Atlas and Atlantic birds - Morocco Birdwatching Tour

Atlas and Atlantic birds - Morocco Birdwatching Tour

Day One

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We arrive at the airport of Marrakech and drive in the centre for lunch near the Koutoubia historic mosque. In the afternoon, we leave Marrakech to our hotel in the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains. On the way up to in the Haouz plain we enjoy the Moroccan Magpie and shrikes: woodchat and southern grey. We continue to Asni and Wirgane the tuya and juniper forest offers a variety of migrant birds and some endemic ones. The garden of the hotel is a nice and riche place where we can spend very good moments.

Day Two

Our morning will involve a journey into the nearby High Atlas to the Ski resort of Oukaimeden.  We are hoping to bag a few mountain species here and the primary target is Crimson-winged Finch. Chough, Rock Sparrow and Shore (Horned) Lark are others we should see, and then Alpine Chough might put in an appearance. The area also produced Golden Eagle and Dipper. But before that on the way near Sidi Faress in the pin trees we find crossbill, hawfinch, tits,,, Moussier's redstart and Tristam's warbler can be present in the small oak and juniper forest. The levailliant s woodpecker is in the walnut trees in the valley.  We come back to the same hotel for one more night.

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Day Three

 

We leave Wirgane and drive up to Ijoukak  and Talat N'Iakoub. We visit the Tinmal Mosque and look at tawny owl who lives in. After that we reach the Tast pass with its beautiful view on the plain of Souss.  The valley and the forest offer many species. After the pass, we find the first argan trees. 

On the way to Souss valley we have enough time to watch a large variety of birds. Raptors are not rare on this road; we can see golden eagle, booted eagle, bonilli's eagle, and the tawny eagle that was recorded here many years ago. He was nesting in this argan trees.

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In the Souss valley we can see the subspecies of the magpie, and lot of passerine in the farms.

We will enjoy the night in the nice hotel Palais Salam in Taroudant

 

Day Four

We anticipate an earliest breakfast at around 07:30 to allow for time to be spent at and around Tamri lagoon and shoreline before our lunch stop at Tamrhakh. The lagoon and marshes at Tamri are a favoured area for migrants and if we are lucky we might spot Bald Ibis on the surrounding dunes. Lesser Crested, Black, White-winged, Whiskered and Sandwich Terns are also some of the Tern family to use the area on migration. On our last visit here we had spectacular views of Barbary Falcon. Warblers normally include Spectacled and it is possible to find Tristrams here. After our lunch stop we continue through the wonderfully scenic Paradise Valley and we intend to have several stops along this route searching for not only migrant, but also resident species such as Black Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Rock Bunting and hopefully Bonelli’s Eagle.

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We will eventually arrive at our Hotel Des Cascades for 2 nights in the Anti Atlas Mountain village of Imouzzer.
The hotel and its terraced garden is a real favourite for us and the views from the terrace are stunning. It will be our base for the next 2 nights and the only problem we encountered on previous visits was our reluctance to leave! This small, quiet, unassuming and very friendly hotel has a homelike dining room, lounges and terraces affording stunning vistas.
The hotel has magnificent gardens leading to paths into the countryside. Breakfast is served on the large terrace. On a clear evening you can watch the sun setting over the Atlantic. The main dining room has a central log fireplace for the cooler months. Hotel Des Cascades is an idyllic place found clinging to the mountainside amongst a profusion of trees, shrubs and flowers of all colours with the constant sound of gurgling springs interspersed with pathways leading down to a knee in the hills.
Climate: At the time of our tour the days are normally warm. The evenings can be cool so some warm clothes should be close to hand.

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