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Siberian Chiffchaff at Dar Bouazza: 3rd Moroccan record

A Siberian Chiffchaff was photographed at Dayet Dar Bouazza, just south-west of Casablanca, on 8 December 2019 (Benoît Maire).

Siberian Chiffchaff / Pouillot de Sibérie, Dayet Dar Bouazza, Morocco, 8 Dec. 2019 (Benoît Maire).
Siberian Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus c. tristis), Dayet Dar Bouazza, Morocco, 8 Dec. 2019 (Benoît Maire).

If accepted, this would be the third record for Morocco of this rare Asian vagrant. Only two records have been accepted so far by the Moroccan Rare Birds Committee (MRBC): the first was captured at Oued Massa on 16 March 1998 (see MRBC report No 6), and the second was also observed at Massa on 13 December 2007 (See MRBC report No 16).

The Siberian Chiffchaff is still considered as a subspecies of Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita tristis) by the ‘IOC World Bird List’, but it’s split as a full species (Phylloscopus tristis) by other taxonomic authorities (e.g. HBW Alive).

Siberian Chiffchaff / Pouillot de Sibérie, Dayet Dar Bouazza, Morocco, 8 Dec. 2019 (Benoît Maire).
Siberian Chiffchaff / Pouillot de Sibérie (Phylloscopus c. tristis), Dayet Dar Bouazza, Morocco, 8 Dec. 2019 (Benoît Maire).

Dayet Dar Bouazza is a small wetland that’s threatened by urban development. Despite this, it attracted a good number of rare birds during the last few years. Just last October, two American waders (American Golden Plover and Pectoral Sandpiper) were photographed at the site. Also, Richard’s Pipit is now a regular winter visitor there.

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