House Bunting at Jbel Moussa – is Europe the next step?

The House Bunting (Emberiza sahari) colonised Tangier since at least a decade ago and now is abundant in many parts of this big city (Amezian et al. 2006). Then it colonised Tétouan since at least 2010. Now it started to disperse even outside the cities.

Yesterday, Rachid El Khamlichi took a quick photo of one bird at Jbel Moussa. Taking into account the breeding expansion of the species in Tangier and Tétouan, the breeding at Jbel Moussa is more likely. Affaire à suivre!

In Spain, there are only 2 accepted records of the species (Dies et al. 2011), but they labelled them (at least the last one) as of uncertain origin (Origen dudoso). Jbel Moussa is right in front of Tarifa! A matter worth watching for those birding north of the Strait.

References:

Amezian, M, Bensusan, K., Perez, C. & Thompson, I. 2006. Is House Bunting about to colonise Europe? Birding World 19: 263.

Dies, J.I., Lorenzo, J.A., Gutiérrez, R., Garcia, E., Gorospe, G., Martí-Aledo, J., Gutiérrez, P., Vidal, C., Sales, S. & López Velasco, D. 2011. Observaciones de Aves Raras en España, 2009. Ardeola 58: 441–480.

House Bunting (Emberiza sahari - Bruant du Sahara), Jbel Moussa, 02 June 2015 (Rachid El Khamlichi)
House Bunting (Emberiza sahari), Jbel Moussa, 02 June 2015 (Rachid El Khamlichi).

Update:

House Bunting at Ceuta

A ‘bird catcher’ captured a House Bunting at Ceuta on 14 November 2016. Later, the bird was ringed by an experienced bird ringer (photos 2 and 3).

This is the second observation of the House Bunting in the city after the first one in September 1975. Unlike the old record which was clearly a vagrant (as was the case in Tangier in the same period), the new observation is a sign of the recent expansion of the species in the region.

House Bunting (Emberiza sahari), Ceuta, 14 November 2016 (SEO-Ceuta /Sociedad De Estudios Ornitologicos de Ceuta)
House Bunting (Emberiza sahari), Ceuta, 14 November 2016 (SEO-Ceuta /Sociedad De Estudios Ornitologicos de Ceuta)
House Bunting (Emberiza sahari), Ceuta, 14 November 2016 (SEO-Ceuta /Sociedad De Estudios Ornitologicos de Ceuta)
House Bunting (Emberiza sahari), Ceuta, 14 November 2016 (SEO-Ceuta /Sociedad De Estudios Ornitologicos de Ceuta)

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