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.

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 »

Golden Nightjar, Sudan Golden Sparrows and Olive-backed Pipit

Some recent rarities were published a couple of days ago, here are some more. Golden Nightjar (Caprimulgus eximius) Until now, Golden Nightjars have been recorded at Aoussed only from February until May. For example, during a birding trip to Oued Jenna for The Sound Approach in mid-December 2017, Arnoud B. van den Berg and Killian Mullarney… 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 »

Expansion of Red-billed Firefinch in Algeria

The Red-billed Firefinch in Algeria is expanding its range northward. This range expansion is mainly aided by human activities, but natural range expansion may have been involved as well (e.g. at Djanet and Tassili n’Ajjer region) . The Red-billed Firefinch (Lagonosticta senegala) was introduced at Tamanrasset around 1940, and also present at El-Goléa, northern Sahara, since… Read More »

White-throated Bee-eater at Dakhla Bay: 2nd Western Palearctic record

A White-throated Bee-eater (Merops albicollis) found at Dakhla bay, Oued Dahab region on 28 February 2017 by Billy Herman and Annelies Jacobs. It’s the second Western Palearctic record for the species, the first record was observed at the site known to birders as ‘Gleb Jdiane’ in December 2013 (correct name of that place is not… Read More »

Taxonomy and breeding range extension of Golden Nightjar

Golden Nightjar (Caprimulgus eximius) is an apparently sedentary sub-Saharan species with a breeding range extending from Senegal and Mauritania to Sudan. Although genetic studies of nightjars and related Caprimulgiformes have been published previously, none has included Golden Nightjar. In this study published in the Ostrich journal (Lawrie et al. 2017), mitochondrial and nuclear DNA of… Read More »