Slender-billed Curlew Numenius tenuirostris
Morocco was probably among the best countries to have been able to observe this species with the last acceptable records being submitted in February 1998. Unconfirmed reports, subsequent to 1998, refer to the area Merja Zerga and whilst probable, these records have not been officially accepted. During the later part of 2008 Birdlife International, and other notable organisations, launched an appeal for all birdwatchers to search for Slender-billed Curlews. It seems to us to be very appropriate that we lead our launch of Moroccan Birds with the main feature focusing on this incredibly rare bird.
Wheatears of the Genus Oenanthe, are well represented in Morocco and this handsome family is a major attraction for many birders visiting from Northern Europe and North America. Males, with the exception of Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina, are striking birds and their showy behaviour always presents an instant appeal to visiting birders.
Without doubt the most sought after species is the sometimes elusive Mourning Wheatear Oenanthe lugens halophila and Spanish Nature tours have discovered a number of well populated sites for this species, unsurprising given the experience of Peter Jones with this family. Both Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe and the rather distinctive form O.o. leucorhoa are migrants and the former also winters in Morocco. Black Wheatear Oenanthe leucura inhabit the more mountainous regions and rocky coastal outcrops, whilst White-crowned Black Wheatears Oenanthe leucopyga are very common in desert areas, particularly noticeable around human habitation. As the name implies Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti homochroa prefer open and arid areas, although it can be found in low scrub covered stone desert with some tree cover, where it is usually accompanied by Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe hispanica.
Red-rumped Wheatear Oenanthe moesta moesta, a handsome and rather large sized member of the family, is most commonly found in stone desert with scrub, preferring Euphorbia sp. in the northern parts of its range. Although very local, the Red-rumped Wheatear is more common and has a density far higher than accounted for by Cramp (1988).
Spanish Nature tours to the south of the High Atlas mountains and into the Sahara regions has yet to fail to produce a sighting of Isabelline Wheatear and given the normal, or supposed, range of this species, then it is always a big find for the tours. To end our impressive list of Wheatears on a controversial note, we classify Seebohm’s Wheatear Oenanthe Seebohmi as a separate species and hopefully Peter Jones will be writing a paper on this subject sometime in the future, watch this site for details.
Morocco a personal view..
I have been to and written about Morocco so many times and yet it never fails to leave me with impressions of wonder, not least of vast empty tranquil spaces where it is possible to be completely immersed in nature.
Such a grand landscape is presented with perspectives beyond words, from the towering High Atlas Mountains to endless rolling dunes of the Sahara, from Palm lined valleys to multi-coloured striated flat topped mountains; it is a place of unimaginable beauty. The country also has an added attraction and great bonus for me acting as it does as a bridge between the more southerly regions of Africa and Europe for migratory birds. Little wonder I am constantly drawn by the calling of this exotic place and also its people.
Do you consider a friendly atmosphere, comfort and relaxation, as well as value for money, an essential part of any well earned holiday? If you do, then all our bird watching adventures have been specifically designed to suit you!
If you require further information please Contact Us or telephone: +34 616 891 359
Why not give yourself a real treat and join us at Moroccan Birds for your next nature holiday?
A brief introduction
Working in various countries we pay particular attention to details such as using local companies, local guides and wherever possible local produce. In Morocco we are introducing an educational programme to local schools focusing on nature and we are also helping cooperatives whose aim is to improve the quality of life for marginalized women and children.
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