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.

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 »

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 »

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 MRBC. The first was… 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 »