Birding in Southern Morocco in Spring: Trip Report

These are days to recall past birding experiences and let our imagination run free to plan future trips. A year ago, we organized a private birding trip to one of our favourite destinations, Southern Morocco. This was a bespoke tour, ran between the 27th of March and the 3rd of April 2019. The main target was simple, enjoy all the local birding specialities while getting immerse in the Moroccan culture! Moreover, we specifically designed this tour to complement, in terms of species, a previous one to the northern half of the country.

Trip Report

You can find the trip report here. It contains a day-by-day description of the itinerary. It also shows a selection of pictures of birds and landscapes. Next, we summarize some of the highlights of this trip.

A Desert warbler beautifully singing at Erg Chebbi - Javi Elorriaga/Birding The Strait
A Desert warbler beautifully singing at Erg Chebbi.

Birding in Southern Morocco Highlights

  • We got good views of the whole set of Moroccan wheatears within the first 24 hours of the trip. Namely: White-crownedBlackNorthernSeebohm’sMaghrebRed-rumpedBlack-eared and Desert Wheatear. Remarkably, we found Maghred Wheatears at two different locations. And all these at an easy pace!
  • A Pharaoh Eagle Owl offered dreamed views during the golden hour. Remarkably, we got it in full view, preening and getting ready for his nocturnal hunt. All this in a wonderful desert scenario.

 

  • Coming through a congregation of 500+ Blue-checked Bee Eaters was a major surprise. We saw the birds gathering around their night roost in a patch of Eucalyptus trees.
  • The Egyptian Nightjar is a must in any  tour to Southern Morocco in spring. As usual, it beautifully performed for the group in Merzouga.
  • A Dunn’s Lark near Merzouga made the biggest  surprise of the trip. And we got a record shot!
  • Connecting with all the specialities in Oukaimeden took us a bigger effort than usual. Once we found them, we did specially enjoy the views of the African Shore Lark, Tristram’s Warbler and Crimson-winged Finch.
  • Finding the Lake of Merzouga, Dayet Srij, flooded is a dream for every enthusiast of the Moroccan birdlife. And we did so! The view of over 1000 Flamingos with the dunes of the Sahara in the background was memorable.

    Flamingos in Merzouga - Javi Elorriaga/Birding The Strait
    Finding the Lake of Merzouga, Dayet Srij, flooded and full of birds is a rare sight.
  • Sightseeing made a remarkable part of this trip. A visit to the Ksar of Ait Ben Haddou and strolling at dusk in the Jemaa El Fna square of Marrakech was great. Indeed, both are included within the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
An Egyptian Nightjar near Merzouga, a real highlight - Javi Elorriaga/Birding The Strait
An Egyptian Nightjar near Merzouga, a real highlight.

Stay Tunned

Contact us if you are interested on a Birding Trip to Morocco! And stay tunned for our forthcomoing tour report on our last visit to the Western Sahara in February 2020!