Following the discovery of a Sudan Golden Sparrow (Passer luteus) at Bir Anzarane on 30 January by Abdeljebbar Qninba and colleagues, several birders have visited the area to see the mega-rarity.
A group of British birders guided by Mohamed Lamine Samlali observed a minimum of 28 Sudan Golden Sparrows on 2 February. There could have been more because some birds were on the fence by the drinking spot, while others were on the other side of settlement. The British birders were Tim Jones, Oliver Metcalf, Jonnie Fisk and Stephen Menzie.
At least 31 Sudan Golden Sparrows (photos 2-5) were counted on 6 February by a group of Belgian birders who were also guided by M. L. Samlali. The Belgian birding team included Joachim Bertrands, Pieter-Jan D’Hondt, Robrecht Debbaut, Simon Vyncke and Sander Bruylants.
Can anyone count how many Sudan Golden Sparrows in these photos?
M. L. Samlali can be reached through this page about the Association Nature Initiative.
Are Sudan Golden Sparrows breeding in the area?
Can we think now about the possibility that these birds may have bred in the region instead of visiting the area from the Sahel? A resident from Bir Anzarane indicated that these Sudan Golden Sparrows had been around for some years. This is a good indication. In any case, if the birds were visiting the area from their traditional breeding grounds, I still believe in the possibility – as I have already mentioned it last year – that they may breed here in the near future. Your comments are very welcome!