Birding News

Index of birding news that are of interest to Western Palearctic birders. These include, among others, ‘mega rarities’ found in Northwest African, potential vagrants to the WP from adjacent areas, and other interesting articles.

Other birding news and national rarities (including many “first national records”) are filed under their respective country.

The Algerian Nuthatch twitch: easier than you think

The Algerian Nuthatch (Sitta ledanti) is a dream species for every Western Palearctic birder, especially so since the 1990s with the start of what they call in Algeria the “Black Decade”. However, although the security situation in the whole country has improved greatly since many years now, many WP birders still hesitating to visit Algeria …

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ID of Kordofan Lark: a potential Western Palearctic vagrant

Kordofan Lark / Alouette du Kordofan (Mirafra cordofanica), Richard Toll, northern Senegal, 01/03/2018 (Jan Heip)

Kordofan Lark (Mirafra cordofanica). The name sounds familiar to Western Palearctic birders because until recently the species was included in the WP list. However, Crochet & Haas (2013) suggested that the species should be deleted. Here is a (slightly edited) quote from this article: The distribution of Kordofan Lark as shown in Snow & Perrins …

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Second Wahlberg’s Eagle for the Western Palearctic

Wahlberg's Eagle (Hieraaetus wahlbergi), Cap Blanc peninsula, Mauritania, 23 Sep. 2014 (Hans Verdaat).

Wahlberg’s Eagle (Hieraaetus wahlbergi) is an African raptor distributed south of the Sahara. It’s known as an intra-African migrant, but movements north of the range are very rare. Indeed, the first Western Palearctic record was obtained only on 3 May 2013: a bird photographed by Ahmed Waheed on the west coast of Gulf of Suez, …

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Tawny Eagle in Morocco: current status and vagrancy potential

Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax), northern Senegal, 26 Jan. 2014 (Frédéric Bacuez/Ornithondar).

The Tawny Eagle in Morocco is very rare and endangered. There are no known breeding pairs since more than two decades, and even sightings of single birds are becoming increasingly rare. The former breeding range of Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax) in Morocco was much larger, however the known breeding areas in the past few decades …

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Expansion of Red-billed Firefinch in Algeria

Red-billed Firefinch / Amarante du Sénégal (Lagonosticta senegala), Djanet, Algeria, 29 Oct. 2016 (Khaled Ayyach)

The Red-billed Firefinch (Lagonosticta senegala) was introduced at Tamanrasset around 1940. It’s also present at El-Goléa, northern Sahara, since at least 1972 (Isenmann & Moali 2000). Currently, the species still present at the known sites cited above. Tamanrasset, Tamanrasset Province: The species is still present in the town and it’s easily seen there in good …

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White-throated Bee-eater at Dakhla: 2nd WP record

White-throated Bee-eater / Guêpier à gorge blanche (Merops albicollis), Dakhla bay, 2 March 2017 (Arnoud van den Berg).

White-throated Bee-eater at Dakhla Bay: second record for Morocco and the Western Palearctic. The White-throated Bee-eater was found at Dakhla Bay, Oued Dahab region on 28 February 2017 by Billy Herman and Annelies Jacobs. It’s the second WP record for the species. It should be remembred that the first record was observed at the site …

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Pied Crow at Khnifiss Lagoon, southern Morocco

Pied Crow (Corvus albus), near Tarfaya, southern Morocco, 9 Jan. 2017 (Abdeslam Rihane)

A Pied Crow (Corvus albus) observed at 21 km north-east of Tarfaya on 9 January by Abdeljebbar Qninba, Abdeslam Rihane and their colleagues (photo 1). Today (23 Jan), a Pied Crow observed at Khnifiss Lagoon (exactly near Auberge Khnifiss) by Imad Cherkaoui and Leabid Ayach (photos 2 & 3). Probably the same bird observed north-east …

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Golden Nightjar song at Aousserd, southern Morocco

Golden Nightjar (Caprimulgus eximius), Oued Jenna, Aousserd, southern Morocco, 21 April 2016 (Jurrien van Deijk)

At least four Golden Nightjars were located near the Aousserd road by the BIOME team (Dan Brown, Richard Moores and Martyn Owen) on 16 March 2016. Two birds were heard singing and one male had responded to song playback. This represents the first possible breeding of the species in the Western Palearctic. In early March, …

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4 Golden Nightjars at Oued Jenna, Aousserd: detailed report

Golden Nightjar (Caprimulgus eximius), Oued Jenna, Aousserd, 19 April 2016

Excellent observations in the Western Sahara, southern Morocco. Peter Stronach and Bob Swann have just returned back from a birding trip to the region. They recorded Golden Nightjars and provided valuable details indicating the (highly probable) breeding of the species in the region. They also recorded a Sudan Golden Sparrow at Oued Jenna (first observation …

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