Category Archives: Western Palearctic Birding

Rare Western Palearctic birds found in Northwest Africa: Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. Potential vagrants to the WP from adjacent areas are sometimes also included here (e.g. Kordofan Lark, Horus Swift,…). In short, all ‘mega rarities’ are filed under this category, other birding news and national rarities can be found under each country.

First record of Blue-naped Mousebird for Algeria

A Blue-naped Mousebird (Urocolius macrourus) was photographed three days ago in the Tamanrasset region, southern Algeria (Soufyane Bekkouche). This is the first (known) record of the species for Algeria. The bird was photographed at a village in the Tin-Zaouten district, located in the south of Tamanghasset province. The village location (20° 23’N) is slightly outside… Read More »

Big flock of Sudan Golden Sparrow at Tamanrasset, Algeria

A big flock of Sudan Golden Sparrow (Passer luteus) was photographed a few days ago in the Tamanrasset region, southern Algeria (Soufyane Bekkouche). A Blue-naped Mousebird (Urocolius macrourus) was also photographed in the same area. The birds were photographed at a village in the Tin-Zaouten district, located in the south of Tamanghasset province. The village… Read More »

Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax) in north-east Algeria

This large eagle was photographed this week in north-east Algeria by Mourad Harzallah (a very good naturalist and a local ecotourism guide). The photographer said the eagle was much bigger than the Bonelli’s Eagle (Aquila fasciata), and some of the photos below also attest this. Several people in a FB group suggested that it’s a… Read More »

The Algerian Nuthatch twitch: easier than you think

The Algerian Nuthatch (Sitta ledanti) is a dream species for every Western Palearctic birder, especially so since the 1990s with the start of what they call in Algeria the “Black Decade”. However, although the security situation in the whole country has improved greatly since many years now, many WP birders still hesitating to visit Algeria… Read More »

Identification of Kordofan Lark: a potential vagrant to Western Palearctic

Kordofan Lark (Mirafra cordofanica). The name sounds familiar to Western Palearctic birders because until recently the species was included in the WP list. However, Crochet & Haas (2013) suggested that the species should be deleted. Here is a (slightly edited) quote from this article: The distribution of Kordofan Lark as shown in Snow & Perrins… Read More »

Second Wahlberg’s Eagle for the Western Palearctic

Wahlberg’s Eagle (Hieraaetus wahlbergi) is an African raptor distributed south of the Sahara. It’s known as an intra-African migrant, but movements north of the range are very rare. Indeed, the first Western Palearctic record was obtained only on 3 May 2013: a bird photographed by Ahmed Waheed on the west coast of Gulf of Suez,… Read More »

Tawny Eagle in Morocco: status and vagrancy from sub-Saharan Africa

The Tawny Eagle in Morocco is very rare and endangered to say the least. There are no known breeding pairs since more than two decades. And even sightings of single birds are becoming increasingly rare. The former breeding range of Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax) in Morocco was much larger, however the known breeding areas in… Read More »

White-backed Vulture at Jbel Moussa, Morocco

A White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus) was observed on 5, 6 and 8 July 2017 at Jbel Moussa, northern Morocco (Rachid El Khamlichi). The bird was flying in the area with 4 Rüppell’s (Gyps rueppelli) and Griffon Vultures (Gyps fulvus). This would be the second record for Morocco if accepted by the Moroccan Birds Rare Committee… Read More »