Franklin’s Gull at Merzouga Lake and Olive-backed Pipits at Massa, Morocco

By MaghrebOrnitho | 9 April 2019

Merzouga is not only known for its great variety of desert birds, but also by its small lake, Dayet Srij. This desert lake in the middle of nowhere can be a real magnet for rare waterbirds (and common birds as well!).

A cracking adult Franklin’s Gull (Leucophaeus pipixcan) observed at this lake yesterday afternoon by Marc Illa, Ivan Maggini and Georg Gruber.

This would be the 10th record of this North American species for Morocco. And it’s the only one found far inland, all previous records were found either on the Atlantic (mainly in Souss region) or the Mediterranean coast (one record).

The Red or Grey Phalarope (Phalaropus fulicarius) is also still present at the lake (first reported there in the end of March), and a hybrid Ferruginous Duck x Common Pochard.

Update:

More Dunn’s Larks were found at new sites around Merzouga during the last week.

Franklin's Gull (Leucophaeus pipixcan), Merzouga Lake, Morocco, 8 April 2019 (Marc Illa).
Franklin’s Gull (Leucophaeus pipixcan), Merzouga Lake, Morocco, 8 April 2019 (Marc Illa).
Franklin's Gull (Leucophaeus pipixcan), Merzouga Lake, Morocco, 8 April 2019 (Marc Illa).
Franklin’s Gull (Leucophaeus pipixcan), Merzouga Lake, Morocco, 8 April 2019 (Marc Illa).

Olive-backed Pipit (Anthus hodgsoni)

Two Olive-backed Pipits found at Massa on 6 April 2019 by Richard Moores and Martyn Owen. These would be the 9th and 10th record for Morocco if accepted by the MRBC. A photo posted by Richard in Twitter.


Thanks Marc and Richard for the information!

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