High Atlas birds

High Atlas birds

Leader: Mohamed ZAKI
Group size: 8 to 10
Number of the species: 100

The High Atlas is the biggest mountain in North Africa. The range is 800km long and about 110km large. It holds more than 10 summits over 4000m high and many peaks over 3000m high. The High Atlas is a variety of different landscapes: high peaks, plateaus and deep valleys. Those different habitats offer some endemic birds and many migrant once. This short break into this beautiful area of North Africa should produce some highly sought after species including Atlas Flycatcher, Tristram’s Warbler, Seebohm’s Wheatear and Levaillant’s Woodpecker.Bougmez valley is one of the most beautiful valleys in the High Atlas. It is in the hart of the central high Atlas. It is deep, flat, surrounded by High Mountain, and lived by a big traditional population.

High Atlas bird.jpg (68 KB)  


1st day: we arrive in Marrakech. If the arrival is in the morning we drive immediately to Bougmez valley in the central High Atlas. On the way up we meet some interesting birds: southern grey and woodchate shrike. House bunting is all the time in buildings in towns and villages. On the plain we find Thekla and crested larks.We continue to Azilal and the woody mountains. This is the habitat for tits: coal, great and the African blue.The Moussier s redstart and black wheatear are easy to spot on the slops.We reach this beautiful valley in late afternoon and settle down in small and nice house inn (auberge). If the group arrives in late afternoon we travel to the valley in the next day.

2nd day: We spend all day in the valley. In the old walnut trees the North African race of green woodpecker Levalliant s woodpecker is nesting. Locally we find groups of white stork nesting on colonies. Booted eagle, long legged buzzard and golden eagle are possible in the valley. On the flat lands and the apple tree several finches including greenfinch, goldfinch, European serin and the North African race of chaffinch. The rock, cirl and corn buntings show themselves easily. On the outer houses the rock petronia brides. The alpine and the red-billed choughs come to look for food in the fields. On the rocky slops the black wheatear, rock and blue rock thrushs can be located. The stream offers the white throat dipper and grey wagtail the white wagtail prefers fields with the animals. The Citti s warbler disturbs the silent of the gardens from time to time. Those beautiful gardens are very good habitats for many migrants: Olivaceous warbler, nightingale, linnet, roller, Eurasian hoopoe and many others. The North African subspecies of magpie prefers the juniper and oak forest. In the same area we can find Eurasian nuthatch, firecrest, short –toed treecreeper and the three sorts of tits plus spotted and the atlas flycatchers. The barberry partridge is symbol of beauty in Berber culture.  The famous tristram s warbler lives in the small bushes.  The Moussier s redstart is quit common. The lammergeier is the biggest bird of prey that lives in the high mountains around the valley. He comes sometimes and turns above the valley. The small raptors in the valley are: sparrowhawk, lanner, peregrine, and barberry falcons.         
We enjoy the life in this beautiful valley and meet his traditional population. Overnight in the auberge.

3rd day: We choose different way to come back to Marrakech. We drive up the high pass of Tirghist. On the way we can see shore or horned lark, crimson winged finch is possible. Northern wheatear and Seebohmi s are on the bushes. Common Raven and Eurasian kestrel are frequent. We continue to Marrakech and do some bird watching on the way. Ouzoud waterfall is worth visiting on the way back. The night is at the hotel in Marrakech.

4th day: Fly back to Europe.

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