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Field Guides Tour Report
Morocco 2016
May 21, 2016 to Jun 7, 2016
Jesse Fagan

Participant Romney Bathurst captured this lovely scene at the westernmost edge of the Sahara Desert.

The first Field Guide's Spring Morocco tour was a big success in many ways. The birding was excellent (as expected), but with some differences from our fall tour. Shorebirds were less conspicuous and some migrants were not around, but otherwise the birds were in full breeding mode. Lots of song and activity, and many species that we nearly miss (or miss entirely!) in the fall were around in good numbers, including Common Nightingale, European Turtle-Dove, and several species of Old World warblers. We did very well with the northwest African endemics and other specialties, with fantastic looks at Atlas Flycatcher, Tristram's Warbler, Barbary Partridge, African Desert Warbler, and Scrub Warbler, along with isolated populations of Double-spurred Francolin, Marsh Owl, and Black-crowned Tchagra. However, the group's highlights included everything from White-faced Storm-Petrel and Crimson-winged Finch to Houbara Bustard. Top honors went to the Northern Bald Ibis, with everyone agreeing that our cliffside experience was something we will not soon forget.

I want to thank the group for a super trip. Also, many thanks to Oussama, our excellent driver and local guide. Best birding in 2016, and I look forward to seeing you again on the birding trail.

-- Jesse (aka Motmot) from Lima, Peru

One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
RUDDY SHELDUCK (Tadorna ferruginea) – A number in the Lakes Region and again Mansour Eddahbi Reservoir where seen well.
GADWALL (Anas strepera) – Not many, but a few in the Lakes Region north of Ifrane.
MALLARD (Anas platyrhynchos) – Good numbers at Lac de Sidi Bourhaba, on the Loukus River, and again in the Lakes Region.
NORTHERN SHOVELER (Anas clypeata) – Just a single male (distant) that Romney spotted on a lake north of Ifrane.
GARGANEY (Anas querquedula) – A really good find by Dot was this lone drake on the Loukus River.
MARBLED TEAL (Marmaronetta angustirostris) – Good numbers on the Loukus River, but these were our only ones.

A Double-spurred Francolin, photographed by guide Jesse Fagan; check out those spurs!

COMMON POCHARD (Aythya ferina) – A few at Bourhaba Lake and again in the Lakes Region.
FERRUGINOUS DUCK (Aythya nyroca) – Also at Bourhaba Lake, but more common in the Lakes Region.
WHITE-HEADED DUCK (Oxyura leucocephala) – At least 80 individuals (many males) at Bourhaba was the largest total the guide had seen. Must be some seasonal movements in Morocco.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
COMMON QUAIL (Coturnix coturnix) [*]
BARBARY PARTRIDGE (Alectoris barbara) – Nice looks in the Zaer (our first), but also again around Agadir and Oukaimeden.
DOUBLE-SPURRED FRANCOLIN (Pternistis bicalcaratus ayesha) – Fantastic studies of a vocal birding singing from an exposed perch. We even saw the double spurs!
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LITTLE GREBE (Tachybaptus ruficollis) – Small numbers around Rabat and in the Lakes Region.
GREAT CRESTED GREBE (Podiceps cristatus) – A lovely grebe; thankfully seen well around Rabat and again in the Lakes Region.
EARED GREBE (Podiceps nigricollis) – Still a number of wintering birds around north of Ifrane. Also called "Black-necked Grebe" in the Old World.
Phoenicopteridae (Flamingos)
GREATER FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus roseus) – We had several on the Loukus River and at least 10 in the Lakes Region.
Procellariidae (Shearwaters and Petrels)
CORY'S SHEARWATER (BOREALIS) (Calonectris diomedea borealis) – All of the Cory's types that I identified were of this subspecies.
MANX SHEARWATER (Puffinus puffinus) – We estimated three seen on our pelagic trip out of Agadir.
BALEARIC SHEARWATER (Puffinus mauretanicus) – Seen well a few times on our pelagic trip. This species nests on the coastal cliffs of the Balearic Islands.
Hydrobatidae (Storm-Petrels)
WHITE-FACED STORM-PETREL (Pelagodroma marina) – Such great fun watching this species "skip" across the water. Several were seen. A new species for the trip.
Ciconiidae (Storks)

Balearic Shearwater is a rare species that breeds on just a few islands in the Mediterranean. Non-breeders and immature birds wander far and wide, but their exact movements are unclear. Photo by guide Jesse Fagan.

WHITE STORK (Ciconia ciconia) – Seen most days. There nesting was evident in many towns.
Sulidae (Boobies and Gannets)
NORTHERN GANNET (Morus bassanus) – Large numbers around on the pelagic, but mostly immatures.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
GREAT CORMORANT (NORTH ATLANTIC) (Phalacrocorax carbo carbo) – Small numbers were seen around Agadir.
GREAT CORMORANT (MOROCCAN) (Phalacrocorax carbo maroccanus) – Seen along the coast near Rabat and again in Agadir. This subspecies has the all white throat and upper chest.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea) – Good numbers at most wetland sites.
PURPLE HERON (Ardea purpurea) – Two at the mouth of the Loukus River was a nice find.
LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta) – Good numbers around Rabat, but also again at Agadir.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Seen most days outside of the highlands.
SQUACCO HERON (Ardeola ralloides) – Loukus River
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – Just singles at the start of the tour.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus) – We saw roughly 15 at the Loukus River and another bird at Mansour Eddahbi Reservoir.
NORTHERN BALD IBIS (Geronticus eremita) – Spectacular and the bird of the trip for everyone. It was a real treat experiencing them on the coastal cliffs and watching them take off for foraging grounds in the dunes. How many did we see? Hard to estimate, but 25% of the world's population wouldn't be far off.
EURASIAN SPOONBILL (Platalea leucorodia) – Good numbers in the Rabat area and another three at Mansour Eddahbi Reservoir.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
EGYPTIAN VULTURE (Neophron percnopterus) – Large group soaring over the Zaer was probably just returning to northern breeding grounds.
EUROPEAN HONEY-BUZZARD (Pernis apivorus) – Just one dark-morph soaring over the Zaer.

Guide Jesse Fagan got this atmospheric shot of a handful of Critically Endangered Northern Bald Ibises on one of their cliffside roosts.

EURASIAN GRIFFON (Gyps fulvus) – This was a great spot by Romney. First time I have seen them on tour. Roughly 12 in the group as we made the long drive to Agadir.
SHORT-TOED SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus gallicus) – Dean spotted one getting up over the forest our first morning in the Lakes Region.
BOOTED EAGLE (Hieraaetus pennatus) – Singles in the Lakes Region and again up at Oukaimeden.
EURASIAN MARSH-HARRIER (Circus aeruginosus) – Good numbers around Lac de Sidi Bourhaba.
EURASIAN SPARROWHAWK (Accipiter nisus) – One at Oukaimeden was carrying lunch!
BLACK KITE (Milvus migrans) – Fairly common around Rabat.
LONG-LEGGED BUZZARD (Buteo rufinus) – Fairly common on this tour especially away from the coast.
Otididae (Bustards)
HOUBARA BUSTARD (NORTH AFRICAN) (Chlamydotis undulata undulata) – What a great experience to find several near Midelt. We estimated at least 3 birds, but there could have been more.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
WATER RAIL (Rallus aquaticus) – Nice seeing these so well at Bourhaba Lake (with chicks) and heard again in the Lakes Region.
EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus) – Good numbers around Rabat and Loukus River.
RED-KNOBBED COOT (Fulica cristata) – Seen well at Lake Bourhaba and again north of Ifrane.
EURASIAN COOT (Fulica atra) – The most common coot species on tour. Seen in several spots and together with Red-knobbed a few times for comparisons.
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
EURASIAN THICK-KNEE (Burhinus oedicnemus) – Usually difficult, but we saw a number of them this trip.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus) – Common in several wetland spots.
PIED AVOCET (Recurvirostra avosetta) – Always a treat. This is a striking bird. We saw three at Loukus river mouth.
Haematopodidae (Oystercatchers)
EURASIAN OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus ostralegus) – Good looks at Oued Souss (Agadir).
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

A Cream-colored Courser blends into its surroundings near Midelt. Photo by guide Jesse Fagan.

KENTISH PLOVER (KENTISH) (Charadrius alexandrinus alexandrinus) – Seen a few times; our first on the beach at Skhirat.
COMMON RINGED PLOVER (Charadrius hiaticula) – Also seen a number of times; again, our first on the beach at Skhirat.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
COMMON REDSHANK (Tringa totanus) – Just two near our hotel in Skhirat.
WHIMBREL (EUROPEAN) (Numenius phaeopus phaeopus) – Seen a few times. This particular subspecies shows the white stripe down the back (very similar to a dowitcher).
BLACK-TAILED GODWIT (Limosa limosa) – At least 20 were foraging on the Loukus River.
BAR-TAILED GODWIT (Limosa lapponica) – Seen at the Oued Souss in Agadir.
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres) – Just a few on the Skhirat beach.
SANDERLING (Calidris alba) – A few on the Skhirat beach as we departed for Ifrane.
DUNLIN (Calidris alpina) – With the Sanderlings.
LITTLE STINT (Calidris minuta) – Also on the beach our final morning in Skhirat.
Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers)
CREAM-COLORED COURSER (Cursorius cursor) – What a year for this bird! We were kicking 'em out of the way.
COLLARED PRATINCOLE (Glareola pratincola) – Five were on the beach near our hotel in Skhirat.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
SLENDER-BILLED GULL (Chroicocephalus genei) – We found one lingering on the Massa River.
BLACK-HEADED GULL (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) – Just a pair (in full breeding plumage) flying up the River Souss in Agadir.
AUDOUIN'S GULL (Ichthyaetus audouinii) – Several on the beach at Skhirat.
YELLOW-LEGGED GULL (Larus michahellis) – The most common gull seen on this tour.
LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL (GRAELLSII) (Larus fuscus graellsii) – A few around (not many) and all appeared to be of this subspecies.
LITTLE TERN (Sternula albifrons) – Good numbers around in different coastal sites this year.
GULL-BILLED TERN (Gelochelidon nilotica) – A first for the tour was finding a pair at Mansour Eddahbi Reservoir where they breed locally.
WHISKERED TERN (Chlidonias hybrida) – Several over the Loukus River and again at Mansour Eddahbi (where some looked nearly black).
COMMON TERN (Sterna hirundo) – At least 5 were seen on our pelagic trip.

European Scops-Owl was seen well this year. Photo by guide Jesse Fagan.

SANDWICH TERN (Thalasseus sandvicensis) – A few along the beach at Skhirat and again in Agadir.
LESSER CRESTED TERN (Thalasseus bengalensis) – Three were on the Tamri River mouth.
Pteroclidae (Sandgrouse)
BLACK-BELLIED SANDGROUSE (Pterocles orientalis) – Extremely nice looks of a pair at a wadi on our way to Agadir.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Finally saw WILD Rock Pigeons!
COMMON WOOD-PIGEON (Columba palumbus) – Fairly common large pigeon in forested areas. White wing flashes in flight are distinctive.
EUROPEAN TURTLE-DOVE (Streptopelia turtur) – Good numbers this trip, which is one large difference from our Fall tour (when they are all but absent).
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto) – Nearly each day of the tour. [I]
LAUGHING DOVE (Streptopelia senegalensis) – Seen in the Erg Chebbi area and again in the Dades Gorge (where Maggie got caught up on them).
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
COMMON CUCKOO (Cuculus canorus) – One briefly seen in flight in the Lakes Region. Heard a few other times.
Strigidae (Owls)
EUROPEAN SCOPS-OWL (Otus scops) – Surreal experience finding a pair and then nearly getting stampeded by sheep and goats.
PHARAOH EAGLE-OWL (Bubo ascalaphus) – Downy chicks on a cliff-face nest. Still a cool experience. We found some nice fossils here, too!
LITTLE OWL (Athene noctua) – Several of these "little" owls were seen on the tour. Usually sitting on top of a small building.
TAWNY OWL (Strix aluco) – A big surprise was seeing this species fly across the road and perch near our vehicle as we were leaving the Oued Souss.
MARSH OWL (Asio capensis) – Fantastic experience flushing up this species at Merja Zerga. It posed on a post for nice looks and photo opps. This species is only found here north of the Sahara; a very strange distribution, but like several species including the francolin.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
RED-NECKED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus ruficollis) [*]
EURASIAN NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus europaeus) – One swooped by us several times at Oued Souss.

Tawny Owl was a nice surprise at Oued Souss. Photo by guide Jesse Fagan.

EGYPTIAN NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus aegyptius) – Thanks to Barak we saw this species on a day roost near his house.
Apodidae (Swifts)
COMMON SWIFT (Apus apus) – We had to work on separating them from Pallid Swift, but in good light these birds are blacker overall with more pointed wings. Seen around Skhirat and again in Marrakesh.
PALLID SWIFT (Apus pallidus) – Paler (browner) and has more rounded wings. The more common of the two species on this tour despite the name of the previous species.
LITTLE SWIFT (Apus affinis) – Several at the Casablanca airport on our first day.
Upupidae (Hoopoes)
EURASIAN HOOPOE (Upupa epops) – Good numbers throughout out the tour, but never many at one time.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
COMMON KINGFISHER (Alcedo atthis) – One was at River Loukus and again along the Oued Massa.
Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
BLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATER (Merops persicus) – Seen well on our drive to Boumalne Dades just after Rissani.
EUROPEAN BEE-EATER (Merops apiaster) – Seen at a few sites. More common and widespread than the previous species.
Coraciidae (Rollers)
EUROPEAN ROLLER (Coracias garrulus) – Seen in the Lakes Region a few times.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER (ATLAS) (Dendrocopos major numidus) – A large nicely patterned woodpecker we saw at a few different sites.
LEVAILLANT'S WOODPECKER (Picus vaillantii) – Romney spotted this bird flying by us in the oak forest near Ifrane. We called it back and it perched on a rock for nice scope views. It was seen again at Oukaimeden briefly.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
LESSER KESTREL (Falco naumanni) – A few in the Lakes Region and again on our day at Oukaimeden.
EURASIAN KESTREL (Falco tinnunculus) – By far the most common falcon species on the trip. Seen most days.
ELEONORA'S FALCON (Falco eleonorae) – One flew over us at Oued Massa. We were all a bit surprised so it would have been nice to have it linger a bit longer. Nests on offshore islands along the Moroccan coast.

The stony hillsides around Oukaimeden in the Atlas Mountains are home to some special birds -- like Wood Lark, Red-billed Chough, and Lesser Kestrel. Photo by guide Jesse Fagan.

LANNER FALCON (Falco biarmicus) – Good looks at one perched on a powerline near Rissani.
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – One perched on the side of the Hassan II tower was memorable. One of our first birds for the tour.
Malaconotidae (Bushshrikes and Allies)
BLACK-CROWNED TCHAGRA (HOODED) (Tchagra senegalus cucullatus)
Laniidae (Shrikes)
SOUTHERN GRAY SHRIKE (SOUTHERN) (Lanius meridionalis elegans) – The interior subspecies was seen several times on the trip.
WOODCHAT SHRIKE (Lanius senator) – Good numbers were around as they breed in Morocco (not many around in the fall, and mainly immatures). We had our first pair in the coastal scrub at Zaer.
Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
EURASIAN GOLDEN ORIOLE (Oriolus oriolus) – Seen several times on the tour, but our first were along the lake edge north of Ifrane. This species has a fairly distincitve melodic whistled song.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
EURASIAN JAY (Garrulus glandarius) – In the Zaer and again in the Jabaa oak forest.
EURASIAN MAGPIE (AFRICAN) (Pica pica mauritanica) – This subspecies has a pleasant area of blue skin around the eye. Seen many times on the tour.
RED-BILLED CHOUGH (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) – Hundreds in large vocal flocks above Oukaimeden.
EURASIAN JACKDAW (Corvus monedula) – Fairly common around Rabat.
BROWN-NECKED RAVEN (Corvus ruficollis) – Seen well in the Erg Chebbi area.
COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax) – Good numbers along the coast and again in the mountains.
Alaudidae (Larks)
GREATER HOOPOE-LARK (Alaemon alaudipes) – A bizarre looking lark seen in the sandy desert near Merzouga. Most striking is its black-and-white wing pattern.
DUPONT'S LARK (Chersophilus duponti) – What an experience tracking down this local and rare species in the desert outside of Midelt.

Dupont's Lark is a difficult and local species, but we had close, intimate views of it. Photo by guide Jesse Fagan.

BAR-TAILED LARK (Ammomanes cinctura) – Seen in the desert areas of Erg Chebbi. One of the more difficult of the desert larks to locate.
DESERT LARK (Ammomanes deserti) – Likes rockier terrain than the previous species. Seen pretty well at the eagle-owl spot and again around Boumalne Dades.
THICK-BILLED LARK (Ramphocoris clotbey) – Good numbers in the trash south of Boumalne Dades.
CALANDRA LARK (Melanocorypha calandra) – One doing a display flight and singing near the Marsh Owl spot.
GREATER SHORT-TOED LARK (Calandrella brachydactyla) – Seen well foraging in the trash along the Tagdilt Track.
LESSER SHORT-TOED LARK (Calandrella rufescens) – These were singing and flying around in good numbers in the desert near Midelt.
CRESTED LARK (Galerida cristata) – Another "Crekla Lark." These challenged us to separate from Thekla, but some individuals are notably longer crested and thinner billed which make them good Crested.
CRESTED LARK (MAGHREB) (Galerida cristata randoni) – This paler long-billed subspecies is quite distinctive and by some authorities a separate species. We saw it in the Erg Chebbi area.
THEKLA LARK (Galerida theklae) – We identified this species around Midelt.
WOOD LARK (Lullula arborea) – In the short grass above the town of Oukaimeden. Several were doing display flights.
HORNED LARK (Eremophila alpestris) – Also in the short grass above Oukaimeden.
TEMMINCK'S LARK (Eremophila bilopha) – Seen well at Boumalne Dades.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
EURASIAN CRAG-MARTIN (Ptyonoprogne rupestris) – Good numbers in the Dades Gorge.
BARN SWALLOW (WHITE-BELLIED) (Hirundo rustica rustica) – Fairly common in the agricultural areas during our drives.
RED-RUMPED SWALLOW (Cecropis daurica) – Seen well on our day visiting Oukaimeden.
COMMON HOUSE-MARTIN (Delichon urbicum) – Lots on the tour.
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
COAL TIT (Periparus ater) – Several seen in the Jabaa Forest near Ifrane.
AFRICAN BLUE TIT (Cyanistes teneriffae) – Seen well a few times, but our first were at the Bourhaba Lake.
GREAT TIT (Parus major) – Slightly less common on tour than the previous species, but still around in good numbers.
Sittidae (Nuthatches)

The fortified city of Ait-Benhaddou is the largest kasbah in Morocco. Photo by guide Jesse Fagan.

EURASIAN NUTHATCH (Sitta europaea) – Several in the Jabaa forest.
Certhiidae (Treecreepers)
SHORT-TOED TREECREEPER (Certhia brachydactyla) – Also in the Jabaa forest.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
EURASIAN WREN (Troglodytes troglodytes) [*]
Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)
COMMON BULBUL (Pycnonotus barbatus) – Seen or heard most days.
Regulidae (Kinglets)
FIRECREST (Regulus ignicapilla) – Our first were in the Jabaa first, but also again near Oukaimeden.
Cettiidae (Bush-Warblers and Allies)
SCRUB WARBLER (Scotocerca inquieta) – What a great find! We had to really work at seeing this local N African species. Finally a small group of 5 or 6 individuals were seen foraging actively in the short desert scrub.
CETTI'S WARBLER (Cettia cetti) – Heard along several waterways, but seen well in the Dades Gorge.
Phylloscopidae (Leaf Warblers)
WESTERN BONELLI'S WARBLER (Phylloscopus bonelli) – We managed to call up one silent individual during our drive up to Oukaimeden on the final day.
Acrocephalidae (Reed-Warblers and Allies)
EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER (Iduna pallida) – This species (similar to the next, but with a different song) was seen in the Erg Chebbi area.
WESTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER (Iduna opaca) – Seen in the Ouarzazate area and again on the coast around Agadir.
MELODIOUS WARBLER (Hippolais polyglotta) – We saw one in the Zaer.
EURASIAN REED-WARBLER (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) – One was along the Bourhaba lakeshore.
Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
ZITTING CISTICOLA (Cisticola juncidis) – Several in the Rabat area and again at Oued Souss. We enjoyed watching their "zitting" flight display.
Sylviidae (Sylviid Warblers)

Tristram's Warbler is a northwest African endemic. We saw this male at the pass above Midelt. Photo by guide Jesse Fagan.

EURASIAN BLACKCAP (Sylvia atricapilla) – Seen a couple of times on the tour. One male was singing on territory just down from our hotel in Ifrane.
AFRICAN DESERT WARBLER (Sylvia deserti) – It took some effort, but we tracked one down on our morning heading to Boumalne Dades.
WESTERN ORPHEAN WARBLER (Sylvia hortensis) – One was on territory in the rocky desert scrub outside of Ifrane.
TRISTRAM'S WARBLER (Sylvia deserticola) – A silent male briefly checked us out at the pass near Midelt. A NW African endemic!
SUBALPINE WARBLER (Sylvia cantillans) – Similar to the previous species and slightly more common. We saw them in the Lakes Region and again around Oukaimeden.
SARDINIAN WARBLER (Sylvia melanocephala) – Common in coastal scrub.
SPECTACLED WARBLER (Sylvia conspicillata) – We called one in while birding the short scrubby vegetation outside of Ifrane. A couple more were seen in the desert around Boumalne Dades.
Leiothrichidae (Laughingthrushes and Allies)
FULVOUS CHATTERER (Turdoides fulva) – Oussama put us on a secret new spot which worked out really well for us!
Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)
SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa striata) – Good numbers seen on most days.
RUFOUS-TAILED SCRUB-ROBIN (Cercotrichas galactotes) – Our first were around Boumalne Dades, but again in Agadir.
COMMON NIGHTINGALE (Luscinia megarhynchos) – Lots in the Zaer, but seen or heard at a few other spots. This is one that is nearly absent in the fall.
ATLAS FLYCATCHER (Ficedula speculigera) – This NW African endemic was seen very well in the Jabaa forest where we found a pair on territory.
MOUSSIER'S REDSTART (Phoenicurus moussieri) – This lovely bird was thankfully seen well a few times. We will try to forget seeing it at our gas station stop.
COMMON REDSTART (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) – Just one for the trip which seems odd.
BLACK REDSTART (Phoenicurus ochruros) – At least one male was seen in the highlands around Oukaimeden.
RUFOUS-TAILED ROCK-THRUSH (Monticola saxatilis) – A pair were seen briefly above Oukaimeden.
BLUE ROCK-THRUSH (Monticola solitarius) – Good numbers in the gorges and at Oukaimeden.

Atlas Flycatcher is a local northwestern African breeding endemic. It winters in sub-Saharan Africa and returns each spring to breed in the Atlas Mountains. Photo by guide Jesse Fagan.

EUROPEAN STONECHAT (Saxicola rubicola rubicola) – Seen in the Rabat area and again in Agadir.
WHITE-TAILED WHEATEAR (Oenanthe leucopyga) – Good numbers in the Erg Chebbi area. This species prefers more sandy desert where it can be pretty common.
BLACK WHEATEAR (Oenanthe leucura) – Seen in rocky areas and in canyons where common.
NORTHERN WHEATEAR (BLACK-THROATED) (Oenanthe oenanthe seebohmi) – Our first were in the Lakes Region and another was seen at Oukaimeden. Split as "Seebohm's Wheatear" by some authorities. It looks quite different from mainland Europe birds and is resident to NW Africa.
RED-RUMPED WHEATEAR (Oenanthe moesta) – Fairly common around Boumalne Dades, but our first were near Midelt.
BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR (Oenanthe hispanica) – One of the more difficult wheatears to find. We had several at the Oued Massa.
DESERT WHEATEAR (Oenanthe deserti) – Fairly common in the high desert around Erg Chebbi and Boumalne Dades.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
EURASIAN BLACKBIRD (Turdus merula) – Common in green areas.
MISTLE THRUSH (Turdus viscivorus) – In the Lakes Region and Oukaimeden.
Sturnidae (Starlings)
SPOTLESS STARLING (Sturnus unicolor) – Seen on most days of the tour. They were breeding on the grounds at our hotel in Skhirat.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
WESTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL (ASHY-HEADED) (Motacilla flava iberiae) – Along the Loukous River and a few other places on tour.
GRAY WAGTAIL (Motacilla cinerea) – Singles at a few sites including the Lakes Region and Mansour Eddahbi Reservoir, also along the crowded river at Oukaimeden.
WHITE WAGTAIL (MOROCCAN) (Motacilla alba subpersonata) – Just two in the Dades Gorge.
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
CIRL BUNTING (Emberiza cirlus) – Nice looks in the Lakes Region and on our drive up to Oukaimeden.
ROCK BUNTING (Emberiza cia) – Seen on our drive up to Oukaimeden on the last day.
HOUSE BUNTING (Emberiza sahari) – Common on the hotel walls at Boumalne Dades. Seen also at several other sites.
CORN BUNTING (Emberiza calandra) – These were seen in the ag fields near at our Marsh Owl spot.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
COMMON CHAFFINCH (AFRICAN) (Fringilla coelebs africana) – First seen in the coastal lowlands around Rabat, but more common in the Lakes Region and Oukaimeden.

A parting photo of your guide and our loyal driver, Oussama. Thanks for a great trip!

CRIMSON-WINGED FINCH (Rhodopechys sanguineus) – What a fantastic late pick-up! A pair of breeding plumaged birds seen on the higher trail above Oukaimeden.
TRUMPETER FINCH (Bucanetes githagineus zedlitzi) – Seemed to be good numbers around this year.
EUROPEAN GREENFINCH (Chloris chloris) – Fairly common on the tour.
EUROPEAN GOLDFINCH (Carduelis carduelis) – Also good numbers seen on the tour.
EURASIAN LINNET (Carduelis cannabina) – Seen well on several days including many breeding plumaged males.
EUROPEAN SERIN (Serinus serinus) – Common in the Lakes Region and again at other sites.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – Seen every day of the tour.
DESERT SPARROW (Passer simplex) – This elegant sparrow was seen at a desert oasis at the edge of the Saharan dunes.
ROCK PETRONIA (Petronia petronia) – Small numbers in the Lakes Region and at Oukaimeden.

BARBARY APE (Macaca sylvanus) – Several in the cedar forest near Ifrane. The only native North African primate.
BARBARY GROUND SQUIRREL (Atlantoxerus getulus) – Several were seen in the rocky country on our drive to Agadir; also on our last day at Oukaimeden.
FAT SAND RAT (Psammomys obesus) – This is what we saw in the trash along the Tagdilt Track.
SHORT-BEAKED COMMON DOLPHIN (Delphinus delphis) – Several pods bow riding during our pelagic trip.
RED FOX (Vulpes vulpes) – One was seen at Oued Massa.
SAND FOX (Vulpes rueppelli) – A striking appearance to this desert fox. Seen near Amerzgone.
EGYPTIAN MONGOOSE (Herpestes ichneumon) – Also seen at the Oued Massa.
WILD BOAR (Sus scrofa) – Several seen at the Oued Massa.


There was a desert tortoise seen in the desert outside of Midelt. I believe this was Spur-thighed Tortoise (Testudo graeca) with several named subspecies.

Totals for the tour: 192 bird taxa and 8 mammal taxa