallidus brehmorum
Alpine Swift Apus melba
Little Swift Apus affinis galilejensis
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops persicus chrysocerus
European Bee-eater Merops apiaster
European Roller Coracias garrulus
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops
Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla
Levaillant's Green Woodpecker Picus vaillantii
Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major mauritanus
Bar-tailed Desert Lark Ammomanes cincture arenicolor
Desert Lark Ammomanes deserti algerensis and payni
Hoopoe Lark Alaemon alaudipes
Thick-billed Lark Ramphocoris clotbey
Calandra Lark Melanocorypha calandra
Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla
Lesser Short-toed Lark Calandrella rufescens minor
Crested Lark Galerida cristata
Thekla Lark Galerida theklae
Wood Lark Lullula arborea pallida
Temminck's Horned Lark Eremophila bilopha
Brown-throated Sand Martin Riparia paludicola mauritanica
Sand Martin Riparia riparia
Eurasian Crag Martin Ptyonoprogne rupestris
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica
Common House Martin Delichon urbicum
Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris
Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis
Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta
Blue-headed Wagtail Motacilla flava
Spanish Wagtail Motacilla iberiae
White Wagtail Motacilla alba
Moroccan Wagtail Motacilla subpersonata
Common Bulbul Pycnonotus barbatus
Common Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos
Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros
Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus
Moussier's Redstart Phoenicurus moussieri
Whinchat Saxicola rubetra
European Stonechat Saxicola torquata
Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
Seebohm's Wheatear Oenanthe seebohmi
Western Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe hispanica
Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti homochroa
Red-rumped Wheatear Oenanthe moesta
Western Mourning Wheatear Oenanthe halophila
White-tailed Wheatear Oenanthe leucopyga
Black Wheatear Oenanthe leucura syenitica
Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush Monticola saxatilis
Common Blackbird Turdus merula
Song Thrush Turdus philomelos
Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus deichleri
Cetti's Warbler Cettia cetti
Fan-tailed Warbler Cisticola juncidis
Scrub Warbler Scotocerca inquieta saharae
Tristram's Warbler Sylvia deserticola maroccana
Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata
Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans cantillans and inornata
Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala
African Desert Warbler Sylvia deserti
Common Whitethroat Sylvia communis
Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
Western Bonelli's Warbler Phylloscopus bonelli
Northern Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus
Firecrest Regulus ignicapilla
Fulvous Babbler Turdoides fulva
Coal Tit Parus ater atlas
African Blue Tit Parus teneriffae ultramarinus
Great Tit Parus major excelsus
Short-toed Treecreeper Certhia brachydactyla mauritanica
Black-crowned Tchagra Tchagra senegalus cucullata
Southern Grey Shrike Lanius meridionalis algeriensis
Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator
Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius
Common Magpie Pica pica mauritanica
Brown-necked Raven Corvus ruficollis
Common Raven Corvus corax tingitanus
Spotless Starling Sturnus unicolor
House Sparrow Passer domesticus
Desert Sparrow Passer simplex saharae
Rock Sparrow Petronia petronia barbara
Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs africana
European Serin Serinus serinus
European Greenfinch Chloris chloris voousi
European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
Common Linnet Carduelis cannabina
Trumpeter Finch Bucanetes githagineus zedlitzi
Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus
Rock Bunting Emberiza cia africana
House Bunting Emberiza sahari
Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra