Black Scrub Robin at Tamanrasset, Algeria

Black Scrub Robin (Cercotrichas podobe) was photographed in Tamanrasset region last year. It’s the first observation in Algeria in five decades.

Un Agrobate podobé photographié dans la région de Tamanrasset au sud de l’Algérie le 3 mai 2019. C’est la deuxième ou troisième observation pour le pays.

Drawing of Black Scrub Robin (Cercotrichas podobe) by Aissa Djamel FILALI.
Drawing of Black Scrub Robin (Cercotrichas podobe) by Aissa Djamel FILALI.

A Black Scrub Robin was photographed by Soufyane Bekkouche in the Tamanrasset region on 3 May 2019. This is the the second or third record for Algeria. The previous record(s) was/were also in the same region. Here is a quote from the ‘Birds of Algeria’ by Moali and Isenmann (2000): “…was observed 8 February 1968 at Tamanrasset and, perhaps, on 12 February 1968 in Central Ahaggar”.

In July 2018, the same observer photographed a Blue-naped Mousebird (Urocolius macrourus) and a flock of Sudan Golden Sparrow (Passer luteus) in the Tin-Zaouten district, located in the southern part of Tamanghasset province.

In the Western Palearctic, outside the Middle East the Black Scrub Robin has only been recorded in Algeria and Egypt (several records along the Red Sea coast).

In Mauritania, the species has also been recorded in the far north of the country (e.g. at Mhairith, Atar, Ouadane,…), but I don’t know if it has ever been recorded inside the Western Palearctic ‘limit’.

Acknowledgements

First and foremost thanks to the observer for photographing the birds he encounter. Thanks also to Aissa Djamel FILALI for his help in obtaining the photographs. Although we were aware of the observation at the time (see this tweet), it was thanks to the discussion with Łukasz Ławicki that I finally got the photos.

Update

Koen de Smet, a specialist in the Algerian fauna commented the following in email : « Magnifique: on le cherche depuis 30 ans !! et il existe donc. Félicitations ! ».

Black Scrub Robin / Agrobate podobé (Cercotrichas podobe), Tamanrasset region, southern Algeria, 3 May 2019 (Soufyane Bekkouche).
Black Scrub Robin / Agrobate podobé (Cercotrichas podobe), Tamanrasset region, southern Algeria, 3 May 2019 (Soufyane Bekkouche).
Black Scrub Robin / Agrobate podobé (Cercotrichas podobe), Tamanrasset region, southern Algeria, 3 May 2019 (Soufyane Bekkouche).
Black Scrub Robin / Agrobate podobé (Cercotrichas podobe), Tamanrasset region, southern Algeria, 3 May 2019 (Soufyane Bekkouche).

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