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|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
Southern Morocco - November 2004,
Many trip reports are available on the web outlining sites in the area around, and to the south of Agadir. In addition to this, the site guides by Gosney and Bergier provide excellent information covering the whole area.
Whilst this is not a comprehensive trip report I highlight my experiences of a trip between 7th and 14th November concentrating on most birders target species and providing some updated site information.
Both site guides recommend the area of sandy plains 35km south of this town. I visited the area on both the 10th and 11th . On each visit I concentrated on the area around the "Tan Tan 100" km post. Both visits were disappointing. On the first I saw a single Thick-billed Lark in flight. 2 Temmincks Larks and Barbary Falcon were also present. The following day was even worse with just a single Spectacled Warbler and several Desert Wheatears.
On the 11th , in desperation, I stopped in the area of "Tan Tan 94" km post. The area was being ploughed by local farmers at the time of the visit and I quickly picked up 14 Cream-coloured Coursers, 6 Hoopoe Lark, Lanner Falcon, 2 Black-bellied Sandgrouse, c50 Greater Short-toed Larks and up to 1000 Lesser Short-toed Larks. The latter were difficult to count accurately due to the very strong wind forcing birds down into the freshly ploughed troughs.
Overall I found the area disappointing but this was no doubt due to the poor weather particularly on the 11th. The whole area is vast and a detailed exploration would take some time but no doubt prove worthwhile.
This area is 111km south of Goulimime. I had booked into the hotel Tafnidilt for 2 nights and was looking forward to some good birding around the oued and surrounding desert. The area is described on page 125 of the Bergier guide. The hotel is described as being 6km from the road along a gravel track. Unfortunately I found that after 1km the road is impassable to all but serious 4WD vehicles due to the collapse of a small causeway. The Fiat Palio which I had hired had zero chance of crossing the remaining "sand pit" and therefore I had to give up plans to reach the hotel and drove on to Tan Tan instead. Unfortunately the hotel failed to inform me at the time of booking that a 4WD was now essential.
Frustrated by the lack of opportunity to bird the Oued Draa I tried a dry wadi just north of Tan Tan. This area is at the "Tan Tan 4" km post. Near to this on the east side of the road is a single white block building. Several hundred meters east is a single palm sitting the dry wadi. I birded this on the evening of the 10th and early morning on the 11th. At least 3 Tristrams Warblers were found here together with other regular desert species.
The area around Tamri is a well known site for Bald Ibis. However I was staggered to find at least 153 birds present at the lagoon on the 8th. Birds were scattered around the shore and desert slopes above. Several counts ranged between 153 and 175 birds!
Red-necked Nightjar appears to winter at this site. A visit on the 13th produced no birds around the palace and no response to a tape lure. However 1 bird did fly through the headlights as we drove back along the road by the first concrete look out point over the Souss. On the morning of the 13th I also saw 2 Brown-throated Sand Martin at this site. Whilst I had seen 10 earlier in the week at Oued Massa I believe that the species is less frequent at the Souss.
I hope that this short update is of some use. If you want any further information with regard to my trip please get in touch. email@example.com
Shaun Robson, Dorset, England