Birding in Morocco - Atlas and southern birds

Birding in Morocco - Atlas and southern birds

Morocco is known by the classic tourism. And also the mountains cover more then half of the country. More than 2000Miles of the cost is on the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. In the south of the country we have the big Sahara desert. So Morocco is one of the best destinations for bird watching in the world.

It is closer to Europe; so many migrant birds go cross. The different and special habitats hold many endemic birds: Moussier's redstart, Levailliant's                    
green-woodpecker, Tristram's warbler…Many birds change in Morocco and north Africa and became a nice subspecies: African blue tit, Moroccan magpie, Seebohmi's wheatear and Chaffinch.

southern birds.jpg (31 KB)


1st day:
Arrival is in Marrakech and drive up to our hotel on the foothill of the High Atlas.  House bunting is possible to see in the city. Pallid and common swift are on the city sky in the gardens common bulbul is singing. On the Haouz plain we do many breaks to see shrikes: woodchat and great grey. Crested lark is always near the road. Many other passerines can be found in gardens and on the plain.

2nd day: Departure is early in the morning to Oukaimeden in the High Atlas. On the lower slopes of the Atlas Mountain we find, Rock bunting, Moussier’s redstart, Black wheatear, blue and rock thrush. In the small oak trees we find the North African blue tit, Jay, Coal and great tit, fire crest. Tristrams warbler is possible in the small bush. The big walnuts trees in the valley are the good habitat for the Levaillant’s Woodpecker. On the plateau of Oukaimeden itself contain the two species of choughs, alpine and red billed. Rock sparrow is in the rocky sides, horned lark can be found on the high pass. In the bottom of the valley crimson winged finch is usually there. The High Atlas is a good area to see the famous Lammergeier we come back to our hotel in Wirgane.

3rd day: We travel to the south via Tichka pass. So we have more chance to see the Atlas birds. On the way, in Zat river egrets and Herons can be located. White Stork is just arrived in North Africa. Long legged buzzard and falcons are in Twama forest. Booted Eagle is usually turning around. On the south side of the High Atlas and Ouarzazate area, the Desert Lark, White-tailed Black Wheatear can be seen. Morning Wheatear is in the small hills in Izirki valley. The lake Mansour Dahbi a good place to visit. Grebes, ducks and many other water birds are there.  The European and Blue checked bee eaters are the new visitors. We continue to Dades valley. Night in Boumalen.

4th day: We spend all day near Dades valley and on the Anved plateau. This is a good place for wheatears: Red-rumped, Black-eared, White-tailed Black and desert. Larks: Thekla, Thick-billed, Bar-tailed, Short-toed and lesser short-toed. Calandra Lark is possible as well. Pin-tailed, Black-billed and spotted sandgrouse are recorded on the plateau. They are hinted by Barbary falcon sometimes. In Dades valley we can see more and interesting birds; the Bonilli’s Eagle is possible in the gorges. On the cliffs, Crag Martin is nesting. Night in Boumalen.

5th day: Today we go further in the south to the Sahara. We come back to Ouarzazate and go south to Zagoura. In Draa valley we can see more water birds. Eagrettes, Herons, waders, Kingfisher. Wheatears, Larks… and other passerines. The Eurasian Hoopoe is under the palm groves. Night in Zagora in the gate of the great Sahara.

6th day: We go today to explore the Sahara. We need to see the Fulvous Babbler who is in the acacia tree outside the city. On the way to Mhamid flocks of desert sparrow cross the road. In the bushes in deep Sahara, desert warbler can be located. The Houbara bustard is almost  departed. We can see one if we have realy good chance. Bar-tailed lark is there as well. Wheatears: desert, black-eared and red-rumped are easy to find. We spend all day in the desert to look for anything we can see in this special habitat. We come back to Zagora for night.

7th day: We travel west and get close to the Atlantic Ocean.  In Draa valley we find more water birds. On the plateau of Taznakht Black-billied Sandgrouse, larks are possible as well. Souss valley is a good area for birding. Black-Winged Kite can be seeing, Tawny Eagle was recorded on the argan tree. Dark Chanting Goshawk stays in hope. In farms we find many different species of passerines. Overnight at Taroudant.

8th day: We travel to Agadir and watch birds on the way in the lower souss valley. In the afternoon we spend the day in mouth of Souss River. It is a very good place for waders.

9th day: After Souss valley we go south to the national park of Massa. This one of the biggest reserve of birds in the world. We enjoy watching all the different ducks gulls terns and waders. Marbled duck and Ruddy Shelduck are ones of the important Mediterranean birds. Pochard, Pintail, Wigeon, Shoveler, Mallard, Flamingos, Glossy Ibis, Herons… (The list is big) those are all the birds possible in this river. The famous Bald Ibis lives here. 

10th day:
From the cost road we travel to Essaouira. On the way we can watch more sea birds. In Tamri the Bald Ibis is usually near the road. This is another occasion if we miss him before. On the isle of Mogador the Elionora falcon is possible. Night is in Essauoira.

11th day: This is the end of the holidays. We leave to the airport of Marrakech and fly back ho

5/18/18, 9:38 AM

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