Sudan Golden Sparrows at the edge of the Western Palearctic: Aousserd

By | 26 January 2013

Three Sudan Golden Sparrows (Passer luteus) were seen on 12 January 2013 near Aousserd by Thomas Pettersson and Krister Mild. The birds were in a dense tree with 50 Desert Sparrows (Passer simplex) at a well on the track to barrage Boulariah where the oued is still flooded some 17 km south-west of Aousserd, Oued Dahab region. This Western Palearctic mega rarity is the second Moroccan record for the species.

Thomas kindly shared with us the photos (1-3) taken by his colleague Krister. He also provided the following description and GPS coordinates:

Included are photos of the female Sudan Golden Sparrow, 17 km SW of Awserd (GPS: N 22.45718°, W 14.47373°) on 12 January 2013.

This (adult) female is identified by yellowish underparts and sides of head, pale-tipped median and greater coverts, creating two narrow whitish wing-bars, and pale buffish edges to the secondaries, creating a pale panel along the closed wing. In direct comparison with Desert Sparrow it is somewhat smaller. We didn’t manage to get any photos of the adult male, since it was hiding inside the tree most of the time”.

It should be noted that the first Moroccan record of the Sudan Golden Sparrow was recorded along the Aousserd road, exactly at some 86 Km northwest of the town of Aousserd. It involved a group of 2 males and 5 females/juveniles and was found by Pieter Vantieghem and his colleagues on 21 April 2009 (photo 4).

Many thanks for this great rarity!

Sudan Golden Sparrow (Passer luteus - Moineau doré), 17 km SW of Aousserd, southern Morocco, 12 January 2013 (Krister Mild)

Sudan Golden Sparrow (Passer luteus – Moineau doré), 17 km SW of Aousserd, southern Morocco, 12 January 2013 (Krister Mild)

Sudan Golden Sparrow (Passer luteus - Moineau doré), 17 km SW of Aousserd, southern Morocco, 12 January 2013 (Krister Mild)

Sudan Golden Sparrow (Passer luteus – Moineau doré), 17 km SW of Aousserd, southern Morocco, 12 January 2013 (Krister Mild)

The habitat of the Sudan Golden Sparrows (Passer luteus - Moineau doré), at a well south-west of Aousserd (Krister Mild)

The habitat of the Sudan Golden Sparrows (Passer luteus – Moineau doré), at a well south-west of Aousserd (Krister Mild)

2 males and 5 females/juveniles Sudan Golden Sparrows, 86 Km northwest of Aousserd, 21 April 2009 (Pieter Vantieghem)

2 males and 5 females/juveniles Sudan Golden Sparrow, 86 Km northwest of Aousserd, 21 April 2009. This is the first record for Morocco (Pieter Vantieghem)

3 thoughts on “Sudan Golden Sparrows at the edge of the Western Palearctic: Aousserd

  1. DURAND Eric

    I’ve read with interest your post about Aousserd birds. I plan to visit this area this winter and I wonder if the track leading to the barrage boulariah is suitable for normal vehicles (no 4wd )?
    Regards
    Eric

    Reply
    1. MaghrebOrnitho Post author

      Thanks Eric for your interest. I asked a friend who lives in the region and told me it’s difficult to get to barrage Boulariah by ordinary vehicles eventhough it’s not far from the main road.

      Regards,
      Mohamed

      Reply

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