First records

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

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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First record of Eastern Imperial Eagle for Tunisia and Northwest Africa

Eastern Imperial Eagle / Aigle impérial (Aquila heliaca), El Haouaria, northern Tunisia, 29 April 2017 (Mohamed El Golli).

An Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) was photographed in spring 2017 at El Haouaria, northern Tunisia (Mohamed El Golli). El Haouaria, located at the extreme north-east of the Cap Bon peninsula, is known as a major point for migratory raptors following the Central Mediterranean Flyway (continental Italy-Sicily-Tunisia). In our opinion, this is the first record …

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First record of Blue-naped Mousebird for Algeria

Blue-naped Mousebird / Coliou huppé (Urocolius macrourus), Tamanrasset, southern Algeria, 29 July 2018 (photo via Abdelkader Beq).

Blue-naped Mousebird (Urocolius macrourus) photographed in the Tamanrasset region is the first record for Algeria. Première observation du Coliou huppé en Algérie (en français voir au dessous de la vidéo). The Blue-naped Mousebird was photographed and filmed at a village in the Tin-Zaouten district, located in the south of Tamanghasset province on 29 July 2018 …

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First record of Cinereous Vulture for The Gambia

Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius monachus), Occipitalis Station, Saruja, The Gambia, 24 Feb. 2018 (Fondo de Amigos del Buitre).

Until recently, the Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius monachus) was considered as an accidental visitor to Morocco (and Northwest Africa in general). But now it’s actually a regular migrant and wintering species in small numbers. Movements of the species across the Sahara to West Africa are even rarer, nevertheless a few birds have reached sub-Saharan Africa since …

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First records of Pectoral Sandpiper for Algeria

Pectoral Sandpiper / Bécasseau tacheté (Calidris melanotos), Constantine, Algeria, 1 May 2017 (Aissa Djamel Filali)

The Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos) breeds in northern North America (Canada and Alaska) and northern Siberia, and winters in southern South America, southeastern Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand. It’s one of the most observed Nearctic species in Western Europe and also in parts of the west coast of Africa. For example, the species was removed …

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First record of Baird’s Sandpiper for Morocco

Baird's Sandpiper (Calidris bairdii), Zemamra, Morocco, 28 Oct 2016 (Benoît Maire)

Yet another productive birding trip to Zemamra – located some km inland from Oualidia – this autumn. A Baird’s Sandpiper (Calidris bairdii) was photographed at this site by Benoît Maire on 28 October 2016. Three weeks earlier, an American Golden Plover (Pluvialis dominica) was photographed there by the same observer. The Baird’s Sandpiper observation would …

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Cinnamon Teal and American Golden Plover, Oualidia region, Morocco

Cinnamon Teal (Anas cyanoptera - Sarcelle cannelle), Oualidia, Morocco, 8 Oct 2016 (Benoît Maire)

A birding visit by GOMAC member Benoît Maire and 7 other birders to Oualidia region two days ago proved productive. The birding party managed to see a total of 70 different species including some rare birds: An American Golden Plover (Pluvialis dominica) was seen and photographed at Zemamra some 27 Km inland from Oualidia (coordinates: …

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