First records

Articles about the first records of different bird species for Morocco, Algeria or Tunisia (and occasionally for adjacent countries as well).

New to Algeria: African Crake, Red-tailed Shrike and Little Bunting

Red-tailed Shrike / Pie-grièche du Turkestan (Lanius phoenicuroides), Skikda, northern Algeria, 9 Oct. 2020 (Youcef Karrit)

Three species new to Algeria were discovered in autumn 2020: Red-tailed Shrike, Little Bunting and African Crake. The Red-tailed Shrike (Lanius phoenicuroides) was discovered and photographed at Skikda on 9 October by Youcef Karrit. This is also the first record for the whole Northwest Africa. Other closely related species are also very rare in the …

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First record of Penduline Tit for Algeria

Eurasian Penduline Tit (Remiz pendulinus), Jijel region, northern Algeria, 29 Nov. 2019 (Mourad Harzallah)

The first Eurasian Penduline Tits for Algeria were observed in Jijel region in autumn 2019 The Eurasian Penduline Tit (Remiz pendulinus) has a wide breeding range stretching from the Iberian Peninsula eastwards to Central Asia. The northern population winters mainly in southern Europe and the Middle East. In Northwest Africa, the species remain relatively rare. …

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First record of Jacobin Cuckoo for North Africa

Jacobin Cuckoo / Coucou jacobin (Clamator jacobinus), Tamanrasset, southern Algeria, 5 Oct. 2019 (Karim Haddad).

Two Jacobin Cuckoos photographed at Tamanrasset in October 2019. This is the first record for Algeria and North Africa. Jacobin or Pied Cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus) is distributed in Africa south of the Sahara and in India and Sri Lanka. It’s very rare in the Western Palearctic region (WP). Members of the Association EcoCirta encountered this …

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Dwarf Bittern and Eurasian Siskin at Nouadhibou, Mauritania

Dwarf Bittern (Ixobrychus sturmii), Nouadhibou, Mauritania, 23 Jan. 2020 (Sylvia van der Steen)

Dutch birders recorded the first Eurasian Siskin for Mauritania and the 11th Dwarf Bittern for the Western Palearctic at Nouadhibou a couple of days ago. Dwarf Bittern The Dwarf Bittern was found on 22 January 2020 by ‘Banc d’Arguin’, a small non-commercial Dutch travel company that organises overland trans-Sahara birding trips between Agadir and The …

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First White-rumped Seedeater for Algeria and W. Palearctic

White-rumped Seedeater / Serin à croupion blanc (Crithagra leucopygia), Tamanrasset, southern Algeria, 25 Dec 2019 (Mourad Harzallah).

White-rumped Seedeater observed at Tamanrasset, southern Algeria. This is the first record for the country and the Western Palearctic. En décembre 2019, un groupe d’ornithologues de terrain algérien a découvert le Serin à croupion blanc à Tamanrasset (les noms cités ci-dessous). Plus important encore, l’équipe a observé un adulte nourrissant un jeune (une preuve de …

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First records of Eastern Subalpine Warbler for Morocco

Eastern Subalpine Warbler (Sylvia cantillans albistriata), Merzouga, Morocco (Marc Illa)

The split of the Subalpine Warbler complex (sensu lato) into three different species (i.e. Moltoni’s, Western and Eastern Subalpine Warblers) was proposed a few years ago. However, currently the Moltoni’s Warbler (Sylvia subalpina), which is the most divergent of the three taxa, is the only widely adopted split by different taxonomic authorities. Although the full …

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First Hume’s Leaf Warbler for Morocco and Northwest Africa

Hume's Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus humei), Taibai Shan, Central China (Ron Knigh)

A Hume’s Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus humei) was heard on 11 and 12 February at “Fôret Moulay Abdellah”, an urban park located inside Morocco’s capital Rabat by resident birder Pedro Fernandes. This would be the first record of this Asian vagrant for Morocco. I am on the road and without references, but I am sure it’s …

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First Wahlberg’s Eagle for Tunisia and 3rd for WP

Wahlberg’s Eagle / Aigle de Wahlberg (Hieraaetus wahlbergi), El Haouaria, northern Tunisia, 23 April 2018 (Mohamed El Golli).

An adult Wahlberg’s Eagle photographed in spring 2018 at El Haouaria, northern Tunisia. This is the first record for the country and third for the Western Palearctic. Un Aigle de Wahlberg adulte photographié en avril 2018 à El Haouaria dans le nord de la Tunisie. Il s’agit de la première observation pour le pays et …

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First record of Western Reef Egret for Algeria

Western Reef Egret / Aigrette à gorge blanche (Egretta gularis), Mekhada marches, El Tarf, eastern Algeria (Salah Telailia).

The nearest breeding populations of the Western Reef Eegret (Egretta gularis) to Northwest Africa are located in coastal West Africa (nominate subspecies) and in the Red Sea (subspecies schistacea). On 17 July 2018, a dark-morph Western Reef Egret was observed in the Mekhada marches, a Ramsar site located in the wilaya of El Tarf, northeast …

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First Rustic Bunting for Algeria and Northwest Africa

Rustic Bunting / Bruant rustique (Emberiza rustica), Annaba, Algeria, 2 November 2013 (Imed Djemadi).

The Rustic Bunting (Emberiza rustica) breeds from Scandinavia eastwards across Eurasia. It winters in eastern China and Japan. The species is in great trouble as its global population size has declined by a 75–87% over a period of 30 years (see: Edenius et al. 2017. The next common and widespread bunting to go? Global population …

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