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Sunday 19th April - Saturday 2nd May 2009

Nigel Redman

Morocco offers some of the best birding in the Western Palearctic, and this year’s tour excelled in many ways. In little more than two weeks we managed to see almost all the specialities, plus many migrants and even a few rarities. In terms of numbers, a total of 222 species was recorded on the tour, but of course it’s the quality that counts, and as well as the usual 14 species of lark (including the very secretive Dupont’s Lark), eight species of wheatears and 20 species of warblers (including Tristram’s, Western Desert, and both Eastern and Western Olivaceous), we saw delights such as Northern Bald Ibis, Lammergeier, Eleonora’s Falcon, Royal Tern, Spotted Sandgrouse, Pharaoh Eagle Owl, Moussier’s Redstart, Atlas Flycatcher, Desert Sparrow and Crimson-winged Finch, amongst many other wonderful species. One of the biggest surprises this year was the discovery of several White-headed Ducks, whilst Moroccan vagrants included Ring-billed Gull and Western Reef Egret.