Olive-backed Pipit / Pipit à dos olive (Anthus hodgsoni), Dakhla Bay, 19 Feb 2020 (Javi Elorriaga).

Recent Moroccan rarities: Laughing Gull, Olive-backed Pipits and Kelp Gulls

Some recent Moroccan rarities include a Laughing Gull and Olive-backed Pipits in February and Kelp Gulls in the previous month. Laughing Gull (Larus atricilla) A Laughing Gull was photographed on 14 February at Essaouira fishing port by Andrzej Kośmicki and Helena Trzeciak. There are 6 previous known records of this American species in Morocco, so …

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Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita) named ‘Aylal’, Souss Massa National Park, October 2019 (Abdeslam Rihane)

Northern Bald Ibis in Morocco since 1900: Analysis of ecological requirements

How Northern Bald Ibis managed to survive in Morocco? In other words, which are the most important factors that determine the survival of the Northern Bald Ibis colonies in Morocco? A recent study gave us some good answers. Historically widespread, now reduced to a small restricted area Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita) had once a …

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Algerian Nuthatch (Sitta ledanti), Bouafroun Forest, Djimla, Algeria, July 2019 (Walid Soukkou).

Algerian Nuthatch habitat threatened by a controversial project

A project to create a “recreational forest” inside the Bouafroun Forest in Djimla could jeopardise the Algerian Nuthatch and other wildlife according to Algerian sources. The project named “Bouafoune Forest for Entertainment and Recreation, Jijel” is developed by a private investor under the name “Bouafroune Services & Commerce Ltd”.  It was authorized by the concerned …

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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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Three Marbled Ducks satellite-tracked from El Hondo, south-east Spain, are in central Algeria. These are the only surviving birds out of a total of 27 Marbled Ducks.

Spanish Marbled Ducks migrate to Africa to escape hunters’ guns

A total of 27 Marbled Ducks were satellite-tracked in south-east Spain, of these only three have survived by migrating to Algeria . Most of the birds that stayed locally were hunted or missing. The most threatened duck in Europe With a decreasing population, the Marbled Duck (Marmaronetta angustirostris) is classed globally as ‘Vulnerable’ in the …

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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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Migratory connectivity of Eurasian Dotterels breeding in alpine Fennoscandia. The bird with geolocator in orange. All but two ring recoveries in winter are from North Africa: Morocco (1), Algeria (6) and Tunisia (1).

Migratory connectivity of Fennoscandian Dotterels using geolocator and ring recoveries

An Eurasian Dotterel equipped with a light-logger in North Finland spent almost half a year in the wintering areas in Libya. The Eurasian Dotterel (Eudromias morinellus) breeds in the arctic-alpine zone of Palearctic. Its wintering range is also sufficiently known: it winters in North Africa eastwards to the Middle East, with some birds reaching the …

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Moltoni’s Warbler / Fauvette de Moltoni (Sylvia subalpina), El Borma, Ouargla, Algerian Sahara, 7 April 2019 (Alex Viechec)

New records of Moltoni’s Warbler in Algeria

The recent split of the Moltoni’s Warbler (Sylvia subalpina) as a full species is widely adopted by different taxonomic authorities. However, until the end of the 20th century, the Moltoni’s Warbler wasn’t even considered as a valid subspecies of the Subalpine Warbler. For some details, read: “the evolution of Moltoni’s Warbler from an invalid ‘subspecies’ …

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Siberian Chiffchaff / Pouillot de Sibérie, Dayet Dar Bouazza, Morocco, 8 Nov. 2019 (Benoît Maire).

Siberian Chiffchaff at Dar Bouazza: 3rd Moroccan record

A Siberian Chiffchaff photographed at Dayet Dar Bouazza, just south-west of Casablanca, on 8 December 2019 by Benoît Maire. If accepted, this would be the third record for Morocco of this rare Asian vagrant. Only two records have been accepted so far by the Moroccan Rare Birds Committee (MRBC): the first was captured at Oued …

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