Finding Birds in Morocco: the deserts update

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14 April 2011 We found and photographed a Houbara Bustard here. We first saw it from 'number 3' at your Zeida Plains map, but it was walking a bit closer to the track on the southern site of the area (Alex and Angeline Schouten)

22nd Feb 2012 Duponts Lark heard singing from site 3 from 5.50am to 6.30am continuously, then occasionally until 7 but no more singing once it was light. Bird not seen but sound came from north of track. (Frank Clayton)

19th April 2014 3 Dupont's Larks singing around site 2. Incredibly, this was between 11.45am and 12.30pm, two birds were even seen and photographed. These were to the north of track, whilst one was singing to the south (Mark Hawkes).

29th April 2014 3 Dupont's Larks singing & visible at the same time (for about 40 minutes after sun rise) S of next fork E of site 3. Later 2 additional birds running on the ground N from there, one carrying food. 1 TB Lark as additional bonus. (Matthias Schoebinger)


April 2011 Desert Warblers (and Hoopoe Larks) showed well at site 4 (John Kirby)

March 2012 Desert Warbler again at site 4 but very elusive. Some groups missed them here and we only found them at the 3rd attempt (DG).


March 2011 Oh dear, what have I started? When we visited site 3 we were immediately set upon by Ali the Nomad, another Moroccan with binoculars and about 4 other Moroccans selling fossils, all keen to scramble up the slope to find a good spot for viewing the Eagle Owl. But, possibly, because of this disturbance, the owls weren't there, although the 'guide' showed me photos of one taken there on 17th March. Ali the Nomad insisted he could show us another pair of owls at another nearby site but the price was 10 Euros per person. As there 10 of us, we declined. However, this site is still worth visiting if only to get FANTASTIC views of a pair of Lanner Falcon that now seem to be breeding about 20 metres to the right of the Eagle owl 'nest'. We watched one of them eating a Trumpeter Finch. (DG)

April 2011 Nigel Redman tells me that Ali the Nomad found the Pharaoh Eagle Owl quickly at the site nearby and only charged 200Dh for a group of 7 - which was much cheaper than another guide who they'd paid on an earlier visit who failed to find the owl (DG)

May 2011 Ali the Nomad now has a mobile phone number, which he asked me to pass on for general birder's use. It is (if I can read his writing) +212 (0)676 621257 I had Egyptian Nightjar calling at site 4, and located one there on the ground the next day.  This site also had an African Desert Warbler flitting around the tiny bushes in the wadi (Tim Blackburn)

12th Feb 2012 Local guide Brahim Mezane reports 17 Spotted Sandgrouse, 9 Fulvous Babblers and 3 Maghreb Wheatears around Rissani as well as a Pharaoh Eagle Owl 'at a new site'

March 2012 We used local guide Brahim Mezane ( and he was excellent, finding for us birds such as Pharaoh Eagle Owl, Spotted Sandgrouse feeding, Tristram's Warbler (on 17th March but apparently gone by 26th March) and Fulvous Babbler. A party of Blue-cheeked Bee-eater were already at site 2 on 17th but remained scarce; from 27th they were showing regularly from the new bridge between site 3 and the ziz petrol station. The dump to the south of there had 400 Brown-necked Ravens on 17th (DG).

March 2012 I've had several reports that the Eagle Owls are no longer at site 3 but one was clearly in view on 26th March. Even when they are present they often sit out of sight. The best way to find one is to use Brahim Mezane (+212670181130) who regularly checks 3 sites in the area and can take you to the one where the bird is most visible on the day of your visit.

17 April 2012 2 Pharaoh Owls at usual site along road 6 km from Ziz petrol station, ask for Lahcen or Brahim. Plus breeding Barbary and Lanner Falcons, Desert Lark (James Lidster - Sunbird).

July 2012 Ian Reid found Egyptian Nightjar at dawn at site 4 despite the fact that no calls were heard. It was seen in flight over the track and, by watching where it landed, he was able to get good views at its daytime roost.

16th Feb 2014 David Conway reports no Eagle Owls at Site 3 but ad Lanner present

11th March 2014 Pharaoh Eagle Owl approx. 8 km W Rissani. Drive main road W to 31.271812, -4.373500. Just before roadside rail on your right, turn right, follow track NE along ridge about 4 minutes. Scan northern high part of cliff. (Jussi Tranesjo et al)

14th March 2014 Thanks to Brahim Mezane for giving me a site for Crowned and Spotted Sandgrouse. I had 9 Spotted Sandgrouse and a Desert Warbler. (DG)

25th/26th March 2014 Site 3 again had a breeding pair of Lanners and over 70 Spotted Sandgrouse flying over early morning. Saharan Olivaceous Warblers had just arrived at site 1 where Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters had been present for several days. (DG)

17th April 2014 Pharaoh Eagle Owl on cliff between two main sand piles. Lanners have apparently left the area and not bred (?). Several Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters in the general Rissani area (Mark Hawkes)

18th April 2014 Desert 4x4 trip with guide yielded Desert Sparrows at best site. A pair of Desert warblers and 2 roosting Egyptian Nightjars. 2 Coursers and lots of Hoopoe and Bar-tailed Larks. Male Atlas Flycatcher in wadi south of Rissani (Mark Hawkes)


March 2011 The desert lakes were all dry but Dayet Srji still had a pair of Ruddy Shelduck. We had Desert Warbler in the 'lakeside' bushes where a Tristram's Warbler had been seen a few days earlier. A pair of Desert Sparrows were breeding in a nest box in the tamarisks close to the Auberge Yasmina. Both the male and the female were caught by the ringers and shown to us while we were there. We also found a Desert Sparrow nest at another Auberge - the Etoile des Dunes. As you face the Auberge with the dunes behind it, there are two water towers on the right hand side; in front of those is a scaffold structure just a few feet high and the sparrows were nesting in one of the pipes in that scaffold - the female was being attended to by two males. Chris Mills and friends told me of what should be a reliable site for Desert Sparrow for years to come. If you ask at the Auberge Caravane for Boumia Zaid he will be able to arrange a short quad-bike ride into the Erg Chebbi dunes to a 'bedouin encampment' where tourists can sleep in the desert under tents. This site had about 20 Desert Sparrows feeding around the camels. Fulvous Babblers were seen close to the Hotel Atlas du Sable (near Merzouga). We looked for Dunn's Lark at the site where they bred last year (just north of the sign 'Yasmina 9km'  near site 4 (page 14). We didn't find any (I believe no-one else was finding them either) but we did get two Desert Warblers. This time I had booked a guide to show us Houbaras but this year he hadn't found any so instead he took us to a spot where two Egyptian Nightjars could be seen sitting at their roosts in broad daylight. Many others were failing to see Houbaras but  there was a report of one being located by one of the tour groups. (DG)

26th March 2012 Egyptian Nightjars still at Kasbah Derkaoua. Sitting in grounds at 0530, with one singing briefly at 0545. The following morning also seen by an other group. Western Orphean in grounds on 27th. Desert Sparrows nesting at Yasmina. Spotted Sandgrouse seen between Derkaoua and Merzouga. (James Lidster 2012)

March 2012 We had a male Pallid Harrier flying west across the desert between sites 1 and 2 on 25th March. We hired a 4x4 with Lahcen Taouchikht ( who was terrific and really knows his desert birds. Not only did he find us a houbara he also got us really close to spotted and pintailed sandgrouse on the ground and took us to see Egyptian Nightjar at dusk at the far side of Merzouga lake. Desert Sparrows were showing at 3 sites, several at the Auberge Sandfisch, a pair at the Etoile des Dunes and, easiest of all, a pair in a nest box at Riad Yasmina. Peter Jones (Andalusian Bird Society) found a singing Dunns Lark at site 4 on 25th March but we made 2 visits to the site (north of the Yasmina 9 sign) without success. Several Desert Warblers though and Spotted Sandgrouse overhead. Merzouga Lake was dry but still had a few Ruddy Shelducks. (DG)

16th April 2012 no sign of Egyptian Nightjars at Derkaoua in heavy sandstorm. One bird flushed at Kasbah Said, then 2 later with local shepherd. Details from driver Idir. We also saw 8 Spotted Sandgrouse, many coursers etc. Female Desert Sparrow at Cafe Yasmina. Blue cheeked bee-eaters in many places. Saharan Olivaceous breeding again at Derkaoua. Migrants at Derkaoua included 2 Rock Thrush, Golden Oriole and Ortolan (James Lidster - Sunbird).

July 2012 7-8 Desert Sparrow seen by walking on foot for 40 mins from Yasmina to a camp in the dunes (31.19640N, 3.978095W) - Ian Reid

25th March 2013 Desert trip around Erg Chebbi with Lahcen was excellent; great views of roosting E Nightjar and Pharaoh Eagle Owl, small colony of Desert Sparrow, 10 Spotted Sandgrouse beside vehicles and at least one Houbara. Lake had water with flamingoes, marbled Duck, gull b tern, whiskered tern and a few waders (DG)

15th March 2013 Up to 10 Rock Martins south of Merzouga in dry wadi near Begaa - Photo of this now Moroccan rarity description species, on Latest News of website if interested. Chris Townend (Wise Birding Holidays)

16th Feb 2014 David Conway reports a male and 2 female Desert Sparrows,with 1/2 nests at KEMIA BIVOUAC within Erg Chebbi.

4th March 2014 Great 5 hour 4x4 trip with Lahcen, arranged the night before through Yusef at Hotel Yasmina to stake-outs north and west of Erg Chebbi. 4 Desert Sparrow and Desert Warbler at small camp 2-3 km east of Yasmina. Pharaoh Eagle Owl roosting in tree 2km north of this. Roosting Egyptian Nightjar about 7km north of Yasmina and 6 Spotted Sandgrouse by a small dry lake just west of Merzouga-Rissani road. Also Hoopoe Larks, Bar-tailed Larks and 2 CC Coursers. No sign of Crowned Sandgrouse though. didn't try for Houbara. 80 sandgrouse flying high west over Yasmina at 07:55hrs on 5 March. Most, if not all, Spotted, on call. Dayet Srji and Yasmina lakes dry. A few Chiffchaff, Sardinian and Subalpine warblers, Black Redstart, 2 Hoopoe and 3 Southern Grey Shrike in Yasmina tamarisks. 2+ melaninistic male House Sparrows in the hoards around Yasmina. (Guy Anderson)

24th March 2014 Great desert trip with Lahcen. All specialities found except Houbara - apparently they've been completely wiped out this winter by Qatari falconers. Both Crowned and Spotted Sandgrouse found at feeding sites. 25 Pin-tailed Sandgrouse seen perched and in flight at site 4. No water in Merzouga Lake. Yasmina now overrun by House Sparrows and Collared Doves. (DG)

Boumalne to Erfoud

1st April 2011 At site 3 we had at least 4 Scrub Warblers, 2 Spectacled Warblers, 4 Cream Coloured Coursers, 12 Thick billed Larks, 2 Hoopoe Larks, 4 Desert Larks and a pair of Southern Grey Shrikes (John Kirby).

March 2012 Scrub Warblers were numerous at site 3. On 16th we had at least 8 and on 24th we had 4 close to the road on the south side. No Desert Warblers on either visit. Bonellis Eagle seen several times at site 4 on 15th  Birders log at Soleil Bleu reports 3 sightings last year of Maghreb Wheatear at the Ait Aouida track and I had a male there on 19th March this year too. Drive east from Boumalne for 36 km until, just after km post Er Rachidia 149, you see a track to the right signposted Ait Aouida. Park at the bottom of this track and check the area from the road to the cliffs to the north. I also had Maghreb Wheatear on both 15th and 23rd at a new 'Wheatear wall'. Drive 32 km east of Boumalne looking for a low wall parallel to the road after km post Er Rachidia 135 (that's what it says even though it is 153 km from Er Rachidia). Park by the road and scan around on both sides. I had White-crowned, Desert, Northern and Isabelline Wheatear there too. (DG)

July 2012 Ian Reid found 'the usual' Scrub Warblers at site 3 and also had Spotted Sandgrouse

24th March 2013 Pair of Maghreb Wheatear near foot of Ait Aouida track. Scrub Warbler, singing Bar-tailed Lark and at least 6 Thick-billed Larks seen at site 3 before we even left the road.(DG)

16th March 2013 Scrub Warbler near site 3 plus at leats 6 TB Larks and a migrant Seebohm's Wheatear  (Chris Townend / Wise Birding Holidays)

11/13 March 2014 2 Scrub Warblers March 11th N bridge with red/white lining 93 km W Errachidia along main road. Site described on, Morocco April report. The birds were close to nearest pylon.  On March 13th 1 Scrub Warbler S of same bridge. (Jussi Tranesjo)

23rd March 2014 Scrub Warblers at site 3 not found close to road this time but only in the area described in the book. Also 6 Fulvous Babblers. (DG)

6th April 2014 I've put a summary of best places to see Maghreb Wheatear on my blog (DG)

24th April 2014 Good views of Bonellis Eagle soaring at end of narrow bit of Todra Gorge. Also found pair of Atlas Flycatchers in stream to left as you enter the tourist section of gorge, just before you pay the 10 dirham tourist tax. (Nick Baldwin)

Tagdilt track

March 2011 'Call some place paradise...kiss it goodbye'. As soon as I tell people that 'wheatear wall' is a reliable place for Mourning Wheatears, they disappear. We had neither male nor female there in 2011. However, we did find a very obliging male by the roadside just east of km post Tinghir 26 (= Ouarzazate 139). We were delighted to watch a party of 13 Crowned Sandgrouse at the drinking pool (site 5, page 20). Birds nearby included Hoopoe Lark, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Cream-coloured Courser and two Thick-billed Larks flying but not landing in view.  (DG)

24th March 2012 3 Thick-billed Larks and 17 Crowned Sandgrouse along new Tagdilt track. 50+ Cream-coloured Coursers and 7 Black-bellied Sandgrouse between road to Iknouien and 'wheatear wall' (James Lidster - Sunbird)

March 2012 Small numbers of Thick-billed Larks present but elusive. 1-2 seen on 3 days within the ring of litter at the town dump; up to 7 seen on 2 days in the areas marked out for cultivation behind site 4. This is also now the best spot for Black-bellied Sandgrouse with up to 60 feeding there during the day.  Crowned Sandgrouse seen at site 5 on 3 days out of 4. No Maghreb Wheatears at Wheatear wall but found at 2 sites on the road to Tinerhir (see my blog)

14th April 2012 4 Thick-billed Larks, 11 Black-bellied Sandgrouse, several coursers plus all usual larks along road to Iqniouien, and road to wheatear wall. The small plantation/farmstead further along the tarmac road held a female Spectacled, 3 Ortolans, Green Sandpiper and lots of Trumpeters. The pool along the Iqniouien road held water, plus Curlew Sandpiper and both Ringed and Little Ringed Plovers! (James Lidster - Sunbird)

17th April 2012 My 5th visit in a few days and no sign of any Crowned Sandgrouse at the usual area. Thick-billed Lark plus usual larks and wheatears seen (James Lidster - Sunbird).

July 2012 Sandgrouse pools now dry but 12 Black-bellied and a Pin-tailed in the fields near site 4 - Ian Reid

23/24 March 2013 14 Crowned Sandgrouse at site 5 and again flying over site 4 the next day. Very few coursers - some birding groups had none but we had about 6 near site 4 on both days. Possible Thick-billed Lark seen in flight by group participant near the dump but only definite was one on 22nd by roadside 15km west of El Kelaa (DG)

12th March 2013 10 TB Larks to west of main Tagdilt Areas. Also 3 CC Coursers (Chris Townend - Wise Birding Holidays)

17 Feb 2014 David Conway reports 12 Thick-billed Larks near site 2, within 100m of road, and 14 Black-bellied Sandgrouse on the cultivated area behind site 4

3rd to 6th March 2014 pair TB Lark found in dump area on 6 March (on 4th attempt over 3 days), 300 m south of 'INOV' petrol station. Another pair reported by friends in main wadi, 50m SW of where main track crosses it, on 5 March. Wheatear wall area productive: 18 Black-bellied Sandgrouse in SE fields, 3 CC Coursers, Short-toed Eagle there on 3 March. Sandgrouse pools (site 5) dry but orchard and small res (site 7) looked good for migration later in spring. Scops and Little Owls calling near Soleil Bleu at night (site 1). owner v helpful to birders - stay there! N end of main Tagdilt track immediately east of barracks is now a large construction site. Access area from track 100m east of INOV petrol station. (Guy Anderson)

10th March 2014 Site 5: 2 TB Larks + Temminck's around a depression surrounded by a stone wall S of Wheatear Wall: 9 C-C Coursers at the edge of a plantation Site 7: Male Magreb Wheatear above plantation, on wall surrounding a cemetary(?) (Jussi Tranesjo)

March 2014 6 Crowned Sandgrouse at site 5 on 13th but none found on two later visits. Black-bellied Sandgrouse no longer easy at site 4 but we did have 2 flying over. Thick-billed Lark found at the town dump on 4 visits out of 4. Also there, a Bar-tailed Lark and an Isabelline Wheatear. Magreb Wheatear on road to Tinerhir, just past the Ait Aoudar turning, where pylons cross the road. (DG)

17th April 2014 12+ Thick-billed Larks feeding and showing exceptionally well in the main dump area. There is a small gully which runs through the area, and it is full of rubbish - but the area us attracting huge numbers of insects, and therefore birds too. 20+ Temminck's Lark too. 5 Black-bellied and one Pin-tailed Sandgrouse over. (Mark Hawkes)

25th April 2014 9 Crowned Sandgrouse flying in at 8:40 and feeding  (at least 35 minutes) at site 5 despite dry pools. 1 additional female there already at 8:00 (Matthias Schoebinger)

Late April 2019 Site 2 65-70 Black Kites around the rubbish tip. Site 3 had several Cream Coloured Coursers (displaying) and singing/ displaying Hoopoe Lark. Site 5 Hoopoe Lark singing/ displaying. 1KM down the road before the new Ikniouen Road had Thick Billed Lark and Bar Tailed Lark here.  No sign of Maghreb Wheatear anywhere but all other wheatear species were easy. No Sandgrouse or Houbara Bustard anywhere. (Matt Busuttil)

Around Ouarzazate

March 2011 We tried site 4 (page 22) and were a little disappointed at the low numbers of birds. However, we did manage to find at least one male Mourning (Maghreb) Wheatear. (DG)

23rd March 2012 adult male Pallid Harrier from 'town end' of reservoir. (James Lidster - Sunbird)

March 2012 Site 4 seemed very poor on 14th but on 28th we found a male Magreb Wheatear. Site 3 was superb on 22nd March with hundreds of waterbirds including over 100 each of Ruddy Shelduck and Marbled Duck, lots of waders including 2 Marsh Sandpiper, herons including several great White Egret and small migrants including at least 2 Isabelline Wheatears. To get to this site, drive through Ouarzazate but take the right turn to Ait Kdif (also marked by a sign to camping) See map here (DG)

21st March 2013 Water levels lower and fewer birds than last year best birds were 2 Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters (DG)

10th Feb 2014 Max Allan Niklasson reports that he and 3 other Swedish birders had a Maghreb Wheatear today on the Amerzgane road at 30.59'26" N, 7.13'50" W  (30.990576N,  -7.230689W)

26th Feb 2014 A Fulvous Babbler in roadside scrub, just east of Skoura. (Philip Precey)

6th March 2014 Maghreb Wheatear pair about 11.5 km west of Ouarzazate along main road towards Marrakech, next to new plantation (olives?) on south side of road (30.95640 deg N, 007.04402 deg W) at 13:30 hrs. Water level in Barrage El Mansour very low but Ouarzazate water treatment works had 6 Marbled Duck, c. 60 Ruddy Shelduck, Moroccan White Wagtail, 20+ Trumpeter Finch and Marsh Harrier. 3 Moroccan White Wagtail easily found from roadside river viewpoint at El Kelaa M'Gouna (site 1) (Guy Anderson)

12th March 2014 I also found a pair of Magreb Wheatear at the same place as Guy Anderson, along the road immediately west of km post Amerzgane 22. Another pair on the 'Amerzgane road, by the left hand bend about 3 km south of Amerzgane (31.0190N, 7.2287W), still there on 21st and visiting potential nest hole next to road. Barrage Mansour had so little water it was hard to see the water never mind the birds. 2 Isabelline Wheatears were the best birds. Over 200 Ruddy Shelduck seen distantly. (DG)

16th April 2014 Male Magreb's Mourning Wheatear at site west of Ouarzazate (as per below by Gosney). 10+ Little Swifts feeding over plantation just west of Idelssane. 3 Moroccan White Wagtails on river in El Kelaa (Mark Hawkes). 

24th April 2014 Maghreb Wheatears S of Amerzgane: 1 pair near 'lone bush' + 1 male by 'left hand bend' (Matthias Schoebinger)

10th Feb 2015 Pair of Maghreb Wheatear present at the Ait Aouida track, described at Gosney's website (Joachim Bertrands)

Late April 2019 Site 3 I drove East on Rue Ait Agadif (Kdif) past Hotel Le Zat and the camp site until the road ends- I parked by the trees and continued on the track which crosses a stream (that smells of raw sewage). I had Blue Cheeked and European Bee eaters around here, Black and Gull Billed Tern and Collared Pratincole. Continue along the track, it is around a 2K walk to the edge of Ourazazate lake - I had Moussier’s Redstart, Rufous Bush Robin, Maghreb Lark, Barbary Falcon and some commoner migrants along here. 2 pairs of Blue Cheeked Bee Eaters near the edge of the lake. Further on along the track for another 1K were a pair of Southern Grey Shrikes. I tried to approach this area of the lake by car from the N10 heading North (ish) out of Ouarzazate where after 5-10 K there is a crossroads. I tried to turn right here but a security car was there and I was stopped from going down this road. Further on there is a turning on the right opposite a mosque around 15K from Ouarzazate. Roller on the wires here. You can drive down this track until you come to an observation tower overlooking a different part of the lake (popular with locals). I had Seebohm’s Wheatear, Moussier’s Redstart & Desert Lark around the lower area to the right of the tower and 2 Black Storks flew over.

Site 4 - Having failed to find Maghreb Wheatear elsewhere I found 1 singing on wires on the road south from Amerzgane just after the road opens out and the pylons become visible but that was the only one I saw. Lanner seen from here but distant.

On the N10 South heading towards Taznakht there is a lake to the West which can be reached by turning right by the “Agadir 290 KM” sign. It’s worth a look. It was teeming with warblers, Western Bonelli’s, Orphean & Olivaceous Warblers, Spectacled etc. Also Atlas Flycatcher, Rufous Bush Robin, Golden Oriole, Spanish Sparrow. 6 Black Storks, 35 Ruddy Shelduck (Matt Busuttil)

Sous valley/Tarouddant

26th January 2010 A short walk around cultivations and orchards 5 kms west of Al Massira airport at GPS : N 30° 20.069', W 09° 27.220' produced 2 Black-crowned Tchagra, 4 Common Bulbul, a Magpie (of the form mauritanica), Redstart, Sardinian Warbler and a Black-winged Kite.( Peter Gluth and Robert Pocklington, trip report at

March 2011 In 3 visits to site 3 (page 26) we found Fulvous Babblers every time although on one occasion they were only heard. We also had a pair of Black-crowned Tchagras, located by the male singing in the scrubby trees next to the hotel. A raptor watch from site 7 produced mostly passage birds such as Black Kites, Montagu's Harriers and Marsh Harriers. The two Booted Eagles may have been local breeders that had just arrived. We had several sightings of Black-shouldered Kite including two close to Agadir airport but one particularly good spot for them seems to be just east of Igli on Route 10. From the km post Agadir 111, you'll see a large uncultivated area on the north side of the road which looks just great for raptors - we had 2 Black-shouldered Kites that kept returning to this area to feed and a Booted Eagle flew over too. There's now a motorway connecting Agadir to Casablanca via Marrakech. From this new road, during the first 20 km out of Agadir, you get views over an area of Argan steppe that looks remarkably well-preserved, in an area stretching as far as Agadir airport. If such a large area is still intact, why have all the Chanting Goshawks and Tawny Eagles disappeared - or are some still there? (DG)

March 2012 Alain-Jean Loiseau has written to say that the track to the Oued Sous via Old Igoudar is now a good road. He says that 'New Igoudar' is more directly called Iguider. He discovered a delightful place, the Jardins de la Koudya on the N10, 13km west of Tarouddant and only 10km from the Oued Teima where he found both Babblers and Tchagras to be abundant.

March 2013 Fulvous babbler again found at site 3 behind the hotel and down a track on the opposite side of the road (DG)

March 2014 Fulvous Babblers again found at site 3 but there is better quality habitat on the other side of the main road. Black-shouldered Kite and Barbary Falcon hunting over a pumpkin field that was especially rich in weeds and birds. (DG)

Jbel Bani route

24th Jan 2010 Pharaoh Eagle Owl at the site south of Tata, at km 29. No sandgrouse seen at site 3 but there were herons, ducks and waders there including 10 Ruddy Shelduck. 17 km west of Foum Zguid we found a Houbara Bustard right next to the road (Peter Gluth and Robert Pocklington, trip report at

March 2012 Very difficult to see ANY martins at site 5 just a few distant dots. The birds we saw along the road nearby were definitely Crag Martins. We had a pair of Bonellis Eagles soaring and perching on pylons on the north side of the pass. (DG)

May 2012 Colony of Blue Cheeked Bee-eaters below the watchtower at Tansikht, 30 kms from Zagora (Peter West)


Feb 2008 At site 1, 2 Black-shouldered Kite, 5 Fulvous Babbler and 2 Cream-coloured Courser flying over (T Pettersson et al, trip report at

January 2010 At site 2 we eventually found our target of a pair of Scrub Warbler who performed admirably. Other birds seen were 20 Spanish Sparrow, 20 Thekla Lark, 6 Red-rumped Wheatear, 4 Southern Grey Shrike, 2 Spectacled Warbler, a Moussier's Redstart and 4 Trumpeter Finch which came to drink at a small pool. As the weather warmer up birds of prey began to appear and 3 Long-legged Buzzard and a Black Kite were seen over the westerly hillside plus a distant flyby pair of Ruddy Shelduck and a Black-bellied Sandgrouse. Then we managed to get some video footage of an eagle being mobbed by a Hen Harrier. We've tentatively identified it as a juvenile Tawny Eagle. The pools here are worth checking for sandgrouse. At site 4 the pond was completely dry but nearby we still had 50 Thick-billed, 5 Temminck's Horned, 3 Short-toed and 3 Lesser Short-toed, a Desert (of nominate race deserti ) and 12 Bar-tailed Desert Lark. 3 Cream-coloured Courser, 3 Trumpeter Finch, 2 Desert Wheatear and a Red-rumped Wheatear plus a Kentish Plover. The following day we had 30 Cream-coloured Courser, 10 Hoopoe Lark, 3 Black-bellied Sandgrouse, at least 50 White Wagtail, 7 Temminck's Horned Lark, 6 Lesser Short-toed Lark, 2 Northern Wheatear, 4 Red-rumped Wheatear, 10 Kentish Plover and a Southern Grey Shrike. (Peter Gluth and Robert Pocklington, trip report at

March 2011 Having read that the deserts of Goulimine aren't as good as they once were, I was delighted to find an almost comprehensive collection of larks and wheatears including Bar-tailed Lark, Hoopoe Lark, Temminck's Lark, both Short-toed Larks, Red-rumped, White-crowned and Desert Wheatears and even Thick-billed Lark - a singing male and his partner were apparently breeding at site 3 (page 30). We also had Cream-coloured Courser, Trumpeter Finch and a flock of sandgrouse that were too distant to hear or identify. Best of all we had a pair of Scrub Warblers nest building at site 4 and heard another at site 3 - both new sites as far as I know. This was a relief as we had failed to find them at the more 'traditional' sites 1 and 2. (DG)

31st October /1st November 2012 Desert south-east of Guelmim:  Hillside by turn off to Asrir  1 Desert Lark, 1 Spectacled Warbler.  Fields just before Asrir village  3 Black-bellied Sandgrouse, 20 Trumpeter Finch, 1 Long-legged Buzzard.  Asrir village and nearby  3 White-crowned Wheatear, several Laughing Dove.  Fields and bushes between Asrir and Oasis Tighmert 7 Fulvous Babbler Also at least 11 Red-rumped Wheatear in general area. Site 2: couldn't find Scrub Warbler this year. 3 Ruddy Shelduck flying over, 1 Laughing Dove Between sites 3 and 4: Km 30 1 Bar-tailed Lark;  Km 32  8 Temminck's Lark, 2 Thick-billed Lark, 4 Bar-tailed Lark, 2 Trumpeter Finch;  Km 33 20+ Thick-billed Lark, 2 Bar-tailed Lark, 1 Temminck's Lark, 2 Greater Hoopoe Lark, 2 Cream-coloured Courser.  Also at least 12 Red-rumped Wheatear noted;    Km 34 - the only Desert Wheatear of the trip! (David Walsh/Ornitholidays)

25th March 2019 Guelmim: 1 Pharaoh Eagle Owl + 30 Scrub Warblers , 8 Thick-Billed Lark , + 50 Temminck larks , 2 Spectacled Warblers, 3 Sub-Alpine Warblers , 5 Hoopoe larks , 1 woodchat Shrike , 6 Fulvous Babblers , 4 Black Wheatear , 2 Red-Rumped Wheatear , 2 White Crowned Wheatear , 7 Bar -Tailed Larks , 2 Desert Larks , 9 Thekla larks ,2 Long Legged Buzzard , + 50 Marbled Ducks, +30 Ruddy Shelduck , 10 Shovelers , 6 Coots , 1 Common Sandpiper , 12 Desert Wheatears , 1 Black - Eared Wheatear  but no sandgrouse , no coursers and no other raptors. (Mohamed Bargache and a Finnish birder). Similar species had been found on the 12th March with 2 English birders but this time, no Pharaoh Eagle Owl but Lanner Falcon and Trumpeter Finch instead


Finding Birds in Morocco: 

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