Observations of Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse in Morocco

By | 23 June 2013

Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse (Pterocles lichtensteinii) is a rare and range-restricted breeding species in Morocco. It’s so localised and discrete that it’s included in the list of species to be submitted to the Moroccan Rare Birds Committee (to better know its current distribution). There are however some sites where the species can be observed. One of the best known sites is located along Oued Tissint, especially some 8-10 km south-east of the village of Tissint (for example at this location: 29.8530425, -7.2648361). Here we will include some observations of the species in Morocco (will be updated with new sightings):

Lake Iriqui:

A pair of Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse was photographed in the Middle Draa at some 12 Km north-east of Lake Iriqui (Iriki) on 7 May 2013 by Mohamed Mediani. Here are the GPS coordinates of the site: 29.8997917, -6.4209783.

Oued Tissint:

A Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse was photographed on 8 March 2014, at Oued Tissint along the road Tata-Foum Zguid by Jorrit Vlot, Mark de Vries and their friends. The exact spot is at Km 56, about 6 Km south-east of the village of Tissint.

Oued Tissint:

Andrew Makin commented below that a group of birders consisting of himself, Phil Rhodes, Simon Warford and Tony Disley observed 9 Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse drinking from river at Oued Tissint in the evening of 25 April 2016 at approximately 20:30. The following morning at 08:20, they observed 250+ Spotted (Pterocles senegallus) and 50+ Crowned Sandgrouse (Pterocles coronatus) drinking in same area.

Etymology note:

Tissint means salt in Tamazight/Berber language. Oued Tissint and the eponymous village are named so because of the salty water of the wadi. Oued Tissint is also sometimes called “Oued el-Maleh”, this is simply the Arabic translation of the original Berber name. The latter name should be avoided when describing this site, because there are many sites known as ‘Oued el-Maleh’ in Morocco as well as in Algeria and Tunisia.

A pair of Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse (Pterocles lichtensteinii – Ganga de Lichtenstein), 12 Km NE of Lake Iriqui, Morocco, 7 May 2013 (Mohamed Mediani)

A pair of Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse (Pterocles lichtensteinii), 12 Km NE of Lake Iriqui, Morocco, 7 May 2013 (Mohamed Mediani)

Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse (Pterocles lichtensteinii – Ganga de Lichtenstein), Oued Tissint, Morocco, 8 March 2014 (Mark de Vries)

Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse (Pterocles lichtensteinii), Oued Tissint, Morocco, 8 March 2014 (Mark de Vries)

2 thoughts on “Observations of Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse in Morocco

  1. Andrew Makin

    On visiting Morocco for 10 days during late April – early May 2016, a birding group consisting of Andrew Makin, Phil Rhodes, Simon Warford and Tony Disley visited Oued Tissint in the area mentioned above. During the evening 25/4/16 at approximately 20.30 hours 9 Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse were seen drinking from the river. The following morning at 08.20 hours 250+ Spotted and 50+ Crowned Sandgrouse were seen drinking in the same area.

    Reply
    1. MaghrebOrnitho Post author

      Thanks Andrew from commenting and for the information. I am glad you enjoyed the Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse and other species at Oued Tissint.
      I have updated your observation in the main body of the blog-post.
      p.s.
      Sorry for taking so long to reply, first because I was away at the time, but also because of approving all the comments from the old ‘Moroccan Birds blog’, see: http://www.magornitho.org/about/

      Mohamed

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *