Western Palearctic birding

Index of articles about birding news that are of interest to the Western Palearctic birding community. Articles about ‘mega rarities’ found in Northwest African and potential vagrants to the WP from adjacent areas are filed under this category. For birding news and national rarities see under each country.

Jacobin Cuckoo / Coucou jacobin (Clamator jacobinus), Tamanrasset, southern Algeria, 5 Oct. 2019 (Karim Haddad).

First record of Jacobin Cuckoo for North Africa

Two Jacobin Cuckoos at Tamanrasset in October 2019. This is the first record for Algeria and North Africa. Jacobin or Pied Cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus) is distributed in Africa south of the Sahara and in India and Sri Lanka. It’s very rare in the Western Palearctic region (WP). Members of the Association EcoCirta encountered this mega …

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Dwarf Bittern (Ixobrychus sturmii), Nouadhibou, Mauritania, 23 Jan. 2020 (Sylvia van der Steen)

Dwarf Bittern and Eurasian Siskin at Nouadhibou, Mauritania

Dwarf Bittern and Eurasian Siskin at Nouadhibou, northern Mauritania. The latter species is the first record of the country. Dwarf Bittern The Dwarf Bittern was found on 22 January 2020 by ‘Banc d’Arguin’, a small non-commercial Dutch travel company that organises overland trans-Sahara birding trips between Agadir and The Gambia. The observers were Stephan Duynstee, …

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

Black Scrub Robin at Tamanrasset, Algeria

Black Scrub Robin (Cercotrichas podobe) photographed in Tamanrasset region, southern Algeria. 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. A Black Scrub Robin was photographed by Soufyane Bekkouche in the Tamanrasset region on 3 May 2019. This …

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White-rumped Seedeater / Serin à croupion blanc (Crithagra leucopygia), Tamanrasset, southern Algeria, 25 Dec 2019 (Mourad Harzallah).

White-rumped Seedeater: first for Algeria and Western Palearctic

White-rumped Seedeater observed at Tamanrasset, southern Algeria. This is the first record of the species for the country and the Western Palearctic. En décembre 2019, un groupe d’ornithologues de terrain algérien a découvert le Serin à croupion blanc à Tamanrasset (les noms cités ci-dessous). Plus important encore, l’équipe a observé un adulte nourrissant un jeune …

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Andalusian Buttonquail / Turnix d’Andalousie (Turnix sylvaticus sylvaticus), north-east Algeria, 29 Nov. 2019 (Moussa Houache).

Andalusian Buttonquail observed in Algeria for the first time in three decades

The Andalusian Buttonquail observed in Algeria for the first time after almost three decades without known sightings. Le Turnix d’Andalousie observé en Algérie pour la première fois après une absence d’observations pendant près de trois décennies. Andalusian Buttonquail (Turnix sylvaticus sylvaticus) is the Mediterranean endemic subspecies of the Common Buttonquail. After it went extinct in …

Andalusian Buttonquail observed in Algeria for the first time in three decades Read More »

Are birding optics banned in Morocco? The short answer in NO.

Are birding optics banned from entry in Morocco?

Are birding optics such as telescopes banned in Morocco? Are there any new rules regarding this subject? The answer is NO. Please read until the end, share and contribute. Morocco has been visited by several kinds of people over the years, from the hippies (in the past decades) to the birders, trekkers and other tourists. …

Are birding optics banned from entry in Morocco? Read More »

Red-billed Firefinches (Lagonosticta senegala), Tamanrasset, southern Algeria (Sam Viles)

Birding Northern and Southern Algeria (trip report)

In March 2019, three birders – Peter Stronach, Bob Swann and Sam Viles – visited northern Algeria and the region of Tamanrraset in the south. The aim was to see the three most wanted species from the Western Palearctic birders’ perspective. Below is a summary of the main visited sites and key species. The full …

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African Dunn’s Lark / Alouette de Dunn (Eremalauda dunni), Merzouga, Morocco, 26 March 2019 (Jeroen De Bruijn).

Dunn’s Lark at Merzouga and other rare birds

Some rare birds observed recently in different regions of Morocco: Isabelline Shrike, Lesser Flamingo, African Dunn’s Lark, Golden Nightjar and Sudan Golden Sparrow. African Dunn’s Lark (Eremalauda dunni) Dunn’s Larks were discovered near Merzouga in 2010 and stayed there until 2012. After an absence of nearly 7 years, the species reappeared in the area again. …

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Golden Nightjar / Engoulevent doré (Caprimulgus eximius) protecting its two young, Aousserd, Western Sahara, southern Morocco, 18 March 2019.

Breeding of Golden Nightjar in Western Sahara confirmed

Breeding of Golden Nightjar (Caprimulgus eximius) at Aousserd finally confirmed. An adult protecting two young found at Oued Chiaf located some 55 km NNW of Aousserd on the evening of 17 March 2019. The breeding was discovered by a German birding group during an organised trip guided by Mohamed Lamine Samlali and other guides. Two …

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Tawny Eagle / Aigle ravisseur (Aquila rapax), north-west Algeria (Mayssara El Bouhissi)

Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax) in north-west Algeria

There were no documented breeding of the Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax) anywhere in Northwest Africa since many years. In Morocco and Algeria for example, the last known breeding pairs date back to the early 1990s. Despite this lack of observations, the species may still breeds in some isolated places. And the recent observations in Algeria …

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