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MOROCCO

Wednesday 26th April - Sunday 7th May 2017

Chris Kehoe

Crowned Sandgrouse (Chris Kehoe)

Crowned Sandgrouse (Chris Kehoe)

Morocco has a reputation for offering some of the very best birding in the Western Palearctic and our recent tour certainly supported that view. We travelled from the snow-capped High Atlas Mountains to the fringes of the Sahara and from the verdant Middle Atlas to the Atlantic coast, covering a wide range of habitats in search of numerous local and regional specialities plus a fine array of more widespread species. Houbara Bustard was our bird of the trip, an individual showing at surprisingly close range at the unexpected location of Zaida Plain, but also popular were a very obliging Dupont’s Lark (one of 11 species of lark seen), many gorgeous Cream-coloured Coursers, many Crowned and Spotted Sandgrouse at point-blank range, a day roosting Egyptian Nightjar and a Red-necked Nightjar in the spotlight, African Crimson-winged Finches, sprightly Tristram’s Warblers, eight species of Wheatear (including Seebohm’s and the often elusive ‘Maghreb’), Levaillant’s Woodpeckers, the critically-endangered Northern Bald Ibis, ghostly Desert Sparrows and African Desert Warblers, sleepy Pharaoh Eagle Owls and many, many more. In fact, we managed to locate all of our major targets, not least the dapper and extremely localised Atlas Flycatcher which arrives very late to breed and thus influences the timing of our tour. It was a little breezy at times but overall the weather was very good and the tour ran smoothly as we watched a succession of fantastic birds in some epic landscapes, ate some delicious food and enjoyed some very comfortable accommodation.

Spotted Sandgrouse (Chris Kehoe)

Spotted Sandgrouse (Chris Kehoe)