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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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)
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
Main locations in text:
El Mansour Eddhabi lake
Oued Sous valley
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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