Field Guides
Home Tours Guides News About Us FAQ Contact Us
Field Guides Tour Report
Morocco 2019
Sep 9, 2019 to Sep 24, 2019
Jesse Fagan

A lovely day above the Ziz River Valley. This was just one of many scenic stops we made on the Morocco tour. Photo by guide Jesse Fagan.

This was a very productive tour for birds. We tallied just over 200 bird taxa seeing all the NW African endemics possible on the tour (goodies like Barbary Partridge, Levaillant's Woodpecker, and Tristram's Warbler), plus tallying 13 species of larks, 7 species of wheatears, and 26 species of shorebirds. Your personal highlights were many, but focused on a couple of specialties like Scrub Warbler, Moussier's Redstart, Fulvous Chatterer, Marsh Owl, and the woodpecker. However, our top bird is one of the rarest Palearctic birds in the world, Northern Bald Ibis. We couldn't have had a better experience seeing this species. Morocco was also special for the amazing scenery; we visited coastal scrub, Moroccan cedar forest in the Middle Atlas, high and low deserts around Boumalne Dades and Erg Chebbi (the famous Saharan Desert!), and even enjoyed a pelagic experience in the Atlantic Ocean. The culture and cuisine were new and different and sometimes overwhelming. I hope you all have fond memories of the country.

Many thanks and good birding,

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) – Good numbers on Aguelmane de Sidi Ali, south of Ifrane.
NORTHERN SHOVELER (Spatula clypeata) – Large numbers on Lac du Siti Bourhaba, north of Rabat.
MALLARD (Anas platyrhynchos) – Common on Bourhaba Lake and again in the desert north of Midelt (Aguelmane).
RED-CRESTED POCHARD (Netta rufina) – Around 10 or so were at Lac du Siti Bourhaba, but better looks were had at Aguelmane de Sidi Ali.
COMMON POCHARD (Aythya ferina) – A group of 15 or so were seen distantly at Aguelmane. For some these looked like Canvasbacks, for others, like Redheads! Whatever works.

Thanks to Jose Padilla-Lopez for this awesome photo of (most) our group at Dades Gorge near Boumalne Dades.

Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
BARBARY PARTRIDGE (Alectoris barbara) – Excited coveys were encountered in the Zaer and again nice looks at a thirsty group in the Dades Gorge.
DOUBLE-SPURRED FRANCOLIN (Pternistis bicalcaratus ayesha) – Early morning is the time for this species. Seen and heard in the Zaer. The Moroccan population is completely isolated from its sub-Saharan relatives.
Phoenicopteridae (Flamingos)
GREATER FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus roseus) – Large numbers at the big lakes and reservoirs.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LITTLE GREBE (Tachybaptus ruficollis) – Studied nicely in the scope at Bourhaba.
GREAT CRESTED GREBE (Podiceps cristatus) – Small numbers at Bourhaba and in the Lakes Region.
EARED GREBE (Podiceps nigricollis) – A small group were diving and feeding at Aguelmane. Seems this species has all but disappeared from the region as the lakes dry up. Also known as Black-necked Grebe in the Old World.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Wild birds were seen in the big cliffs and gorges at several spots. You can count 'em!
COMMON WOOD-PIGEON (Columba palumbus) – Lots in the Zaer and Middle Atlas. Also, again at Oukaimeden.
EUROPEAN TURTLE-DOVE (Streptopelia turtur) – One was trapped in a cage in the Zaer (but escaped!), and more seen around Agadir.
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto) – Seen everyday, but not native to region.

We worked hard at the "Crekla" problem. However, we eventually found good representatives of both Crested and Thekla (shown here) larks. Photo by guide Jesse Fagan near Ifrane.

LAUGHING DOVE (Streptopelia senegalensis) – Small numbers around Boumalne Dades and Agadir.
Pteroclidae (Sandgrouse)
SPOTTED SANDGROUSE (Pterocles senegallus) – Awesome, close looks at a group very close to our vehicles at Erg Chebbi.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
RED-NECKED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus ruficollis) – One reluctant bird eventually showed during our evening birding at Oued Souss (Agadir).
EURASIAN NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus europaeus) – One vocal individual was called up at dawn in the Zaer. It circled us a few times before settling in for the day.
EGYPTIAN NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus aegyptius) – Tremendous scope views in the desert at Erg-Chebbi. Thanks to Um-Barak and his wife!
Apodidae (Swifts)
ALPINE SWIFT (Apus melba) – Small migrant groups here and there on the tour.
COMMON SWIFT (Apus apus) – Some years they are still around, other years not. We had good numbers in the Zaer, but only singles after that. Most had moved out.
PALLID SWIFT (Apus pallidus) – A group of six passed through the highlands at Oukaimeden. Migrants on their way south.

An iconic scene near the city of Rabat. Photo by participant Ken Havard.

LITTLE SWIFT (Apus affinis) – Just two briefly over the Oued Massa. Not seen by everyone.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
EURASIAN MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus) – Good numbers at Loukus and Bourhaba as well as the Lakes Region.
EURASIAN COOT (Fulica atra) – Large numbers at Loukus and Bourhaba.
RED-KNOBBED COOT (Fulica cristata) – Seen close and in good numbers at Lac du Siti Bourhaba.
WESTERN SWAMPHEN (Porphyrio porphyrio) – Two individuals were sneaking along the marsh edge at Lac du Siti Bourhaba. Our only site for this species.
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
EURASIAN THICK-KNEE (Burhinus oedicnemus) – Caught up with large numbers in the coastal dunes at Oued Massa.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus) – Seen at most wetland sites, especially around Skhirat and Rabat.
PIED AVOCET (Recurvirostra avosetta) – A group of 5 were at the Oued Souss estuary.
Haematopodidae (Oystercatchers)
EURASIAN OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus ostralegus) – Seen well from our hotel in Skhirat.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola) – Also known as Gray Plover in the Old World. Seen multiple times from our hotel in Skhirat.
KENTISH PLOVER (KENTISH) (Charadrius alexandrinus alexandrinus) – Seen multiple times from our hotel in Skhirat. Again around Agadir.
COMMON RINGED PLOVER (Charadrius hiaticula) – Seen multiple times from our hotel in Skhirat. Again around Agadir. Prefers more brackish environments than the next species.
LITTLE RINGED PLOVER (Charadrius dubius) – Seen on the Loukus River and in the Boumalne Dades region. Prefers freshwater habitats.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
WHIMBREL (EUROPEAN) (Numenius phaeopus phaeopus) – Seen multiple times from our hotel in Skhirat. Again around Agadir.
EURASIAN CURLEW (Numenius arquata) – Singles seen from our hotel in Skhirat. Again around Agadir.

This is the bustling port town of Larache where we enjoyed a fresh seafood lunch and some good birding on the Loukus River. Photo by guide Jesse Fagan.

BAR-TAILED GODWIT (Limosa lapponica) – Seen multiple times from our hotel in Skhirat. Again around Agadir.
BLACK-TAILED GODWIT (Limosa limosa) – Seen at Oued Souss (Agadir).
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres) – Seen multiple times from our hotel in Skhirat. Again around Agadir.
RED KNOT (Calidris canutus) – We scoped a single bird our last morning at Skhirat. The only one of the tour.
RUFF (Calidris pugnax) – Small numbers were scoped at the Oued Souss.
CURLEW SANDPIPER (Calidris ferruginea) – Awesome studies during our long walk at Oued Massa. The light and angle were perfect.
SANDERLING (Calidris alba) – Seen multiple times from our hotel in Skhirat. Again around Agadir.
DUNLIN (Calidris alpina) – Seen multiple times from our hotel in Skhirat. Again around Agadir. Lots of juveniles. The subspecies here with the short bill is schinzii.
LITTLE STINT (Calidris minuta) – Very small numbers at Boumalne Dades and Agadir.
COMMON SNIPE (Gallinago gallinago) – Several at the Loukus River and in the wadi at Boumalne Dades. Not seen every tour.
COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos) – Seen at the Loukus River and again around Agadir. The Old World equivalent to our Spotted Sandpiper.
GREEN SANDPIPER (Tringa ochropus) – Singles or doubles at various wetland spots.

One of the group's favorite birds for the trip, was this impressive Marsh Owl seen in the large marsh at Moulay Bousselham. Photo by guide Jesse Fagan.

SPOTTED REDSHANK (Tringa erythropus) – One at the wadi in Boumalne Dades and again at the Oued Souss. Never common like the Common Redshank.
COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia) – Several at the Loukus River and Oued Souss.
WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola) – Just one at Bourhaba Lake.
COMMON REDSHANK (Tringa totanus) – Seen multiple times from our hotel in Skhirat. Again around Agadir.
Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers)
CREAM-COLORED COURSER (Cursorius cursor) – A trio were visiting the dump at Boumalne Dades. Not the most pleasant viewing experience.
Stercorariidae (Skuas and Jaegers)
GREAT SKUA (Stercorarius skua) – One flew over the boat, but got away quick!
POMARINE JAEGER (Stercorarius pomarinus) – One sitting on the water that quickly got up and headed away. An adult bird with nearly a full tail.
PARASITIC JAEGER (Stercorarius parasiticus) – Seen hunting (chasing and harassing) from our hotel in Skhirat. Several were dark morphs.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
BLACK-HEADED GULL (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) – Good numbers around Rabat and Agadir.

A friendly soccer match on the beach at Skhirat. Photo by guide Jesse Fagan.

MEDITERRANEAN GULL (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus) – Single "Med" Gulls were seen in Agadir and at the Oued Souss. A great bird for us.
AUDOUIN'S GULL (Ichthyaetus audouinii) – Another fantastic gull. We saw a large distant flock on the beach at Oued Massa and smaller numbers in the Agadir harbor.
YELLOW-LEGGED GULL (Larus michahellis) – The common (default) large gull on this tour.
LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL (GRAELLSII) (Larus fuscus graellsii) – All of the individuals I identified seemed to be of this subspecies.
LITTLE TERN (Sternula albifrons) – Just one at the Oued Souss.
BLACK TERN (Chlidonias niger) – A couple on the pelagic and again at the Oued Souss.
COMMON TERN (Sterna hirundo) – One along the beach at Skhirat, but again on the pelagic trip.
SANDWICH TERN (Thalasseus sandvicensis) – Seen multiple times from our hotel in Skhirat. Again around Agadir.
Oceanitidae (Southern Storm-Petrels)
WHITE-FACED STORM-PETREL (Pelagodroma marina)
Hydrobatidae (Northern Storm-Petrels)
EUROPEAN STORM-PETREL (Hydrobates pelagicus) – Just when we though we weren't going to see this species! A last-minute surprise.
Procellariidae (Shearwaters and Petrels)
CORY'S SHEARWATER (BOREALIS) (Calonectris diomedea borealis) – Hundreds on the pelagic trip.
GREAT SHEARWATER (Ardenna gravis) – At least two were seen on the pelagic trip. Very nice close views of birds sitting on the water.
SOOTY SHEARWATER (Ardenna grisea) – At least eight were seen on the pelagic trip. Very nice close views of birds sitting on the water and in flight.
MANX SHEARWATER (Puffinus puffinus) – My biggest totals on this tour so far. At least twenty individuals on the pelagic trip.
BALEARIC SHEARWATER (Puffinus mauretanicus) – By far my biggest numbers and best views on this tour.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
BLACK STORK (Ciconia nigra) – Only the second time on this tour. A migrant was in the wadi near Boumalne Dades. It didn't stick around long.
WHITE STORK (Ciconia ciconia) – Common on the tour where there large nests are seen on top of town minarets.

The Levaillant's Woodpecker is a NW African endemic. We saw it pretty well near Ifrane, but had smashing views below the ski town of Oukaimeden. Awesome photo by participant Myles McNally.

Sulidae (Boobies and Gannets)
NORTHERN GANNET (Morus bassanus) – Seen from the shore at Skhirat and again on the pelagic trip.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
GREAT CORMORANT (NORTH ATLANTIC) (Phalacrocorax carbo carbo) – Northern wintering birds were around in the coastal areas.
GREAT CORMORANT (MOROCCAN) (Phalacrocorax carbo maroccanus) – The white-breasted resident birds were seen at Oued Massa and in Agadir.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
GRAY HERON (Ardea cinerea) – Seen in most wetland sites.
PURPLE HERON (Ardea purpurea) – Just one in flight near Moulay Bousselham.
LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta) – Seen in most wetland sites.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Nearly everyday including desert regions.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus) – Small numbers around Rabat and one at Oued Massa.
NORTHERN BALD IBIS (Geronticus eremita) – A target for most folks and we were excited to see roughly a quarter of the world's population at Oued Massa. Lovely dusk views of birds on cliffs and flying into roost.
EURASIAN SPOONBILL (Platalea leucorodia) – Good numbers around Rabat various sites and again at Oued Souss.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – Seen a few times.

Another wonderful bird we saw en route to the Sahara Desert was this Dupont's Lark, seen near Midelt, photographed by participant Myles McNally.

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
BLACK-WINGED KITE (Elanus caeruleus) – Just two on the tour, one in the Zaer and another on the drive to Ifrane.
EUROPEAN HONEY-BUZZARD (Pernis apivorus) – One on the pelagic trip was odd. A migrant following the coast south.
SHORT-TOED SNAKE-EAGLE (Circaetus gallicus) – We saw a migrant well above the mountains at Oukaimeden. Just a white speck up there.
BOOTED EAGLE (Hieraaetus pennatus) – The largest numbers I have seen on this tour. They were numerous in the Ifrane/Lakes Region.
TAWNY EAGLE (Aquila rapax) – One flew over our heads during our walk at Oued Massa.
BONELLI'S EAGLE (Aquila fasciata) – Distant looks of a family (a couple of immatures and one adult) soaring over the high ridges in the Dades Gorge.
EURASIAN MARSH-HARRIER (Circus aeruginosus) – Several soaring above the forest at Lac du siti Bourhaba.
MONTAGU'S HARRIER (Circus pygargus) – One on the pelagic trip was a migrant following the coast south.

We probably had taigine somewhere along the way! Beef with dates or chicken with lemon? Photo by participant Ken Havard.

EURASIAN SPARROWHAWK (Accipiter nisus) – Singles seen every other day.
Strigidae (Owls)
PHARAOH EAGLE-OWL (Bubo ascalaphus) – Oussama had a secret spot for this one. ;-)
LITTLE OWL (Athene noctua) – Just one on the tour.
MARSH OWL (Asio capensis) – Tied for group favorite. Indeed, we had wonderful views of this bird (after some searching!) in the tall marsh at Moulay Bousselham.
Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
BLUE-CHEEKED BEE-EATER (Merops persicus) – Lovely close views near the home of Um-Barak in the Erg Chebbi region.
EUROPEAN BEE-EATER (Merops apiaster) – Migrant groups were seen and heard calling on a couple of different days. Some of us enjoyed their dawn calls and flight from the hotel cliffs in Boumalne Dades. They had roosted in the riparian forest below us.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
EURASIAN WRYNECK (Jynx torquilla) – Always good to find this one. We scoped one individual in the coastal scrub at Oued Massa.
GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER (ATLAS) (Dendrocopos major numidus) – One was inspecting the water spigot at the king's palace in Ifrane.
LEVAILLANT'S WOODPECKER (Picus vaillantii) – We scoped one near Ifrane, but that was just the appetizer for the view we had below Oukaimeden. Amazing. A NW African endemic.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
LESSER KESTREL (Falco naumanni) – Small numbers seen on tour. Most have already departed.
EURASIAN KESTREL (Falco tinnunculus) – Common. Seen most days.
ELEONORA'S FALCON (Falco eleonorae) – We lucked out finding one bird hunting over the forest of Lac du Siti Bourhaba. It was harassing a marsh-harrier.
EURASIAN HOBBY (Falco subbuteo) – We scoped two individuals perched in a tree above Bourhaba lake.
PEREGRINE FALCON (BARBARY) (Falco peregrinus pelegrinoides) – One was scoped on a telephone pole as we left Merzouga.
Malaconotidae (Bushshrikes and Allies)
BLACK-CROWNED TCHAGRA (HOODED) (Tchagra senegalus cucullatus) – Heard in the Zaer, but we finally caught up with nice looks at Oued Massa.

We made it to the western edge of the Sahara Desert! Here we would have some very productive birding, and hot temps! Photo by participant Myles McNally.

Laniidae (Shrikes)
GREAT GRAY SHRIKE (SAHARA) (Lanius excubitor algeriensis) – The coastal variety seen around Rabat and Agadir.
GREAT GRAY SHRIKE (SAHARA) (Lanius excubitor elegans) – This paler form was seen in the desert areas between Ifrane, Merzouga, and Boumalne Dades.
WOODCHAT SHRIKE (Lanius senator) – One immature was seen on our long drive from Boumalne Dades to Agadir.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
EURASIAN JAY (Garrulus glandarius) – Good numbers in the oak forests around Ifrane.
MAGHREB MAGPIE (Pica mauritanica) – A fairly recent split from the Eurasian Magpie. We saw our first at Bourhaba, but good numbers were encountered again at various sites.
RED-BILLED CHOUGH (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) – Large flocks at Oukaimeden.
YELLOW-BILLED CHOUGH (Pyrrhocorax graculus) – Small numbers mixed in with the previous species. Missed some years since they tend to stay higher up.
EURASIAN JACKDAW (Corvus monedula) – Seen in the Loukus River area.

The elegant Desert Sparrow was seen at one desert oasis. Photo by participant Myles McNally.

BROWN-NECKED RAVEN (Corvus ruficollis) – Seen well in the desert area of Erg Chebbi.
COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax) – Common in the Atlas mountains and sometimes lower in the coastal areas.
Alaudidae (Larks)
GREATER HOOPOE-LARK (Alaemon alaudipes) – A fun bird to see. We searched one out in the wind storm near Merzouga, it was also singing. Others were seen in the desert areas.
THICK-BILLED LARK (Ramphocoris clotbey) – Maybe not the nicest place to view birds, but this species showed well in the trash dump near Boumalne Dades. We go where the birds are!
BAR-TAILED LARK (Ammomanes cinctura) – Nice looks during our first windstorm stomp near Merzouga. Small and delicate; very pale overall, but blends in perfectly with its surroundings.
DESERT LARK (Ammomanes deserti) – We scoped this one sitting in the shade of a bush during our first Scrub Warbler encounter.
HORNED LARK (ATLAS) (Eremophila alpestris atlas) – Seen high-up in the village of Oukaimeden.
TEMMINCK'S LARK (Eremophila bilopha) – Found lower down than the previous species. Fairly common around Boumalne Dades.

We raced across the desert in our 4x4 vehicles, the only real way to get around! Photo by guide Jesse Fagan.

GREATER SHORT-TOED LARK (Calandrella brachydactyla) – Large numbers around Boumalne Dades.
DUPONT'S LARK (Chersophilus duponti) – A fun encounter "stomping" around for this one in the high desert near Midelt. We enjoyed excellent, close views.
LESSER SHORT-TOED LARK (Alaudala rufescens) – Also, seen near Midelt in the same habitat as the previous species.
WOOD LARK (Lullula arborea) – Lovely looks perched on top of tree just outside of Ifrane. Several were singing in this area.
THEKLA'S LARK (Galerida theklae) – Always difficult to separate from the next species, but we had good ones in the rocky habitat north of Ifrane.
CRESTED LARK (Galerida cristata) – The "Crekla" problem was with us most of the trip. However, this is the most common of the two species found in more disturbed habitats.
MAGHREB LARK (Galerida macrorhyncha randonii) – Seen near Um-Barak's house and again on our stop near the khettara wells (heading to Boumalne Dades). They are paler and longer-billed than the previous species, a recent split.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
PLAIN MARTIN (Riparia paludicola) – One was at the Loukus River and a couple more at Oued Massa. Also called African Plain Martin. Very local in N Africa, really just the coastal areas of Morocco.

And here we are after a windy and hot march for larks and Desert Warbler. Success! Photo by guide Jesse Fagan.

BANK SWALLOW (Riparia riparia) – Good numbers at Loukus River and again around Agadir.
EURASIAN CRAG-MARTIN (Ptyonoprogne rupestris) – Seen in the Dades Gorge and at Oukaimeden.
BARN SWALLOW (WHITE-BELLIED) (Hirundo rustica rustica) – Seen nearly everyday.
RED-RUMPED SWALLOW (Cecropis daurica) – There were good numbers of the next two species still around Oukaimeden. Most depart for southern regions before the temperate winter.
COMMON HOUSE-MARTIN (Delichon urbicum)
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
COAL TIT (Periparus ater) – In the Jabaa forest and around Ifrane.
AFRICAN BLUE TIT (Cyanistes teneriffae) – Seen at Bourhaba and again in the Ifrane area. A nice looking bird.
GREAT TIT (Parus major) – Less common than the previous species, but still seen in a variety of wooded areas.

We enjoyed some Moroccon tea in the desert with our host, Mohammed. Photo by participant Myles McNally.

Sittidae (Nuthatches)
EURASIAN NUTHATCH (Sitta europaea) – Good looks in the Jabaa Oak Forest.
Certhiidae (Treecreepers)
SHORT-TOED TREECREEPER (Certhia brachydactyla) – Also, good looks in the Jabaa Oak Forest.
Cinclidae (Dippers)
WHITE-THROATED DIPPER (Cinclus cinclus) – Nice spotting of this species at the small dam at Oukaimeden.
Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls)
COMMON BULBUL (Pycnonotus barbatus) – Indeed, pretty common in many wooded areas (at least by voice).
Regulidae (Kinglets)
COMMON FIRECREST (Regulus ignicapilla) – Seen in the Jabaa Forest and again below Oukaimeden.
Scotocercidae (Bush Warblers and Allies)
SCRUB WARBLER (Scotocerca inquieta) – Sometimes called Streaked Scrub-Warbler and sometimes split from the Middle East form. Incredible views at a couple of different sites near Erg Chebbi and Jorf. Always difficult and sometimes missed on tour.
CETTI'S WARBLER (Cettia cetti) – Seen a few times, but a common song near rivers and in riparian forest.
Phylloscopidae (Leaf Warblers)
WILLOW WARBLER (Phylloscopus trochilus) – Just one at Oued Massa.
COMMON CHIFFCHAFF (Phylloscopus collybita) – One called which confirmed the i.d. Feeding with a small group of warblers near Ifrane in the cedar forest.
IBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF (Phylloscopus ibericus) – One migrant was seen and heard calling in the Zaer. We had a few more in the cedar forest near Ifrane.
Acrocephalidae (Reed Warblers and Allies)
WESTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLER (Iduna opaca) – Several in the oasis garden near Boumalne Dades.
EURASIAN REED WARBLER (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) – One migrant also in the oasis garden near Boumalne Dades.
Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
ZITTING CISTICOLA (Cisticola juncidis) – Nice looks at a couple of birds in the big marsh at Moulay Bousselham.
Sylviidae (Sylviid Warblers)
AFRICAN DESERT WARBLER (Sylvia deserti) – Always a bit of work, but we saw two different individuals well in the dune grass near Errachidia and Erg Chebbi.

We excited the high deserts at Boumalne Dades and made our way to Agadir. We had a long drive, but still ended the day on the Atlantic Coast cliffs watching Northern Bald Ibis fly into roost. Photo by participant Ken Havard.

WESTERN ORPHEAN WARBLER (Sylvia hortensis) – One was near Boumalne Dades and another at Oued Massa. Many have already left these breeding sites.
TRISTRAM'S WARBLER (Sylvia deserticola) – This NW African endemic we caught up with in the highlands above Midelt.
SUBALPINE WARBLER (Sylvia cantillans) – A migrant was in the Zaer and another in the Dades Gorge.
SARDINIAN WARBLER (Sylvia melanocephala) – Common in the Zaer and at Oued Massa. They are resident at these locations.
SPECTACLED WARBLER (Sylvia conspicillata) – Just a few in the scattered oasis in the desert.
Leiothrichidae (Laughingthrushes and Allies)
FULVOUS CHATTERER (Turdoides fulva) – Also known as Fulvous Babbler. A group of ten or so were sticking close to the date palm bushes in the heat of the day.
Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)
SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa striata) – Small numbers at different sites.
RUFOUS-TAILED SCRUB-ROBIN (Cercotrichas galactotes) – One was seen briefly at Oued Massa. Some years they aren't around.

There are two kinds of deserts in Morocco, both with birds. Here we are on our Agadir pelagic trip enjoying nice comparisons with Manx (foreground) and Balearic shearwaters. Photo by guide Jesse Fagan.

EUROPEAN ROBIN (Erithacus rubecula) – Two were seen in the Lakes Region.
COMMON NIGHTINGALE (Luscinia megarhynchos) [*]
EUROPEAN PIED FLYCATCHER (Ficedula hypoleuca) – A good number of migrants were around Rabat and Ifrane, also at Oued Massa.
MOUSSIER'S REDSTART (Phoenicurus moussieri) – This sharp looking species, a NW African endemic, was seen near Ifrane at a couple of spots and again at Oued Massa.
COMMON REDSTART (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) – A few in the Zaer.
BLACK REDSTART (Phoenicurus ochruros) – Replaces the previous species at higher elevations. Seen at Oukaimeden.
BLUE ROCK-THRUSH (Monticola solitarius) – Seen a few times along cliff faces and in the Dades Gorge.
EUROPEAN STONECHAT (Saxicola rubicola rubicola) – Several were on small bushes along the Loukus River.

The sardine trollers saw a lot of action in the nets and behind the boat. Photo by guide Jesse Fagan.

WHITE-CROWNED WHEATEAR (Oenanthe leucopyga) – Found in the desert flats, often on buildings. Common around Erg Chebbi.
BLACK WHEATEAR (Oenanthe leucura) – Prefers rocky cliffs. Seen around Boumalne Dades (Dades Gorge) and again on our drive to Agadir.
NORTHERN WHEATEAR (Oenanthe oenanthe) – The migrant form was seen in the highlands at Oukaimeden.
NORTHERN WHEATEAR (BLACK-THROATED) (Oenanthe oenanthe seebohmi) – Seebohm's Wheater, sometimes split, was found in the rocky deserts around Ifrane and again at Oukaimeden.
MOURNING WHEATEAR (Oenanthe lugens) – The most difficult of the wheatears to find on this tour. We had one female at the Pharaoh Eagle-Owl spot.
RED-RUMPED WHEATEAR (Oenanthe moesta) – Fairly common at Midelt and Boumalne Dades.
BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR (Oenanthe hispanica) – Also, a difficult species to locate. We had one that showed well at Oued Massa.
DESERT WHEATEAR (Oenanthe deserti) – Common in the Midelt and Erg Chebbi areas.

We enjoyed this striking sunset at the Oued Souss near Agadir. Photo by guide Jesse Fagan.

Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
EURASIAN BLACKBIRD (Turdus merula) – Seen most days on tour.
Sturnidae (Starlings)
SPOTLESS STARLING (Sturnus unicolor) – Breeding at our hotel in Skhirat, but seen most every day afterward.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
GRAY WAGTAIL (Motacilla cinerea) – A pair along the small stream at Oukaimeden, below the dam.
WESTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL (IBERIAE) (Motacilla flava iberiae) – The local subspecies was seen at the Loukus River and in the trash dump at Boumalne Dades.
WHITE WAGTAIL (MOROCCAN) (Motacilla alba subpersonata) – Unfortunately, this taxon was seen briefly at the wadi near Boumalne Dades, our only one of the tour.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
COMMON CHAFFINCH (AFRICAN) (Fringilla coelebs africana) – Common in the cedar forest near Ifrane.
TRUMPETER FINCH (Bucanetes githagineus zedlitzi) – Just one individual this year. Sometimes they are around in larger numbers. Somewhat nomadic.

Thanks for a very productive trip to Morocco. Here are your guides in the desert including Jesse, Oussama, Mohammed ("Ant-man") and Cassanova (Hassan).

EUROPEAN GREENFINCH (Chloris chloris) – Flocks in the Loukus River and Zaer, but smaller numbers at Oued Massa.
EURASIAN LINNET (Linaria cannabina)
RED CROSSBILL (NORTH AFRICAN) (Loxia curvirostra poliogyna) – The crossbills may all be split at some point. Good to see this local Atlas Mountain subspecies.
EUROPEAN GOLDFINCH (Carduelis carduelis) – Seem to be in the same places as the greenfinches above. Less common in Morocco than that species.
EUROPEAN SERIN (Serinus serinus) – Small numbers at different sites.
Emberizidae (Old World Buntings)
CORN BUNTING (Emberiza calandra) – A group of four were at Aguelmane de Sidi Ali. Initially we thought they may be Ortolan Buntings.
ROCK BUNTING (Emberiza cia) – Seen well at our first morning stop driving up to Oukaimeden.
CIRL BUNTING (Emberiza cirlus) – Same location as the previous species. They were seen in the same bushes together.

And for those that didn't get out for the nighttime critter walks, here is Hottentotta gentili that Jose and I found near our hotel in Boumalne Dades. Photo by guide Jesse Fagan.

HOUSE BUNTING (Emberiza sahari) – After Midelt, seen most days on the tour.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – Common. Most days in cities and towns.
SPANISH SPARROW (Passer hispaniolensis) – Thousands were in the marsh at Moulay Bousselham.
DESERT SPARROW (Passer simplex) – A very elegant, classy looking bird. Um-Barak took us to a friend's house where it was visiting a drip. Otherwise this is a very difficult species to see.
ROCK SPARROW (Petronia petronia) – Also known as Rock Petronia. Seen in good numbers around Ifrane and Oukaimeden.

BARBARY APE (Macaca sylvanus) – In the cedar forest south of Ifrane.
BARBARY GROUND SQUIRREL (Atlantoxerus getulus) – Seen in the Dades Gorge and one on our last day at Oukaimeden.
FAT SAND RAT (Psammomys obesus) – Yes! In the trash dump at Boumalne Dades. Highlight of the trip?


Totals for the tour: 201 bird taxa and 3 mammal taxa