M'sieur B'jour, Dirhams
Trip Report: Southern Morocco, March 19-30, 1999

Mick Dryden & Max Allan, Jersey, Channel Islands, UK; email@address


Ah Morocco - land of sun, rocks, bigger rocks, enormous rocks, many of which you have to drive over at high speed as you leave the paved road surface to avoid the oncoming green taxis and large Mercedes coaches as they hurtle, under no positive control, towards you. Oh I forgot to mention carpets, couscous concrete ammonites (and if you're really lucky, trilobites) little boys on the scrounge for almost anything and .....birds, birds, birds.


Friday 19th March

Departing our home island of Jersey in the Channel Islands, we flew to London's Gatwick Airport for our onward connection, courtesy of GBAir. Only four hours after setting off we were winging our way, back overhead Jersey at 31,000 feet bound for Marrakech and the start of our odyssey. Isn't modern technology wonderful? Flight time of just over three hours which doubles on the return journey as you go via Agadir with all that that entails. The cost was around £240 stg return and with a convenient arrival at around 6pm was a good choice. As it turned out, a huge thunderstorm overhead Marrakech airport meant thirty minutes of flying around over unidentified parts of the Moroccan desert whilst we waited an improvement for landing. We finally left the Avis car depot at 7.30pm in the dark and in teeming rain with a nearly new Fiat Pelio (awhat-e-o?) and headed off looking for the road to Asni and the Tizi n'Test pass through the Atlas mountains.

Car Hire

We rented the car (yes, I did say Fiat Pelio) from Avis. The booking was pre-arranged, and the car was ready for us at the Avis depot on arrival. The car performed well, if a little sluggishly in some risky overtaking manoeuvres, and was faultless apart from a strange rubbing noise in the region of the rear offside wheel following an unscheduled visit to a wadi. The cost of the eleven day rental was just under £400 inclusive of everything except fuel, which cost around £2.30 per gallon.

Meanwhile...back at the Itinerary

Fortunately, a combination of the time of day and bucketing rain meant empty roads for our arrival journey. Nevertheless, with no hotel pre-booked we were very pleased to arrive at Asni at 8.30pm and dive into the first hotel we had seen on the entire journey. This turned out to be our planned stopping point of the Residence de la Roseraie, as featured in the invaluable Lonely Planet Guide to Morocco, a very, very nice but rather expensive hotel in a valley (I couldn't possibly tell you how much but... oh what the hell. It was around £40 per night including food). In fact it was so nice we booked for a second night. A splash of Glenfiddich and it was bed time. Locating and booking into hotels on-spec was never a problem, and none seemed to be very full, by the way.

Bird of the Day: the one that was in the tajines that evening.

Saturday 20th March

We awoke to cool temperatures, spectacular views of the mountains through clear, calm air, and a pair of White Storks copulating on a turret across the valley. Ah here we go!

A wander through the hotel gardens and up the river valley behind provided a good introduction to the local birds. Common in the area were Serins, Chaffinches of the beautiful local race africana, Cirl Buntings, Blackcaps, Sardinian and Cetti's Warblers, and many of the species you associate with northern Europe like Blackbird, Song Thrush, Woodpigeon and both Blue and Great Tit. Other species seen at the hotel included breeding Red-rumped Swallows, Crossbill and Great Spotted Woodpeckers.

After breakfast it was off to Imlil, high up into the Atlas mountains, along a progressively worsening track which tested out Italy's finest. Along the way we picked up our first Moussier's Redstarts and House Buntings, both of which species were common in suitable areas (Oh no not another Moussier's!), and Cuckoo added to the growing list before we arrived at Imlil, to our first taste of hassle from the natives. While never threatening, it became tiresome after a while and was one of the negatives for the whole trip (what is Berber for go **** your donkey?)

A walk around the track above Imlil - without a "guide" I might add, provided soaring Golden Eagle, many Chough sp at high altitude and more Moussier's. After lunch at the Café du Soleil it was back to the Marrakech road and east for a few miles to a fertile plantation in a valley. More good birds included calling Levaillant's Woodpeckers, Short-toed Eagle, the first of many pairs of Black Wheatears, Crag Martin, Rock Bunting and Alpine Swifts. A slow return to the hotel provided Barbary Partridge, and a group of eagles coming down to roost on a hillside included one Bonelli's, two Short-toed and no less than twelve Booted. A second Golden Eagle for the day finished it in great style, and a toast in Flag pilsner was in order.

Bird of the Day: Moussier's Redstart

Sunday 21st March

Up with the Bulbul with just a quick look ... yes the White Storks are still at it ... and it was off for another check of the valley behind the hotel. Added to a burgeoning list were Nightingales, the first of many Woodchat Shrikes, Robin, Willow Warbler, Hawfinch and finally, a good view of one of at least three Levaillant's Woodpeckers in the area.

After breakfast we bid a sad farewell to the hotel and headed off ever upwards to the mountain pass at Tizi n'Test (2092m). The views were spectacular but there was little time for that with birds to be found.

Along the road, to the north of the pass we saw some good migration which included lots of Bee-eaters, at least four Short-toed Eagles, two Booted Eagles and many Red-rumped and Barn Swallows. Nearer the summit Firecrest and Blue Rock Thrush were added, and in a copse of trees just before the top, we found a family of Mistle Thrushes, Jays, Hawfinches, Coal Tits, Rock Buntings and, you guessed, Moussier's Redstarts.

After a glass of mint tea and serenade from a flat banjo player (the banjo not the player) at the Pass it was all downhill on the south side on some scary roads with 'no return' drops over the side. As a diversion from having to look where we were going (no I wasn't the driver at the time) scanning of the mountain sides produced a breeding colony of Red-billed Choughs, more Bee-eaters and Barbary Partridges, and eventually, three Long-legged Buzzards soaring together near the main Taroudannt road.

Having joined the main Agadir to Boumalne road, nodding to the police at the road check (they only seem to stop locals) we headed east to our night stop at Taliouine. On the way, Hoopoe Lark, Southern Grey Shrike and another Short-toed Eagle were added before we checked in at the cheap but homely Auberge Souktana (£8 per night). The couscous is recommended, but not the shower unless you are a contortionist! A quick nip to the higher ground east of the town proved worthwhile in the form of Thekla Lark, two Corn Buntings, Black Wheatears and ... Moussier's Redstart.

A dry hotel meant the Glenfiddich took a hammering before the lights went out!

Bird of the Day: Levaillant's Woodpecker or Long-legged Buzzard

Monday 22nd March

An early morning search around the old Casbah failed to provide the promised Rock Sparrows but more than made up for that with Spotless Starling, Common Kingfisher, two Wrynecks, a pair of Lanner Falcons, and two more Long Legged Buzzards. That deserved a good breakfast. Oh well, the tethered donkey didn't fare too well either, but at least we had good coffee.

Retracing our tracks west towards our night stop at Taroudannt added Short-toed Larks, Spectacled Warbled, Hoopoe, Tawny Pipit and Black-eared Wheatears and a brown trousers view of a Short-toed Eagle, near 'Gosney' Hill (see Gosney for location, and in fact make sure you see Gosney anyway. Some locations need a little updating, but it is essential).

By mid-afternoon we were 18km from Taroudannt and stopped near some fields full of Sparrows. Migration was under way above us, as if by magic. We were joined by a young Moroccan who could locate high level raptors with the naked eye before I could with the help of Herr Zeiss! And a great time was had by all. The passage included: 2 Short-toed Eagles, 1 Booted Eagle, 4 Black-shouldered Kites, 92 Black Kites, 21 Montagu's Harriers, 14 Marsh Harriers, 1 local Lanner, 85 White Storks, 3 Spoonbills, 4 White-rumped Swifts, Little Swifts, Pallid Swifts, Common Swifts, Red-rumped and Barn Swallows galore, House Martins and lots of Bee eaters, all in 90 minutes. Apart from that it was quiet!

The Hotel Palais Salam is set in the walls of Taroudannt and fairly bizarre being an ex-palace. Great place to stay if a little pricey, as the evening air is filled with Little Swifts, Pallid Swifts in huge numbers, a lot of Cattle Egrets, White Storks and on this evening, a further 65 Black Kites looking for a roost to the north of the City. If that doesn't call for a Glenfiddich then I'm a Moroccan! (I'm not).

Bird of the Day: Montagu's Harrier and lots of them.

Tuesday 23rd March

Check out the airfield east of Taroudannt first thing. You can tell it's an airfield because it has a windsock, but no aircraft. Tawny Pipit, Spectacled and Subalpine Warblers, Montagu's Harrier and Black-shouldered Kite in the distance, as well as the usual Bee-eaters etc. Could that have been a Dark Chanting Goshawk in the distance too? We'll never know. Then it was a longish drive to Tamri via the Agadir by-pass. Agadir oh dear! It was blowing hard at Tamri but Audouin's Gulls on the beach with the Lesser Blackbacks and Yellow-legged was good. On for the main event, a view of the Bald Ibis' 'Chez Nous'. Sorry, sworn to secrecy, but 27 birds seen there along with a displaying pair of Barbary Falcons.

We headed inland back to the Atlas foothills for a night stay at the Hotel Tifrit. Basic but friendly with good food and cold showers, a sort of Shangri-la with rain and low cloud.

Bird of the Day: Bald Ibis (sorry Barbary Falcon)

Wednesday 24th March

Here we go again, round the dreaded Agadir by-pass, en-route to Oued Massa. We got there eventually.

What a good place. A list as long as your arm and as varied as a thrush!

On the plain behind the town were Lesser short-toed Larks, Short-toed Larks, Trumpeter Finches, Tawny Pipit and Black-eared Wheatears, to be selective. Add to that a melanistic Montagu's Harrier and we were ready for something big.

The Cattle Egret never knew what hit it, but we did. An immature Tawny Eagle in its full majesty. The goat-herder was not so impressed, and the eagle had to drop its kill before lifting up to soar around and wait for the fuss to die down. What a time we had!

Down on the estuary there was lots more to be seen including a few Marbled Ducks, Greater Flamingoes, Spoonbills, Purple Heron and Slender-billed Gull as well as Brown-throated Sand Martins, Black-necked Grebe and some waders.

We decided to finish the day in style, and so it was back to the Hotel Palais Salam at Taroudannt

Bird of the Day: I bet you can't guess.

Thursday 25th March

6.15am, cool and sunny. Re-check the airfield at Taroudannt. No, still no aircraft, but Little Ringed Plovers and a Kentish Plover on the grass, and a Quail calling (by this time our lips needed wetting too). Now heading east again, destination Ouarzazate. A stop at Igoudar was called for as we had heard this was a good place for annoying little brats to harass you. We were not disappointed but there's no gain without pain (especially in the neck). Wall to wall Bee-eaters and hirundines plus a few Little and Alpine Swifts, Hoopoes and another Lanner Falcon. An inconclusive view of a large raptor en-route was subsequently confirmed here as a Booted Eagle, which flew directly overhead.

East of Taliouine anything with a 'desert' in its name comes into the frame, Wheatear and Lark for a start.

A small oasis 9km from Tazenakht proved fruitful with 16 species present mid-afternoon. Among them were a Western Bonelli's Warbler, 20 very sandy coloured Short-toed Larks, a Hoopoe, 2 Woodchats and an Acrocephalus warbler which will probably turn out to be a Reed Warbler when the photos are examined. A Little Owl disturbed from another green area completed another good day. Oh did I mention the carpet salesman? I thought not.

Bird of the Day: Booted Eagle

Friday 26th March

The Barrage to the east of Ouarzazate was first destination with the hope of seeing many more than the few waders seen to date. Yes, there they were; Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Ruff, Greenshank, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet etc etc. A flock of 350 White Storks included two Black Storks, and others present included 2 Ospreys, 150+ Marbled Ducks, hundreds of Ruddy Shelducks, a Great Crested Grebe, Spoonbills, Mediterranean Gulls, Flamingoes and Black Kites.

Boumalne here we come. Arriving at the town, it was straight off to the Gorge du Dades. If these aren't real Rock Doves then where are they? A Sparrowhawk, Crag Martins, Blue Rock Thrushes and Black Redstarts, and we were at the top of the gorge. Two Booted Eagles passed us at head height as we fought off the locals, and it was back to the town. Do this road if possible, just for the colours, they are amazing.

The Hotel Kasbah Tizzarouine sits on the edge of the Tagdilt plain and at £20 a night including food is the place to stay. We did for three nights. Dude birding par excellence as it sits on the side of the valley overlooking the town, and the migrants pass at head height as you sip your mint tea. (Bring your own bottle, it is a dry hotel). You can stay in converted caves if you wish and are small enough.

A late afternoon visit to the plain sorted out Temminck's Horned Lark, Red rumped Wheatear and Long-legged Buzzard, and the Glenfiddich never tasted so good.

Bird of the Day: Black Stork

Saturday 27th March

It can be pretty cold on the plain first thing but nil desperandum. After lots of "I can hear some more" we finally came to grips with the sandgrouse with 18 Black-bellied and 20 Crowned passing close by, three Black-bellied landing close enough for some half decent photographs. A 'Seebohm's' Northern Wheatear was a nice addition, and two Thick-billed Larks gave themselves up before breakfast called.

Driving east and stopping at any likely spot made for a pleasant days birding. The plantation 7.7km east of the Shell garage at Boumalne, where, according to Gosney, an Eagle Owl was seen during the last century, proved a valuable stop on the way. 8 more Thick-billed Larks, Common Redstart, Common Whitethroat, Nightingale, Wryneck, Subalpine Warbler, Chiffchaff, Trumpeter Finch, Desert, Northern and Black-eared Wheatears were amongst the pick there.

The local allotments at Timadrouine proved similarly heavy with birds. Lots of warblers from Subalpines through Spectacled and Blackcaps to Whitethroats, 4 Nightingales, Woodchats, Hoopoes, Trumpeter Finches, Desert Larks and much more. A return to the plain and down the new, paved, Tagdilt road for Little Owl, Bonelli's Warbler and more Thick-billed Larks. A quick visit to the Hotel Soleil Bleu to read and enhance the bird log there and grab a coffee before we returned to our hotel.

Bird of the Day: Thick-billed Lark

Sunday 28th March

Another check of the plain before breakfast then eastwards to the Todra Gorge. An 'Eagle Owl' plantation check showed that many of the previous day's birds had gone, but the stop was made worthwhile when a Collared Pratincole flew by in the usual erratic manner. A Lanner Falcon was a telegraph pole tick before arriving at Todra. Not the best place for birds. Most of the birds here will have been seen before you get this far, but an impressive place to visit nonetheless. There is also a little known breeding site here for coaches full of American tourists Mercedes tresforteca which is a must for anyone's list.

Back to Boumalne with many more of the same on the way.

Tip: Be back at the Hotel for 6pm as that is when the warm water appears for the showers. By 7pm it is just a (wet) dream. Rumours abounded at the hotel that Hilary Clinton was in town, looking to purchase some cigars for hubby, and the presence (but not the presents) was confirmed by two Canadians who had been bounced from their hotel in Erfoud that very day.

Bird of the Day: Collared Pratincole

Monday 29th March

The very nice Manager at the hotel showed us a little detour on the way back to Ouarzazate. 'Take a couple of hours' he said. Four hours of rocky pistes and terrifying drops later, we regained the main road eastwards. I won't even describe where it was in case you are stupid enough to try and find it! Bad move as it meant we were racing Hilary for Ouarzazate. Her police guard won, and the town was closed. Oh well, back to the pistes for a few miles and with some great cross-country navigation and with one giant leap, they were free.

Then it was on to Tizi'n Tichka and north to Marrakech. Empty roads courtesy of HC. Rising up towards the pass, the desert species gave way to the montane ones, and Black Wheatears ruled again. Oh I forgot, we paid a return to the Barrage at Mansour on the way, with, amongst others, three more Collared Pratincoles present there. Anyway, back to the mountains and only the second Robin of the trip, yet another Long-legged Buzzard and, on the northward descent, a Bonelli's Eagle at brown trouser range. Suddenly it was warm, and we realised just how high up we had been for the last week or so. From Marrakech we headed south again into the Ourika Valley stopping at the Hotel Ourika for the night. It was dark on arrival. I wonder what is using those nests under the eaves. Bit early for House Martins to have young, don't you think.

Bird of the Day: Bonelli's Eagle

Tuesday 30th March

The last day, so it was up with the Serin and ever upwards to Oukaimeden for some high level species that have eluded us to date. By the way, the nests were Little Swifts with young! At around 7000 feet a Levaillant's Woodpecker in the semi open. Quick, camera.

Reaching the ski resort of Oukaimeden, it was out of the car and up the hill, only then realising that the air at 8000 plus feet is pretty thin. Slow down idiot! On the highest football pitch in North Africa: lots of Alpine Choughs, Red-billed Choughs, Rock Sparrows, Crimson-winged Finches and Horned Larks. Shorelark is a bit of a misnomer at this location! Black Redstarts everywhere, Seebohm's Wheatear, Moussier's Redstart, Blue Rock Thrush, Crag Martins and Mistle Thrush were all there in a very small area, and a pair of Little Owls sitting on rocks near the summit of the track summed the place up. Slightly bizarre.

Inevitably, the descent back to Marrakech Airport was a bit of an anti-climax, punctuated by slight apprehension as we realised they were about to close off the Airport road ... for Hilary!

Foot down, no time to refuel and made it with minutes to spare. Oh the delights of Morocco...

Give it a go, you won't regret it!

We hope that anyone who reads this ramble will get some amusement from it and maybe a little inspiration to take the trip.

Best wishes you all

Mick Dryden and Max Allan

Systematic List

Main locations in text:

Boumalne area
El Mansour Eddhabi lake
Marrakech area
Oued Massa
Oued Sous valley
Tagdilt track
Tizi'n Tichka
Tizi'n Test

Great Crested Grebe          1 26/3 M
Little Grebe                 5+ 24/3 OM
Black necked Grebe           1 24/3 OM
Northern Gannet              1 23/3 Tamri
Great Cormorant              10+ 24/3 OM; 50+ 26/3 M; 50+ 29/3 M
                             All of race maroccanus
Shag                         1 23/3 Tamri
Cattle Egret                 Common esp. at T, OM, B and Ourika Valley
Little Egret                 Scarce but widespread
Grey Heron                   1 22/3 TAL; 1 23/3 Tamri; 1 25/3 OU; 2 26/3 M
Purple Heron                 1 24/3 OM
Black Stork                  2 26/3 M
White Stork                  Common. 90 22/3 T;20 23/3 T; 350 26/3 M; 4 27/3 B
                             2 28/3 B; 2 29/3 B; 300+ 29/3 M; 18 29/3 MAR.
Spoonbill                    3 22/2 T; 2 24/3 M; 2 26/3 M
Northern Bald Ibis           27 23/3 Tamri
Greater Flamingo             75 26/3 M; 90+ 29/3 M
Ruddy Shelduck               200+ 26/3 M; 200+ 29/3 M
Mallard                      1 24/3 OM; 3 26/3 M
Pintail                      1 26/3 M
Shoveler                     50+ 26/3 M
Marbled Duck                 10 24/3 OM; 170 26/3 M; 100+ 29/3 M
Tufted Duck                  4 24/3 OM
Black shouldered Kite        4 22/3 T; 1 23/3 T
Black Kite                   157 22/3 T; 3 23/3 T; 4 26/3 M; 13 29/3 B
Montagu's Harrier            21 22/3 T; 1 23/3 T; 1 melanistic 24/3 Massa
Marsh Harrier                15 22/3 T; 5 23/3 T; 1 24/3 OM; 1 25/3 Igoudar
Sparrowhawk                  1 26/3 Gorge du Dades
Long legged Buzzard          3 21/3 TT; 2 22/3 TAL; 1 26/3 Dades; 1 26/3 TAG; 
                             1 27/3 B; 1 28/3 East of B; 1 29/3 TIC
Golden Eagle                 1 imm 20/3 IL; 1 20/3 East of A
Tawny Eagle                  1 imm 24/3 Massa
Bonelli's Eagle              1 20/3 East of A; 1 30/3 OUK
Booted Eagle                 12 20/3 East of A; 2 21/3 TT; 1 22/3 T; 1 25/3 Igoudar
                             2 26/3 Gorge du Dades
Short toed Eagle             1 20/3 IL; 2 20/3 East of A; 1 21/3 TT; 1 21/3 TAL; 
                             2 22/3 TAL; 2 22/3 T; 1 26/3 M
Osprey                       2 26/3 M; 2 26/3 East of M; 1 29/3 Massa
Kestrel                      Common
Barbary Falcon               Pair 23/3 Tamri
Lanner Falcon                Pair 22/3 TAL; 1 22/3 T; 1 25/3 Igoudar; 1 28/3 Tinehir
Barbary Partridge            Scarce but widespread in mountain areas
Quail                        1 calling  25/3 T airfield
Moorhen                      Common 24/3 M
Coot                         50+ 24/3 OM
Black necked Stilt           10+ 24/3 OM; 100+ 26/3 M; 100+ 29/3 M
Avocet                       10+ 26/3 M
Collared Pratincole          1 28/3 East of B; 3 29/3 M
Little Ringed Plover         4 25/3 T airfield; 5+ 26/3 M; 2 26/3 near B
Kentish Plover               1 25/3 T airfield; 20+ 26/3 M
Grey Plover                  1 24/3 OM; 6 26/3 M
Sanderling                   1 23/3 Tamri
Curlew Sandpiper             1 26/3 M
Dunlin                       1 26/3 M
Little Stint                 50+ 26/3 M
Ruff                         3 26/3 M 
Bar tailed Godwit            5+ 26/3 M
Redshank                     1 24/3 OM; 1 26/3 M
Greenshank                   6 26/3 M
Common Sandpiper             1 24/3 OM; 1 26/3 B
Green Sandpiper              2 26/3 near B; 1 28/3 B
Mediterranean Gull           2 26/3 M
Slender billed Gull          1 24/3 OM
Black headed Gull            20+  26/3 M
Audouin's Gull               15 23/3 Tamri
Yellow legged Gull           Common Agadir and Tamri; 3 26/3 M; 5+ 29/3 M
Lesser black backed Gull     Very common Agadir and Tamri; 2 26/3 M
Sandwich Tern                20+ 24/3 OM
Common Tern                  5+ 24/3 OM
Crowned Sandgrouse           18 27/3 TAG
Black bellied Sandgrouse     20 27/3 TAG
Woodpigeon                   Common
Rock Dove                    20+ 20/3 IL; 25+ 25/3; 3 27/3 B; 20 28/3 TAG; 
                             10+ 28/3 Todra Gorge; 2 29/3 M'Gouna
Collared Dove                Scarce but widespread
Turtle Dove                  1 24/3 Tifrit; 3 24/3 OM; 3 25/3 Igoudar
Laughing Dove                1 22/3 TAL; scarce around Agadir 24/3
Cuckoo                       1 20/3 A; 1 21/2 TT; 1 23/3 T airfield; 1 24/3 Tifrit
Tawny Owl                    1 22/3 TAL
Little Owl                   1 25/3 near Ouarzazate; 1 27/3 TAG; 2 30/3 OUK
Little Swift                 50+ 22/3 T; 2 23/3 T airfield; 1 24/3 OM; 5+ 25/3 Igoudar
                             1 27/3 B; 2 pairs with young 30/3 Hotel Ourika
White rumped Swift           5+ 22/3 T
Alpine Swift                 11 20/3 A; 10+ 24/3 OM; 3 25/3 Igoudar; 7 27/3 B
Pallid Swift                 Very common 22/3 T; 50+ 23/3 OM; common 27/3 B
                             Otherwise widespread in varying numbers
Common Swift                 20+ 20/3 IL; otherwise scarce migrant
Kingfisher                   2 22/3 TAL
Bee-eater                    Very common everywhere. Hundreds 22/3 T etc
Hoopoe                       Scarce and widespread. A total of 14 seen
Wryneck                      2 22/3 TAL; 1 27/3 B
Levaillant's Woodpecker      2 20/3 East of A; 3 21/3 A; 1 30/3 OUK
Great spotted Woodpecker     Pair 20/3 A
Skylark                      2 27/3 B
Crested Lark                 Very common
Thekla Lark                  1 22/3 East of TAL
Short toed Lark              Common Sous Valley east to Boumalne
Lesser short toed Lark       5+ 24/3 Massa
Shorelark                    10+ 30/3 OUK
Temminck's horned Lark       10+ 26/3 TAG; 16 27/3 TAG; 4 28/3 TAG
Desert Lark                  Scarce between Ouarzazate and Boumalne
Thick billed Lark            10 27/3 TAG
Hoopoe Lark                  2 21/3 South of TT
Crag Martin                  Common in mountain areas
Brown throated Martin        5+ 24/3 OM
Sand Martin                  10+ 24/3 OM; 10+ 26/3 M; 1 27/3 B; 5+ 28/3 B
Red rumped Swallow           Common
Barn Swallow                 Very common. Large movement 25/3 T
House Martin                 Common
Meadow Pipit                 2 21/3 TAL; 3 29/3 M
Tawny Pipit                  3 22/3 TAL; 2 23/3 T; 1 24/3 OM; 2 25/3 T; 1 29/3 M
White Wagtail                Scarce. Max 22 23/3 T airfield. Several subpersonata
Grey Wagtail                 Common in river valleys
Yellow Wagtail               3 23/3 T airfield; 20+24/3 OM; 1 25/3 Igoudar; 
                             2 26/3 M and B; 1 28/3 TIM; 2 29/3 B most iberiae
Wren                         Scarce in mountains
Robin                        2 21/3 A; 1 29/3 TIC
Nightingale                  3 21/3 A; 3 27/3 B; 4 27/3 TIM; 2 28/3 TIM; 2 30/3 OUR
Common Redstart              2 27/3 B; 3 27/3 TIM; 2 28/3 B; 4 28/3 TIM
Black Redstart               1 20/3 A; 1 26/3 Dades; 4 30/3 OUR; 20+ 30/3 OUK
Moussier's Redstart          Common in mountain areas. Highest 30/3 above OUK
Stonechat                    1 30/3 MAR
Northern Wheatear            1 25/3 OUZ; 2 27/3 B; 3 28/3 TAG; 2 28/3 East of B
seebohmi                     Pair 27/3 B; 2 27/3 East of B; 2 28/3 TAG; 2 30/3 OUK
Desert Wheatear              3 25/3 OUZ; Common at B and TAG
Black eared Wheatear         1 21/3 TAL; 2 22/3 TAL; 1 24/3 Tifrit; 3 24/3 OM;
                             3 25/3 to OUZ; 2 26/3 M; 1 27/3 B; 2 29/3 B; 1 29/3 OUZ
Black Wheatear               Scarce in mountain areas
Red rumped Wheatear          10+ 26/3 TAG; 17 27/3 TAG
White crowned Black Wheatear 1 imm 29/3 Skoura
Blue Rock Thrush             Pair 21/3 TT; 1 22/3 TAL; 1 23/3 Tifrit; 1 24/3 Tifrit; 
                             1 26/3 Dades; 2 28/3 Todra; 1 29/3 B; 4 30/3 OUK
Blackbird                    Common
Song Thrush                  3 20/3 A; 2 20/3 IL; 5+ 21/3 TT; 1 23/3 Tifrit
Mistle Thrush                Family of 4 21/3 TT; 1 30/3 OUK
Zitting Cisticola            1 22/3 TAL;  1 22/3 T; 5= 24/3 Massa; 2 25/3 Igoudar
                             1 30/3 MAR
Reed Warbler                 1 presumed this species 25/3 oasis near Tazenakht
Cetti's Warbler              Common
Moustached Warbler           1 24/3 OM
Sedge Warbler                2+ 24/3 OM
Subalpine Warbler            Scarce Most seen between T and B
Spectacled Warbler           2 22/3 TAL; pair 23/3 T airfield; 1 23/3 Tamri; 1 24/3 Massa;
                             2 25/3 T airfield; 1 27/3 TIM; 1 28/3 TIM
Garden Warbler               1 21/3 A
Whitethroat                  2 27/3 B; 5+ 27/3 TIM; 6 28/3 TIM
Blackcap                     Very common
Sardinian Warbler            Common
Western Bonelli's Warbler    1 25/3 near Tazenakht; 1 27/3 trees near Tagdilt
Willow Warbler               1 21/3 TT; 2 28/3 TIM; 6 29/3 B; 3 29/3 east of B;
                             1 29/3 TIC
Chiffchaff                   Common
Iberian Chiffchaff           Many of above of this new 'species'
Firecrest                    1 21/3 TT; 2 28/3 Todra
Blue Tit                     Scarce. Dark capped local sub-species
Great Tit                    1 22/3 west of TAL; 1 23/3 Tifrit; 1 24/3 Tifrit; 2 30/3 OUR
Coal Tit                     1 20/3 IL; 5+ 21/3 TT; common 29/3 TIC and 30/3 OUK
Common Bulbul                Common
Southern Grey Shrike         1 21/3 TT; Common south of Atlas Mts; 2 30/3 OUK
Woodchat Shrike              Common, at times very common
Spotless Starling            1 22/3 TAL; 3 23/3 T; 23/3 T airfield; Scarce around Agadir
                             24/3; 20+ 25/3 Igoudar; 10+ 29/3 and 30/3 MAR
Jay                          3 21/3 TT
Magpie                       1 21/3 A; 6 24/3 Agadir; 1 25/3 Igoudar
Alpine Chough                00 20/3 above A; 100+ 20/3 IL; 200 21/3near TT
                             Hundreds 30/3 OUK
Red billed Chough            Few 20/3 A; some with Alpine Choughs 21/3 TT
                             60 21/3 south of TT; 50+ 30/3 OUK
Raven                        2 20/3 A; 1 25/3 OUZ; 1 29/3 Skoura; 2 30/3 OUK
House Sparrow                Very common to abundant esp Sous Valley
Spanish Sparrow              5+ 20/3 A; 10+ 23/3 and 24/3 T airfield; 2 25/3 Tazenakht
Rock Sparrow                 10 30/3 OUK
Chaffinch                    Common. Local race africana
Hawfinch                     1 21/3 A; 2 21/3 TT
Serin                        Very common
Greenfinch                   Scarce
Goldfinch                    Very common
Linnet                       Scarce
Crimson winged Finch         8 30/3 OUK
Trumpeter Finch              3 24/3 Massa; 6 27/3 B; 6 27/3 TIM; 5 28/3 B; 1 29/3 B
                             3 29,3 OUZ
Crossbill                    1 20/3 A
Corn Bunting                 2 21/3 TAL; 2 30/3 MAR
Cirl Bunting                 6 21/3 A; 1 22/3 TAL; 3 24/3 Tifrit; 2 25/3 Igoudar
Rock Bunting                 1 20/3 A; 2 21/3 TT; 1 25/3 Aoulouz; 1 29/3 TIC
House Bunting                Very common

Total species seen = 167

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This page served with permission of the author by Urs Geiser; ugeiser@xnet.com; May 3, 1999