Visit your favourite destinations
|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
Morocco, 19th-26th March 2012,
The trip was made by four birders: Mick Bellas, Ian Hedge, Chris Johnson, and Ray Thorneycroft. It was instigated a couple of months earlier, when Easyjet were advertising flights to Marrakesh for £88.return. Mick booked the flights, and the car. Chris worked up an itinerary, and booked all the hotels.
Flights: Manchester to Marrakesh, by Easyjet, £88. Each. An evening flight that landed around 20.00pm.
Hire car: Euro car. A Renault Latitude saloon, at a cost of £452. For 7 days. Mick and Ian did all the driving. The map used was the Michelin 742 national, which was five years old, but did the job.
The field guide used was the Collin’s 2nd edition, “Birds of Britain and Europe”. Trip reports from the internet were also researched. Also used were Patrick and Fedora Bergier, “A Birdwatchers Guide to Morocco”, 2003 edition, and “Finding Birds in Southern Morocco” by Dave Gosney, 1996 edition.
Currency; Dirhams, at around 12 to the pound Sterling. Euros were also widely used. Moroccan Dirhams is a closed currency, and can’t be taken out of the country. Monies have to be exchanged on arrival, and exchanged again on departure. There are plenty of currency exchange booths at the airport, but only two ATM’s.
Mon 19. Ibis Moussafir, on the N8. North of the city centre on the Casablanca Road. Good value at 338 Dirhams per night, including breakfast.
Tue 20, wed 21. Marrakesh, to Boumaine de Dades. We stayed for 2 nights, at the “Le Soleil Bleu,” at a cost of 800 Dirhams each to include breakfast and evening meals. If you like low dining, low lighting, hard beds, broken showers, and a candle to light you to bed, then this is the place for you. Most birders love it. It’s adjacent to the Tagdilt Track.
Thurs 22 Boumaine de Dades, to Kasbah Derkoua. For one night, at 440Dirhams each, to include evening meal. This was the most expensive, but, good value.
Fri 23 Kasbah Derkoua to Kasbah Yasmina, Erg Chebbi .One night, to include breakfast and evening meal, 400 Dirhams. Good value.
Sat 24, Yasmina to Ouarzazate, staying at the Ibis Hotel. We took advantage of a special offer .Bed, breakfast and evening meal for 300 Dirhams. Best value of the trip.
Sun 25 Ouarzazate to Oukaimeden, staying at the Club Alpine Francais. This is more a ski-ing hostel than a hotel. The ski-ing season had finished, and we were the only guests. It was very basic, and very cold. The room was dormitory style, with six beds. Two blankets each were issued, but, no towels. The food was very basic, and the cost was 225 Dirhams, to include breakfast, and evening meal.
Mon 26 Oukaimeden to Marrakesh Airport, for the mid- evening flight to Manchester.
We awoke the next morning to the sound of a Common Bulbul warbling outside our window, and from the balcony added House Bunting, Blackbird, White Stork, and a flight of Cattle Egrets. After breakfast we hit the road, and threaded our way through the Marrakesh rush hour to pick up the N9 south of the city. Along the way we picked up a few Magpies, and Spotless Starlings. All the Magpies in Morocco are now thought to be the Mauritanica species, although we were unable to see the blue patch behind the eye.
We stopped at a likely looking place about 2k south of Ait-Ourir. On the right hand side of the road, atop a hill, sat a small square edifice, with a domed roof. On the opposite side of the road was a scrubby area with birds singing. In one small bush were Sardinian Warbler, Western Olivaceous Warbler, and a Rufus Bushchat. A couple of Nightingales were singing, and a Woodchat Shrike sat atop a bush. Serin, Linnet, and a Common Redstart, were in attendance, and a Laughing Dove flew by.
On the other side of the road, Ian had found a pair of Barbary Partridges on the hillside, along with a Hoopoe and some Crested Larks. Sat on the skyline was a Long-legged Buzzard, and above the hill more raptors were getting up, including two Booted Eagles, and a further two Long-legged Buzzards. The air was also filled with Barn Swallows. Not a bad start for the first stop.
We motored on towards the Tizi-n-Tichka Pass, stopping by the Auberge Toufliht. This area has reported Levaillant’s Green Woodpecker in the past. We walked forward around the bends, past the Forestry Cottage, picking up Coal Tit, and Firecrest along the way. Chris thought he heard a Green Woodpecker yaffelling. A Treecreeper was spotted, and while we were chewing the fat over whether this might be Short-toed or Common, Mick spotted the Levaillant’s, about thirty metres away, bathed in a ray of light, at the foot of a pine tree. He was engrossed in feeding, probably ants, and was oblivious to us. We watched him for about ten minutes before he moved on.
We crossed over the pass, and on the downside, pulled off the road between marker posts 74 and 73 Ouarzazate, where the pylons cross the road.
We spent some time sussing a pair of Thekla Larks on the hillside, then had our first Moussier’s Redstart, and above that, two males and a female Black Wheatear. At the same time two flights of about fifty European Bee-eaters flew over. We also had a pair of Rock Buntings. Continuing on we started picking up Great-grey Shrikes Lanis elegans, and White-crowned Wheatears.
Late afternoon we arrived at Ouarzazate, and instead of turning left and passing the airport, we carried on straight down to the lakeside, to a “Camping Municipal” area. This area is highlighted on page 114/115 of the Bergier Guide. We were advised by a local not to drive onto the crusted sand, as we may get trapped. We parked up and walked, picking up a Subpesonata Wagtail, some Black-winged Stilts, and a flock of Short-toed Larks. We could see lots of waders on the mud, and decided to walk across the mud to higher ground to scope them. ( Bergier’s Guide, page 114, also points out the dangers of walking on the mud. We all read the book, but none of us picked up on it.).
This turned out to be a mistake, and two of the party got stuck in the mud. One managed to get out, and the other had to be pulled out by three Moroccans. Whilst this was going on, the two not involved were busy videoing the struggle,” shouting this will look great on U Tube”. After paying off the Moroccans, we got to the higher ground.
Our position was on the west side of the lake, on a broad spit of land covered by small Tamarisk trees. On the end of the spit were a couple of boats. We were surrounded by mud and marsh. This place was truly a migration stop over. It was teeming with birds. Moroccan White Wagtail Subpesonata 2, Pied Wagtail 4, White Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail both Iberie and Flavssima 50, Crested Larks, Black-winged Stilts, Wood Sandpipers, Green Sandpipers, Common Snipe, Kentish Plovers, Little Ringed Plovers, Ringed Plovers, Little Stint 20, Ruff, Marsh Harriers, Osprey, Montagu Harrier 2m, Booted eagle (dark phase), Ruddy Shelduck 50, Marble Teal 30, Common Teal 20, Northern Shoveler 20, Mallard 4, Grey Heron 6, White Stork 120, Iittle Egret 10, Greater Cormorant 20, Short-toed Larks 20, Laughing Dove, Sub-alpine Warblers, Chiffchaffs, and the air was full of Barn Swallows and Common Swifts.
We were there one hour and fifteen minutes, and had to leave to reach Boumaine de Dades for nightfall. At dinner in the hotel that night we swopped info with a British tour leader. We gave him information regarding a Maghreb Wheatear site we had found five years earlier behind this hotel. He wasn’t aware of it, although we had printed directions in our trip report, which was published on Birdtours. We also found out that the lake at Merzouga was dry this year. This was a spectacle we were looking forward to seeing. We decided we would call in at Ouarzazate on the return leg.
At six o clock the next morning, we departed the hotel, heading for the Tagdilt Track. Down the track to the main road, travelled a few K’s, and turned right down the Iknioeun road. We drove a couple of K’s, and then stopped at a big depression on the left. Black-bellied Sandgrouse had been reported here, but were not about this morning. What we did see was a couple of Desert Wheatear, a possible Lanner crossed in front of us, and 3 Marsh, and 2 Montagu Harriers, were migrating through.
On the other side of the road we drove along a track but had to turn back at a wadi. The scrub was very dry, and looked well grazed, as though the area had been in drought for a couple of years. We did pick up a Cream coloured Courser, a few Temminck’s Larks, and a pair of Red-rumped Wheatears. Barn Swallows were coming through all the time.
We drove round to the rubbish tip, picking up a few Trumpeter Finches, another pair of Red-rumped Wheatears, and another pair of White-crowned Wheatears. On the way back to the hotel for breakfast we had a Black Redstart, and a pair of House Buntings. For an early morning session, birds seemed scarce.
After breakfast, we again drove down the Iknioeun road, but a couple of K’s more than the morning, and took a track to the right, heading for the “Wheatear Wall” area. We were soon into the birds, starting off with a pair of Hoopoe Larks, giving close views. Then, a pair of Desert Larks was observed. Cream-coloured Coursers were spread thinly on the desert. At the enclosed area by the wheatear wall some 40 Black-bellied Sandgrouse were up and down in the scrub. Red-rumped Wheatear and Temminck’s Lark were seen again.
We dropped down from the high ground to the wadi in the bottom, and walked to the left checking out the Tamarisk bushes. The first birds seen were a pair of Thick-billed Larks which gave good close up views for about five minutes. We also had Spectacled Warbler, Sub-alpine Warbler, and a pair of Woodchat Shrikes.
Motoring on across the desert in the general direction of Boulamaine, and the rubbish tip. Enroute we picked up Desert Wheatears, Short-toed Larks, one Kestrel, and a couple of Long-legged Buzzards. At the tip was the usual pack of feral dogs, both dead and alive. A few Sand Rats were also scuttling around. About 120 White Storks were stood around, and a large raptor was seen high in the air. This turned out to be a Golden eagle, being mobbed by a Long-legged Buzzard.
We now decided to try for the Maghreb Wheatear, at the site we saw them 5 years ago. Heading east from the shell petrol station, take the first track left after passing the” 48 Tinerhir” marker. Drive as far as you can towards the power lines. After a while, a wadi opens up on the left where the shepherds live. Towards the end of the wadi, and before the power lines, you will see 3 caves in the wadi, and the middle one is partly blocked up.
After about ten minutes searching, Mick picked a male Maghreb up, then a female. The final total was one male and a female. The light was starting to go, and a storm was moving towards us, when we saw a small brown bird, with a buffy breast. This was about the size of a Desert Lark. We watched this hopping around the car for about five minutes before identifying it from the Collins. It was the Moroccan sub species of Desert Lark Payni. What a way to finish the day.
The next morning after a short walk around the hotel, and breakfast, we hit the road again. Enroute to Goulmaine we had very good views of a pair of Lanner Falcons sat atop the pylons at the side of the road.
We were heading for a Scrub Warbler site beyond Goulmaine, on the N10 road. We stopped at a wadi between markers 47 and 49, and entered it on the right hand side of the road.
After walking the wadi for a short time, 3 Scrub Warblers were seen, running and dancing between the foliage, giving good views to all. Other birds seen here were, Moussier’s Redstart, Desert and Northern Wheatear, and a Great-grey Shrike. ( Elegans).
We retraced our steps to Goulmaine, and took a left on a road that linked up with the R702 Erfoud road. Along this link road we crossed a small river, and stopped a while. Birds seen were Little-ringed Plover, Little Stint, Green Sandpiper, 4 Ruddy Shelducks, all sounding off because their peace had been disturbed. There were also Sub-alpine warblers, and a single Red-rumped Swallow.
Back on the R702 Erfoud road we stopped at marker Rissani 36. A number of irrigation channels were on the left and we walked these. A couple of Little-ringed Plovers were flying around, and in the trees were Sub-alpine Warblers and Serins. We stopped to watch a flock of Common Bulbuls chasing around, When 3 Fulvous Babblers flew in. These were smart elegant birds, and we got good close views of them. An irrigated field held about 20 Crested Larks, of the sub species Riggenbaci carthaginis. There was so much mud on their bills; it was hard to see the difference. One of the larks was Leuistic, and stood out from the rest.
We called in here on the way back. Only other birds seen were the first Black-eared Wheatear of the trip, and a Northern Wheatear. The Fulvous Babblers were not about.
On arrival in Erfoud, we intended to take a back road to Kashba Dakoua. This was a track we had used 5 years ago in the opposite direction, and we had many Sandgrouse. We found our way to the track, and it looked pretty beat up. It was spread across the desert, with tranches of loose sand, which could be deadly for an ordinary saloon car. We had to reverse four times to pick different tracks before we made it to Kashba Dakoua. The track and surrounding areas had been ripped up by 4 x 4 vehicles.
We checked in, and had a walk around the gardens. Sub-alpines were flitting about, and in the trees were Chiffchaff, and Bonelli’s Warblers. A Golden Oriole was calling, and Ian had a male Orphean Warbler. We got talking to a tour leader who was conducting his 60th trip to Morocco. We swopped info with him. We gave him the Maghreb Wheatear site, and he gave us the latest on the Eagle Owl site, including a Barbary Falcon site.
The next morning we walked around Kashba Dekoua. Again the Orphean Warbler was seen along with a spectacle Warbler. And 4 Brown-necked Ravens. Out on the dunes, a Short-toed Eagle got up from a tamarind tree and flew low over the desert flushing 2 Spotted Sandgrouse. We also saw of Great-grey Shrikes, a Woodchat Shrike, and a Common Redstart. It was our intention to drive across the desert from Kashba Dokoua, to Kashba Yasmina, but after our experience yesterday, we decided not to chance it.
After breakfast, we set off for the Eagle Owl site, along the way picking up Little Owl. We turned left at the filling station in Rissani, crossing the river, and past the old Eagle owl site, drove a couple of K’s further on and stopped where the road goes between the ridges of the hills. Two minutes later a posse of Moroccans appeared on bikes. A party of birders from Belgium also turned up, and these started bargaining in earnest with the Moroccans. The locals did say the Eagle Owl had been disturbed from its usual place and was not to be seen. We left them to it, as we were not prepared to pay at any price. We moved about 2K up the road, to a spot on the left where the sand comes down from the cliff. After a while the Barbary Falcon was spotted atop the cliff. One of the Moroccans had also followed us down the road to pester us. The Belgium birders then turned up with a Moroccan on board. They had paid to see the Owl, and he was now taking them to see something else.
We turned around and made the return journey towards Rissani. Before the river, we turned right onto the rubbish tip. We saw six Brown-necked Ravens, a couple of Long-billed Crested Larks, 4 Stone Curlews, and 4 White-crowned Wheatears, together with the usual pack of feral dogs.
We parked near the river, and made our way down to the bank. We saw 3 Great White Egrets, one Grey Heron, a Green Sandpiper and a Bonelli’s Warbler. Back at the filling station, we turned right onto the “Circqe Touriste” (Tourist Route). This was like driving down a country lane back home. First birds we saw were a party of 6 Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters, and two more Little Owls. We stopped from time to time. Willow Warbler, and Sub-alpine Warbler were about, and a male Blue Rock Thrush was seen. An Osprey was migrating through, and a Kestrel was being mobbed by Common Bulbuls. We also saw a flock of about 100 Crested Larks being harassed by a Kestrel, and a White Wagtail, and Great-grey Shrike was also spotted.
At the end of the “Tourist Route”, we turned right onto the Merzouga Road, and then took the 14k track from the road to Yasmina. We checked in, and walked outside. Erg Chebbe looked resplendent with a camel train walking down them, but the quad bikes thrashing around the bottom, signifies things to come. In amongst the Tamarisks bushes mist nets were set. A young lady, studying for a PHD was doing the ringing. She had twenty nets out, and worked them morning and evening. We spotted the tree, with the nest box in where the pair of Desert Sparrows nested. As the light was fading we saw the Desert Sparrows briefly, and in the nets were small warblers, Sardinian, Willow, Sub-alpine, Bonelli’s, and a Common Redstart.
During the evening meal a White-crowned Wheatear was settling down for the night in the rafters above our heads.
We were out early the next morning, checking the bushes round the nets. The birds being netted were much the same as the night before. In fact some of them were caught more than once, and the same Common Redstart was caught every day, so the ringer told us. We had good views of the pair of Desert Sparrows, and then walked in for breakfast.
Our destination today, was to start the homeward leg, and drive to Ouarzazate. We started the drive across the desert to the main road. A Hoopoe Lark was spotted, and we watched him doing his display. A pair of Bar-tailed Desert Larks was also spotted and they gave us good close views. A Marsh Harrier was seen, along with 6 Brown-necked Ravens. Across the other side of the track, Chris had got another couple of Bar-tails, and a flock of Trumpeter Finches. He also got onto an Isabelline Wheatear, the only one of the trip, and a dark form of Northern Wheatear. Going through Rissani we had a couple of Black-winged stilts.
We stopped again at the irrigation channels at Rissani 36. The birds were much the same as last time without the babblers, but a Black-eared Wheatear.
Approaching Ouarzazate, We had two Booted Eagles going over. Driving on, we ran into a violent storm, with lightening flashing all around us. The rain was pelting down, and the ground was holding water. On arrival in Ouarzazate, we made a left turn down to the “Camping Municipal”, and instead of driving to the bottom, we turned right, and drove between a couple of buildings, to come to an area overlooking the marsh, on the right hand side of the spit. It was still bucketing down with rain, so we sat in the car awhile.
Mick led the charge for the waterproofs, saying, “We haven’t come all this way to sit in the car”. It was the best move we made. It was still bucketing down as we walked towards the end of the spit.
Birds seen were Moorhen, Common Coot 200+, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Marbled Teal 20+, Ruddy Shelduck 100+, and Common Teal.
Egrets seen were, Great White Egret 2, Little Egret 10+, Black-crowned Night-heron 5, Eurasian Spoonbill 20+, Squacco 1, Grey Heron 20+, White Stork 200+. A flight of a 100 White Storks came down in a gap in the rain.
Waders were Black-winged Stilt 100+, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper 50+, Temminck’s Stint 4, Common Snipe 5, Little Ringed Plover 6+, Little Stint 50+, and a Stone Curlew.
Yellow Wagtail 80+, Pied Wagtail, 2 Subpersonata, White Wagtail 5, Meadow Pipit 20+, Red-throated Pipit 1, Bluethroat 1, and a Common Kingfisher.
About 500 Barn Swallows were skimming the marsh.
In the tamarisks were Sub-alpine, Spectacled, Chiffchaff, and Willow Warblers.
Raptors seen were Osprey 2, Black Kite 2, Barbary Falcon 1, Montagu Harriers, 6male, and 2 females. As we walked back to the car we witnessed a fantastic spectacle of over 150 Marsh Harriers dropping into roost in a reedbed about 100 metres from the car. We watched them till it was too dark to see any more.
All this was just a snapshot of what was seen from where we stood. We had been there about one hour. The rain was intermittent, and the light was falling all the time. We agreed we would be back at first light in the morning.
We drove into Ouarzazate, and booked into an Ibis Hotel we passed on our way through. As we were leaving the next day we were able to see the marsh from the bedroom window.
The next morning we were in position, at six o clock looking over the reed bed. At about 06.15 the Marsh Harriers began to leave the roost. In about 15 minutes, 156 Marsh Harriers lifted off. This was quite a spectacle to see.
Everything we saw the night before we saw again. Ian and I had been talking about our bogie birds a couple of days previously, his being the Bluethroat, and mine being Red-throated Pipit. This morning we saw 4 Bluethroats, and 3 Red-throated Pipits, and at one time had them both in the same scope shot.
Also seen this morning was Pallid Swift, Little Swift, Crag Martin, Sand Martin, and Black-eared Wheatear. If the lake at Merzouga had been active, probably the only other bird we would have seen there was Greater Flamingo.
We returned to the Ibis Hotel for breakfast, checked out and hit the road for Oukaimeden. We had a mixture of birds along the way. Seen were Long-legged Buzzard 3, Booted Eagle 2, Black Kite, Common Kestrel 7, Blue Rock Thrush 2, Black Wheatear, and Common Raven.
We stopped again at Ait-Ourir, and had Cirl Bunting, Olivacious Warbler, Nightingale, Corn Bunting, and a Eurasian Cuckoo calling. From there to Oukaimeden, we had a male Montagu’s Harrier, and a few Cattle Egrets.
Driving up to Oukaimeden, we were battling against the tourists coming down. We finally made it to the Club Alpine, and the staff was surprised to see us. They didn’t think we would turn up. The place was closed, and we were the only guests. It was very cold, and dimly lit. We were in a room with 3 bunk beds. There were no towels, and one blanket each was issued to us. We decided to make the most of it for one night.
We had a walk round picking up Black Redstart, Chaffinch, Mistle Thrush, African Blue tit, Kestrel, and two Common Ravens. On our return to the Club Alpine, we tucked into beef and chips. We got another blanket each, and retired to bed fully clothed. It was 8:15 pm.
The next morning, we walked around the area picking up Black Redstart, Rock Sparrow, Alpine and Red-billed Chough, Northern Wheatear, Barbary Falcon, and a pair of Rock Buntings.
After a breakfast of bread and Jam, we drove down to the ski lift area. Crimson-winged Finches were seen immediately, feeding among a pile of Walnut shells. Altogether, about 20 were seen. Two male Seebohm’s Northern Wheatears were seen flitting around the hillside. A single Horned Lark flew down to within a few metres of us. This appeared to have a pinky hue to the brown on the nape of its head. There was also Red-billed, and Alpine Choughs around.
We drove up to the radar station, where the predominant birds were Moussier’s Redstart 5, Black Redstart 5, and Blue Rock Thrush 4. The Barbary Falcon made a pass through the flock of Choughs. Other birds seen up here were Mistle Thrush, Blackbird, Chaffinch, and a Kestrel.
After checking out of the five star Club Alpine, (definitely not recommended) we started our trip down the mountain.
We checked out the Levaillant’s Green Woodpecker site, but all we had were Chaffinch, Coal tit, and a Firecrest. Dropping further down a Goshawk was seen, along with a couple of Kestrels, a Blackcap and a few Serins. We stopped where the road crossed over a gorge with a small river running through it. A Grey Wagtail was seen, and a few Goldfinch. High on a pylon sat a Short-toed Eagle, who flew around giving good views.
In a bush by the river, 2 small brown warblers was flitting around. After much deliberation these were identified as Reed Warblers. A Sparrowhawk flashed down the gorge and under the bridge.
We continued our way to the bottom of the mountain, and headed in the direction of Marrakesh. We were looking to see a Magpie giving close views, but we only saw one from a long distance. This was the end of the trip, and we drove on to Marrakesh Airport, for the evening flight to Manchester. Driving along we realised we were on part of the Moroccan Grand Prix circuit. The traffic stopped and we were on the starting grid. I’m pleased we didn’t see a chequered flag. That would have been a fitting end to the trip.
It had been a good trip. We had seen almost everything we expected to see. If we missed anything it was probably Desert Warbler. A few more sandgrouse would have been nice. The time we spent at the Ouarzazate “Camping Municipal” more than made up for the non- appearance of the lake at Merzouga. The spectacle of the Marsh Harrier roost was an episode not to be forgotten. 148 species were seen.
Species trip list.
Little Grebe: 3 at Ouarzazate
Great Crested Grebe: 6+ at Ouarzazate
Cormorant: 20+ at Ouarzazate
Night Heron: 5 at Ouarzazate
Squacco Heron: 1 at Ouarzazate
Cattle Egret: Seen regularly
Little Egret: 20+ at Ouarzazate
Great White Egret: 4+ at Ouarzazate and 3 at Rissani
Grey Heron: 10+ seen at Ouarzazate
White Stork: c400 at Ouarzazate, 100+ at Ait Ourir and nesting pairs noted whilst travelling
Spoonbill: 4 at Ouarzazate
Ruddy Shelduck: c100 at Ouarzazate, 2 at Rissani and 4 near Timouine
Mallard: Seen at Ouarzazate
Shoveler: c50 at Ouarzazate
Marbled Teal: 150+ at Ouarzazate
Common Teal: Several at Ouarzazate
Osprey: 2 seen at Ouarzazate
Golden Eagle: 1 imm over Tagdilt tip
Short-toed Eagle: Singles at Derkaoua and river bridge on Oukaimeden road
Booted Eagle: c10 seen throughout
Black Kite: Noted at Tagdilt and Ouarzazate
Marsh Harrier: c200 to roost at Ouarzazate and c10 passing through at Tagdilt
Montagu’s Harrier: 6 at Ouarzazate and odd ones elsewhere
Long-legged Buzzard: Seen occasionally
Sparrowhawk: Single at river bridge on Oukaimeden road
Goshawk: Single near Oukaimeden
Kestrel: Common and seen regularly throughout in good numbers
Lanner Falcon: Two on telegraph poles between Boumalne and Tinehir
Barbary Falcon: 1 at Rissani ( A few distant unidentified falcons also seen)
Barbary Partridge: 2 at Ait Ourir
Moorhen: 2 at Ouarzazate
Coot: 200+ at Ouarzazate
Avocet: 4 at Ouarzazate
Black-winged Stilt: 50+ at Ouarzazate
Stone-curlew: 4 at Rissani Tip
Cream-coloured Courser: 40+ in the Tagdilt track area and 3 near Yasmina 9 sign
Little Ringed Plover: 20+ at Ouarzazate, 3 near Timouine and 2 near Jorf
Ringed Plover: c6 at Ouarzazate
Kentish Plover: 10+ at Ouarzazate
Dunlin: 20+ at Ouarzazate
Temminck’s Stint: 4 at Ouarzazate
Little Stint: c40 at Ouarzazate and 1 near Timouine
Green Sandpiper: 1 near Timouine, 1 on Tizi-n-Tichka road pass and 2 at Ouarzazate
Wood Sandpiper: 30+ at Ouarzazate
Redshank: 1 at Ouarzazate
Greenshank: 1 at Ouarzazate
Common Snipe: 2 at Ouarzazate
Ruff: 2 at Ouarzazate
Black-bellied Sandgrouse: 40+ seen at the Tagdilt track
Spotted Sandgrouse: 2 at Derkaoua
Rock Dove: Seen regularly throughout
Woodpigeon: A few in wooded mountain areas
Collared Dove: Common around habitation.
Laughing Dove: 1-2 seen regularly throughout
Cuckoo: 1 heard calling at Ait Ourir
Little Owl: 3 seen around Rissani area
Common Swift: Odd birds at several sites
Pallid Swift: Seen around Marrakech and Ouarzazate
Little Swift: 2 at Ouarzazate
Hoopoe: 6+ seen throughout
Golden Oriole: 1 heard calling at Derkaoua
Kingfisher: 1 at Ouarzazate
Bee-Eater: 50+ at Tizi-n-Tichka road
Blue-cheeked Bee-Eater: 4 at Rissani
Great Spotted Woodpecker: 1 calling at Touflihte
Levaillant’s Green Woodpecker: 1 seen well at Touflihte
Crested Lark: Seen regularly as and where expected
Long-billed Crested Lark: Noted around Rissani and Jorf
Thekla Lark: Seen regularly as and where expected
Short-toed Lark: Common in a wide area between Tagdilt track and Yasmina
Desert Lark: 2 pale birds at Tagdilt and one dark bird at “Tinerhir 48” wadi, Boumalne
Bar-tailed Lark: 6+ near Yasmina 9 sign
Thick-billed Lark: A pair seen well near Tagdilt track.
Horned Lark: 1 seen well at Oukaimeden
Temminck’s Lark: Regularly recorded at desert locations
Hoopoe Lark: 6 at Tagdilt track area and 2 at Yasmina 9 sign
Sand Martin: 1at Ouarzazate
Crag Martin: Several seen at Tizi-n-Tichka road and 2 at Ouarzazate
Barn Swallow: Seen in most areas, with 500+ at Ouarzazate.
Red-rumped Swallow: 2 at Ouarzazate
House Martin: Seen at Ouarzazate
Meadow Pipit: 20+ at Ouarzazate
Red-throated Pipit: 3 at Ouarzazate
White Wagtail: present at several sites
Moroccan White Wagtail: Seen regularly
Blue-headed Wagtail: 50+ at Ouarzazate
Grey Wagtail: Singles at Touflihte and river bridge
Common Bulbul: Seen regularly throughout
Rufous Bush Robin: 1 at ait Ourir
Nightingale: Seen at Ait Ourir and along Tizi-n-Tichka road
Bluethroat: 4 at Ouarzazate
Common Redstart: 3 at Yasmina and singles at Derkaoua and Jorf
Black Redstart: Common, especially in mountain areas
Moussier’s Redstart: Seen well at several locations throughout
Black-eared Wheatear: Singles near Jorf, Skoura and at Ouarzazate
Northern Wheatear: Seen regularly throughout.
Seebohm’s Wheatear: 2 males at Oukaimeden
Isabelline Wheatear: 1 seen closely in the desert near Yasmina 9 sign
Desert Wheatear: Seen regularly at all suitable locations
Maghreb Wheatear: A male and female along the “Tinehir 48” wadi, Boumalne
White-crowned Wheatear: Commonly seen east of Ouarzazate.
Black Wheatear: Recorded at Tizi-n-Tichka road and Oukaimeden
Red-rumped Wheatear: Several at Tagdilt track area and also other desert locations.
Blue Rock Thrush: 4+ at Oukaimeden and 1 at Rissani
Mistle Thrush: Seen at Oukaimeden and Touflihte
Blackbird: Seen throughout in all types of locations
Reed Warbler: 2 at river bridge on Oukaimeden road
Sedge Warbler: 2+ at Ouarzazate
Scrub Warbler: 2 seen near in wadi near Goulmima.
Blackcap: 1 at river bridge on Oukaimeden road
Western Olivaceous Warbler: 2 singing at Ait Ourir
Cetti’s Warbler: Regularly heard calling along Tizi-n-Tichka road
Sardinian Warbler: Seen regularly in suitable areas
Spectacled Warbler: Seen at Derkaoua, Yasmina and Skoura
Subalpine Warbler: The most numerous warbler throughout
Willow Warbler: Several seen, mainly around Derkaoua/Yasmina
Western Bonelli’s Warbler: c10 seen around Derkaoua/ Yasmina
Chiffchaff: Several seen, mainly around Derkaoua/Yasmina (inc probable Iberian)
Firecrest: 1 in pines near Oukaimeden
Great Tit: Common around woodland areas
Coal Tit: Several in upland woodlands
African Blue Tit: A few noted at varying locations
Short-toed Treecreeper: 2 at Touflihte
Woodchat Shrike: Seen regularly throughout
Southern Grey Shrike: Seen regularly
Fulvous Babbler: 4 near Jorf
Magpie: Seen around Marrakech
Jay: 1 at Touflihte
Red-billed Chough: 100+ at Oukaimeden
Alpine Chough: 150+ at Oukaimeden
Raven: Seen regularly in mountain areas
Brown-necked Raven: Several around Rissani – Yasmina area
Spotless Starling: Common around Marrakech
House Sparrow: Seen regularly throughout
Rock Sparrow: 20+ at Oukaimeden
Desert Sparrow: A pair at a nestbox at Yasmina
Chaffinch: Seen regularly
Goldfinch: Seen at several locations
Greenfinch: A few on Tizi-n-Tichka road and at Ait Ourir
Serin: Regularly seen at most locations throughout
Linnet: Seen at Ait Ourir and on Tizi-n-Tichka road
Trumpeter Finch: C50 at Ouarzazate and seen regularly in desert areas
Crimson-winged Finch: c10 around the ski-lift at Oukaimeden
Cirl Bunting: 1 at Ait Ourir
House Bunting: Common around habitation
Rock Bunting: 2 on Tizi-n-Tichka road
Corn Bunting: 1 at Ait Ourir