Moroccan Birds

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Namaqua Dove (Oena capensis) at Safia, Oued Dahab

Birding the Sahara. Welcome to the 'capital' of rare birds in the Western Palearctic! (am I exaggerating?).

Namaqua Dove (Oena capensis - Tourterelle masqué) was seen today at Safia reserve, Oued Dahab region by Abdeljebbar Qninba (via Mohamed Lamine Samlali and Mohamed Mediani). This is the 5th Moroccan record for this species.

The observer (who was the first to report the Sudan Golden Sparrow at Bir Anzarane in late January) is in the region to participate in the release of mhorr gazelle (Nanger dama mhorr). 

For the context, the release operation of mhorr gazelle into the wild from the Safia acclimatisation station which will be conducted during the next two days aims to assess the adaptability of the reintroduced gazelles to their historical habitat.

The operation is part of a partnership between the ‘High Commission for Water and Forests and the Fight against Desertification’ (HCEFLCD) and its local partner, the ‘Association Nature Initiative’.The gazelles will be monitored by a GPS system that will track their distribution in space and monitor their behaviour in their new/original environment, especially in terms of reproduction and feeding.

Looking forwards to see the pictures.

Osprey ringed in Germany, now breeding in Morocco

This is an interesting story of an Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) ringed in Germany and found breeding in the Al-Hoceima National Park, Morocco.

Last year, we shared here an observation made by Amigos del Águila Pescadora (Friends of the Osprey) of a female hatched and ringed in Morocco in 2012 and found breeding in Cadiz in 2014. 

This year, it’s the other way around. An Osprey ringed in Germany and was found breeding this year in the Al-Hoceima National Park, Morocco. Before settling in Morocco, this same osprey most likely (read below) was reintroduced to the reservoir of Barbate River, Andalusia (Spain) in 2008. 

Amigos del Águila Pescadora shared the photo below in their facebook page with the following message:
Hola a todos. La Association de Gestion Intégrée des Ressources de Marruecos nos ha facilitado esta foto de un ave reproductora en el Parque nacional de Alhucemas. Tenemos dudas con una de las letras, se baraja 4LU ó 4IU. Si se trata de la primera opción, correspondería a una hembra reintroducida en el embalse del río Barbate en el 2008 y de origen alemán y se pondría de manifiesto una vez más la importancia que tiene la nueva población andaluza como conector entre las distintas poblaciones mediterráneas. ¿Que pensais?
"Hello everyone. The Association de Gestion des Ressources Intégrée of Morocco has provided us this photo of a breeding bird in the Al Hoceima National Park. We doubt one of the letters, discussing whether it’s 4LU or 4IU. If it’s the first option, it would correspond to a female of German origin reintroduced in the reservoir of Barbate River in 2008, and it would show once again the importance of the new Andalusian population as a connector between the different Mediterranean populations. What do you think?"

All the commenters agreed that it’s a 4LU (Germany, reintroduced to Spain in 2008, breeding in Morocco in 2015).

We should note that the osprey population in the Al-Hoceima National Park is small. In 2013, there were only 10 breeding pairs with only 7 pairs that actually reproduced (Monti et al. 2013. The vulnerable Osprey breeding population of the Al Hoceima National Park, Morocco: present status and threats. Ostrich 84: 199-204).

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) ringed in Germany, reintroduced to southern Spain in 2008 (most likely) and now breeding in Morocco (Association de Gestion des Ressources Intégrée & Amigos del Águila Pescadora)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Week-end à Marrakech: birdwatching et détente (mai 2015)

Un vol direct relie Nice à Marrakech les jeudi, samedi et mardi à des heures très confortables. 

Nous avons pris ce vol le samedi 2 mai 2015 pour aller avec un retour sur Nice le mardi 5 mai 2015. 

Ce week-end avait pour but la détente familiale.  Notre séjour s'est fait dans un club de vacances situé dans la périphérie de Marrakech, au lieu dit "la Palmeraie" à 5Km au Nord Est de la place Jemaa el fna. 

Le transfert en taxi prend environ 30 minutes et coûte 25€. 

Toutes les observations ont été faites sur ce site limité à Sidi Yahia, La Palmeraie, 44000. Le jardin du club de vacances comprend un espace de type "Ryad" avec un plan d'eau arboré.

D'un point de vue ornithologique Marrakech et sa périphérie proche, semblent moins propices aux observations d'oiseaux que la région d'Agadir, avec l'Oued Souss et Massa, ou encore que la vallée de l'Ourika et le mont Atlas. 

Les oiseaux que nous avons observés sont surtout des oiseaux de jardins.

En nombre, les moineaux domestiques dominent, voici la liste des espèces observées et/ou photographiées:

Héron garde-boeufs, 
Cigogne blanche, 
Aigle botté, 
Faucon Crécerelle, 
Gallinule poule d'eau, 
Tourterelles turc, 
Tourterelle des bois, 
Tourterelle maillée, 
Pigeon ramier, 
Huppe fasciée, 
Martinet pâle,
Martinet des maisons. 
Hirondelle rustique, 
Hirondelle isabelline,
Merle noir, 
Bulbul des jardins,
Gobemouche gris,
Fauvette mélanocéphale, 
Hypolaïs polyglotte, 
Pie-grièche méridionale, 
Pinson des arbres (ssp africana), 
Verdier d'Europe, 
Bruant du Sahara, 
A une autre occasion sur ce même site nous avions également photographié une Aigrette garzette.

Les photos des espèces photographiées ont été déposées sur le site

Jean-Claude Jamoulle

Fauvette mélanocéphale, Marrakech, mai 2015 (Jean-Claude Jamoulle).

Friday, May 15, 2015

Rüppell's Vultures (Gyps rueppellii) at Jbel Moussa

Vultures time at Jbel Moussa in northern Morocco!

A second Rüppell's Vulture (Gyps rueppellii) for this season was photographed at Jbel Moussa on the Moroccan side of the Strait of Gibraltar by Rachid
El Khamlichi yesterday (14 May 2015).

The first Rüppell's Vulture was observed on 5 May 2015: one bird seen with 55 Griffon Vultures (Gyps fulvus). Although Rachid didn't take any picture of the bird; we did share the observation on twitter (embedded below). So anything you see here about these rare birds is not jokes, only serious stuff. Good birding!

Rüppell's Vulture (Gyps rueppellii), Jbel Moussa, Morocco
Rüppell's Vulture (Gyps rueppellii), Jbel Moussa, northern Morocco, 14 May 2015
Rachid El Khamlichi).
Rüppell's Vulture (Gyps rueppellii), Jbel Moussa, northern Morocco
Same Rüppell's Vulture (Gyps rueppellii), Jbel Moussa, northern Morocco, 14 May 2015
Rachid El Khamlichi).

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Greater White-fronted Goose still at Dayet Hachlaf in May

A Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons - Oie rieuse) was photographed at Dayet Hachlaf in the Middle Atlas by Kari Haataja and Mika Bruun on 7 May 2015. This is the 10th record for Morocco. And this date is rather late for this northern species.

Kari commented:
"This 2cy Greater White-fronted Goose was the most surprising observation on our one week birding trip to northern Morocco in early May together with Mika Bruun". 
Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) with other waterbirds, Dayet Hachlef (photo: Kari Haataja). 
Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) in flight, Dayet Hachlef (photo: Kari Haataja). 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Golden Nightjar (Caprimulgus eximius) at Aousserd: 1st Western Palearctic record

Male Golden Nightjar (Caprimulgus eximius - Engoulevent doré) was observed and later found dead between Dakhla and Aousserd on 3.05.2015. This is the first record for Morocco and the Western Palearctic.

Jujek D.

We will hopefully receive more information about this great record which confirms once more that the Aousserd region is one of the best birding hotspots in the Western Palearctic. 

The best from the region includes:

- A breeding population of Cricket Warbler (Spiloptila clamans) (inside the Western Palearctic also present in northern Mauritania).

- A breeding population of African Dunn's Lark (Eremalauda dunni dunni).

- Sudan Golden Sparrow (Passer luteus) becomes more regular since a couple of years. Probably breeding locally in Aousserd.

- First and only record of White-throated Bee-eater (Merops albicollis) for the Western Palearctic obtained in this region. 

What we want more!


When we shared this yesterday, some people did not believe the news, they probably thought it was a hoax, of course we won't do that. Here are the pictures released by the observer in Surfbird Photo Galleries

Golden Nightjar (Caprimulgus eximius), Aousserd, southern Morocco
Golden Nightjar (Caprimulgus eximius), Aousserd, southern Morocco, 3 May 2015 (Jurek D.)
Golden Nightjar (Caprimulgus eximius), Aousserd, southern Morocco
Golden Nightjar (Caprimulgus eximius), Aousserd, southern Morocco, 3 May 2015 (Jurek D.)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Influx of Red-footed Falcons in Morocco

Large influx of Red-footed Falcons (Falco vespertinus - Faucon kobez) in Morocco during these days. 

- On 10 May 2015, Karim Laïdi and his colleagues of GOMAC saw and photographed a couple (male and female) at Enjil Plateau, Boulemane Province (photo 1).

- On 11 May, Karim Rousselon commented on the observation above: “a group of about 50 Red-footed Falcons are passing through the plateau (Enjil) at the moment”.

- On 12 May, Said Azaouaghe photographed a male Red-footed Falcon being attacked by Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) at Nador on the Mediterranean coast (photo 2).

- As reported earlier, Brahim Bakass photographed 2 Red-footed Falcons near Kelaat M'Gouna on 2 May 2015.


- On 13 May, Karim Rousselon shared the male in photo 3 in GOMAC facebook group with this comment: “daily passages of Red-footed Falcons in the Oriental region since 10 May 2015. Today this adult male takes time to eat a young lark. Most are content with insects which are consumed in flight”.

"Passages quotidiens de Faucons Kobez dans l'Oriental depuis le 10/05/2015. Aujourd'hui ce mâle adulte prend le temps de manger une jeune alouette. La majorité se contentent d'insectes consommés en plein vol".
- On 13 May, Brahim Bakass photographed an adult male near Marrakech (photo 4).

- On 14 May, Diego Jeréz observed 15 Red-footed Falcons migrating in the direction of NW and photographed an adult female at Melilla. 

Male Red-footed Falcons (Falco vespertinus)
Male Red-footed Falcons (Falco vespertinus), Enjil Plateau, Morocco, 10 May 2015 (Karim Laïdi).
Male Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus)
Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus), Nador, eastern Morocco, 12 May 2015 (Said Azaouaghe).
Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus) eating a young lark, Morocco
Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus) eating a young lark, Oriental region, Morocco, 13 May 2015 (Karim Rousselon).
Male Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus), Morocco
Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus) feeding, Marrakech region, 13 May 2013 (Brahim Bakass).