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Merja Zerga National Park
One of the best-known birding sites in Morocco, Merja Zerga is a large shallow lagoon connected to the sea by a narrow channel.
The surrounding countryside has cork oak forest, marshes and grassland and the area as a whole is highly attractive to waders and waterfowl which occur in both variety and high numbers.
 Notable Species
Most European breeding waders occur here and it is one of the most regular sites for wintering Slender-billed Curlew, now a highly endangered species, not just in the Western Palaearctic but globally. Grey Heron, White Stork and Glossy Ibis, Eurasian Spoonbill and Greater Flamingo also occur, as well as gulls and terns, several raptors and a range of wetland passerines.
Merja Zerga has ornithological interest at any time of year but most visitors go in autumn or winter when bird numbers are highest. Spring and summer visits may not have birds in such numbers but the breeding birds of the area are also of interest.
The area around the lake supports species such as European Turtle Dove, Crested Lark and Corn Bunting, and in the south there is a large colony of Collared Pratincole and the most southerly breeding Northern Lapwing in the Region. Black Kite, harriers and Red-necked Nightjar nest nearby and the campsite at Moulay-Bou-Selham is the best site for African Marsh Owl in the Western Palaearctic.
Birds you can see here include:
Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, White Stork, Glossy Ibis, Eurasian Spoonbill, Greater Flamingo, Greylag Goose, Ruddy Shelduck, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Common Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Marbled Duck, Ferruginous Duck, Tufted Duck, Black Kite, Black-shouldered Kite, Western Marsh Harrier, Montagu's Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard, Osprey, Northern Hobby, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Pied Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Northern Lapwing, Red Knot, Sanderling, Little Stint, Temminck's Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Slender-billed Curlew, (PM,W), Eurasian Curlew, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Mediterranean Gull, Little Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Audouin's Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Caspian Tern, Royal Tern, Lesser Crested Tern, Little Tern, Whiskered Tern, Black Tern, European Turtle Dove, African Marsh Owl, Red-necked Nightjar, Calandra Lark, Greater Short-toed Lark, Yellow Wagtail, Zitting Cisticola, Subalpine Warbler, Corn Bunting
 Other Wildlife
 Site Information
 History and Use
 Areas of Interest
 Access and Facilities
Merja Zerga lies on the Moroccan coast midway between Tangier and Rabat. The base used by most visitors to the area is Moulay-Bou-Selham where the channel from the lake meets the sea . Here there is hotel accommodation and a campsite and it is within walking distance of the lake.
It is at the northern end of the lagoon but the best birding tends to be in the south, easily reached by the 2301 road.
 Contact Details
 External Links