A juvenile Allen’s Gallinule (Porphyrio alleni) found and photographed at Oued Massa by my friend Ali Irizi yesterday morning. It’s wonderful to finish a birding year with such a rarity. Importantly, the bird was found alive which is much better that the dead one I found a few years ago at Tahaddart estuary, just south of Tangier. This is the 9th record for Morocco of this Afro-tropical species.
When I first met Ali last April in Agadir (where he invited me and Rachid El Khamlichi to a delicious dinner by the way), he told us that he likes very much to watch and photograph raptors. But since then he has apparently found love with waterbirds as well and this rarity is the evidence!
I should mention that the Allen’s Gallinule has bred this year in Malta. The authors found two adults with three chicks. This is not only the first breeding record for Malta but also for the Western Palearctic. See this note:
Fenech, N. & Sammut, M. 2014. Allen’s Gallinule breeding in Malta in July 2014. Dutch Birding 36: 327-330. PDF
I see this breeding record as an invitation to birders/ornithologists not only in Morocco but in the whole North Africa to open their eyes.
The Allen’s Gallinule found by Ali at Oued Massa was relocated (assuming it’s the same bird) again by Daniel Vrauwdeunt on 31 December (photo 3).