Tag Archives: Sahara

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. 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 Gleb Jdiane but… Read More »

Namaqua Dove (Oena capensis): a new breeding species for Morocco

Namaqua Dove (Oena capensis) is widely distributed across Africa south of the Sahara, Madagascar, the Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East. During the last 30 years, the species has undergone a range expansion across the Middle East where the species now recorded in many countries and has reached as north as Turkey and Georgia. In… Read More »

Allen’s Gallinule at Tachektent, Dakhla-Aousserd road

An Allen’s Gallinule (Porphyrio alleni) photographed at Tachektent on the Dakhla-Aousserd road yesterday (18 February 2016) by Mohamed Mediani. This is the 11th or the 12th record for Morocco, depending whether we count the bird photographed by Ali Irizi at Oued Massa on 28 December 2014 and found by Daniel Vrauwdeunt three days later as one or two records… Read More »

Sudan Golden Sparrows at Oued Jenna, Aousserd

A group of Finish birders recorded the first Sudan Golden Sparrows (Passer luteus) in 2014 at Oued Jenna, Aousserd. Two birds, an adult male and female or 2cy male, were photographed by the group (Jari Pitkäkoski, Kalle Larsson, Seppo Järvinen and Kari Haataja) on 1 February. This is the third Moroccan record of this species. On… Read More »

First White-throated Bee-eater for the Western Palearctic

A White-throated Bee-eater (Merops albicollis – Guêpier à gorge blanche) was seen at Gleb Jdiane, Oued Dahab on 5 and 6 December 2013 by Noëlle and Hervé Jacob. This is not only the first record for Morocco, but it’s a first for the Western Palearctic as well. According to the last AERC Western Palearctic list… Read More »

Houbara Bustard filmed near Safia reserve, Oued Dahab

A wild Houbara Bustard (Chlamydotis undulata) filmed “displaying” near Safia reserve, Bir Guendouz, Oued Dahab, about 50 Km north of the Mauritanian border by members of the Association ‘Nature Initiative’ (A.N.I.). The association regularly monitors the reintroduced wildlife (addax, dama gazelle and North African Ostrich) in this reserve, and this bird was recorded during one of these… Read More »

First Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda) for Morocco

An Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda) was observed and photographed near Dakhla, Oued Dahab by Franck Chevalier on 11 October 2013. The bird seen at a water point at “ferme Maraîchage du Sahara 1”, and seemed neither tired nor in poor condition. This place produces some interesting rarities both from North America like this bird and from sub-Saharan… Read More »

Red-necked Ostrich reintroduced to the Sahara after 50 years

The North African Ostrich or Red-necked Ostrich (Struthio camelus camelus) has returned to breed in the Sahara, southern Morocco after it went extinct there some 50 years before. This is thanks to a successful reintroduction programme launched in 2008 by the Forestry Administration (HCEFLCD) and its local partners Association ‘Nature Initiative’ based at Dakhla. The Ostrich along with two other Sahelo-Saharan flagship… Read More »

Sudan Golden Sparrows at the edge of the Western Palearctic: Aousserd

Three Sudan Golden Sparrows (Passer luteus) were seen on 12 January 2013 near Aousserd by Thomas Pettersson and Krister Mild. The birds were in a dense tree with 50 Desert Sparrows (Passer simplex) at a well on the track to barrage Boulariah where the oued is still flooded some 17 km south-west of Aousserd, Oued Dahab region. This Western… Read More »

Birding the Sahara: go after the rains

Many desert birds are nomadic and their movements are governed mainly by local rainfall which is scarce and occasional in the Sahara. Their breeding biology is also adapted to this nomadic life by breeding opportunistically in any season following enough rainfalls that allows vegetation to grow (and insects to proliferate). It’s known that annual plants in the deserts… Read More »

Rüppell’s Vultures at Aousserd: are they breeding in the region?

Rüppell’s Vulture (Gyps rueppellii) breeds throughout the Sahel region from southwestern Mauritania and Guinea eastwards to Ethiopia and Tanzania. It is considered non-migratory, although foraging involves moving considerable distances (up to 150-200 km). Since mid-1990s, increasing numbers of Rüppell’s Vultures have been recorded in the western Mediterranean region especially in Andalusia, southern Spain (Gutiérrez 2003),… Read More »

Association Nature Initiative (A.N.I), Dakhla

The Association Nature Initiative (A.N.I.) is an NGO based at Dakhla created on 5 June 2003. Its main activities are dedicated to the promotion of the conservation of the environment and biodiversity, sustainable development, ecotourism and eco-citizenship in the Region of Oued Dahab, southern Morocco. For more detailed information about the association and its activities… Read More »

Cricket Warbler breeding in southern Morocco

The Cricket Warbler or Cricket Longtail (Spiloptila clamans) is a small bird native to the Sahel region where its breeding area is restricted to a narrow band stretching from southern Mauritania and northern Senegal eastwards to Sudan and Eritrea. The species has recently been discovered in Oued Jenna some 40 Km before the village of… Read More »