Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Week in Agadir December 2018

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Thursday 13th December 2018, 12:28   #1
dandsblair
David and Sarah
 
dandsblair's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: lancashire
Posts: 1,460
Week in Agadir December 2018

Week in Agadir - December 2018

Having just come back from a 22 day Ethiopian birding trip to a cold and wet UK we felt in need of some sun and relaxation. I looked on-line for good deals and found a week in Agadir staying in the 4 star Riu Tidiki Dunas; sited on the beach in Agadir on an all-inclusive basis (with TUI) for £301pp so over 50% off, and we added a car hire - three days for just £67, the cost of picnic making and fuel for three days was less than £30. So we had a week in the sun for two all-inclusive for just under £700.

This was definitely not a birding trip but with the car we would go to three locations where some life birds were on offer having not been in this area before. We used Collin’s Europe Bird Guide and had the Dave Gosney “Finding birds in Morocco” book.

Rather than a day by day report I have just shown what was seen around the hotel, what we saw on trip to Tamri and beyond, then Sous Massa National Park trip and finally the drive to Immouzer via Paradise Valley.
Despite what we had read in trip reports we had no trouble with guides pushing themselves on us and found the people really friendly.

The weather was sunny and warm during the day it was 25-27 degrees C each day but it cooled down after 17.00 and was chilly - around 11C until about 10.00am when it then warmed up quickly, birds really didn’t get active until about 09.00.

Hotel

The hotel was a very good example of a typical all-inclusive affair with most meals being buffet, a beach restaurant did breakfast, lunch and snacks, the main restaurant had evening meals and two additional restaurants (smaller Asian and Moroccan) could be booked for a change.
All local drinks and cocktails were included.
There were three outdoor pools unheated and one heated indoor pool, there were quite extensive gardens, the best area being to the front of the hotel near the road and the area near the fountain and fresh water pool behind block 1.

We saw a number of birds in the grounds including; House Bunting, Spotless Starling and Moroccan[/b] Magpie which were new and a potential split in White Wagtail (subpersonata – with unusual facial pattern), other birds included Blackbird (including one white faced individual), Common Bulbul, African Blue Tit, Sardinian Warbler, Collared Dove, Rock Dove, Common Sandpiper, Willow Warbler, Wood Warbler, Yellow-legged Gull, Spanish Sparrow, House Sparrow, Siskin, Lesser Black-backed Gull and we also saw three Audouin’s Gulls one day and a couple of Med Gulls one still nearly in full breeding plumage on the pond on another.


Agadir to Tamri and area 10KM beyond

Gosney reckons this is the best place to see Northern Bald Ibis we tried the area around the lighthouse at Cap Rhir, but the only birds were Crested Lark (Riggenbachi), Stonechat and Yellow-legged and Audouin’s Gulls. Just before the village at the estuary we had Cattle Egret, Marsh Harrier, Spanish Sparrow and Serin but again no sign of Ibis.
About 6KM above the town, there is a parking area (below concrete hockey pitch), we saw more Crested Larks but then I spotted the first Moussier’s Redstart, and there was a calling pair here who responded to a little playback, we also saw Southern Grey Shrike, Siskin and Blackbird.

Apart from gulls only bird out to sea was a single Gannet.

We then parked just north of the town and walked down to the almost dry river, only birds added were Glossy Ibis, Little Egret and then when we thought we had a bald ibis flying down from the rocks it turned out to be a Brown-necked Raven.
We tried all the same places on the way back but only added White Wagtail, Corn Bunting and Magpie.

Sous Massa National Park and area around Oued Sous and Oued Massa estuaries and Arhbalou bridge.

Having failed to find bald ibis on our first attempt we headed down to Sous Massa, unfortunately at sunrise it was really misty with poor visibility and being a busy Sunday morning the drive took longer than planned, however we got to the river just beyond Arhbalou just as the sun broke through. This was a lovely spot, we found a Black-crowned Tchagra almost immediately, saw another on the other side later, there were a couple of Moussier’s Redstarts, Stonechats, Fan-tailed Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler, Blackbird and on the water Cormorant (morocannus), Grey Heron and Coot.
I then decided to go down to the Camping Wassay site rather than to the reserve parking area, a very good call as about half a mile before the town I saw two Ibis fly towards the rocks on the south of town, I tried to find a track down but it was too sandy for our Hybrid Yaris, so I stopped, as I was turning back I saw 12 Northern Bald Ibis fly over our head, we jumped out of the car and saw and photographed these plus the original 2 birds in flight – they flew North of the Wassay International Camping Club – we parked up outside the club and while we couldn’t find the birds to the North, from the car park I could see 5 birds perched on a rock to the south, there was also a Moussier’s Redstart just sitting on the wall. I was trying to work out how to get round to the birds when the guys from the camp shop beckoned us over, “you can go through the club and get onto the beach that way”, they said – so very gratefully we walked through the grounds White Wagtail seen, climbed the dunes and managed to approach the 5 birds (there were also 6 other birds hidden behind the rocks).

We bought some bread and snacks at the shop afterwards total cost under one pound, and the guys were keen to see our photos.
I thought the site was just for camper-vans but they have some walled tents that you can rent for a really small fee if you don’t have a van and fancy staying over to see the birds coming to roost. Having seen the main target we returned to the river for lunch, added Moustached Warbler, saw the Tchagra again and finally a Winchat.

We then drove to desert track and then to the reserve area, we added a Scrub Warbler but no sign of any Coursers, Bustards or Sandgrouse. A guide tried to sell his service on the road in, we politely declined his offer to show us the Ibis and Tchagra and when we parked at the car park another guide wanted to guide us but as we were just going for a walk and had seen the key birds he just let us get on with it. We later saw him guiding a UK couple.

Along the path we added Sardinian Warbler, Common Bulbul, loads of Moussier’s Redstarts, Stonechat and Goldfinch. On the river and on the banks we added Eurasian Curlew, Common sandpiper, Osprey, Black-tailed Godwit and Sanderling. On to the mouth of the estuary we added Audouin’s and Slender-billed Gull and Sandwich and Lesser-Crested Tern. Only duck was a Mallard.

On way back to Agadir we stopped at Oued Sous estuary near the King’s Palace, no sign of Owls or Nightjars but we didn’t approach the sentry point, on the estuary we had a single Greater Flamingo, 4 Spoonbills, a group of Avocet, 2 Stone Curlew and Curlew Sandpiper – it was pretty unpleasant smelling around here.

Trip to Immouzer

We stopped at scrubby area 4KM after Tamhrakht seeing House Bunting, Moussier’s Redstart, White Wagtail and Black-crowned Tchagra. We saw 2 Blue-rock Thrushes at the 1st pass and distant Black Wheatear then Southern Grey Shrike on the drop down to Imouzzer cascades. We walked to the falls, not a great deal of water coming down, and tried the little forest area near the falls and back on the main road when we parked in the car park near the Foret service building, all we saw were Great Tit, African Blue Tit, Siskin and Serin.

We then stopped at the parking area about 200m before the Agadir 52 sign, I heard what I thought was Tristram’s Warbler, Sarah spotted a Hawfinch then I saw a Crossbill but before snapping them I then saw the cracking Tristram’s Warbler on the other side of the road, I got Sarah on it, there was an adult bird calling and two first winter birds nearby, at first I thought they were Spectacled – but when clearly seen and heard they were also Tristram’s but at first they just wouldn’t show well, I placed my speaker on the scrubby bushes and managed to coax the birds out, interestingly all 3 birds were vocal, despite it being December, having got a few photos I left the birds still calling – so birds definitely come below 1300m in winter and are active. We also saw a Rock Bunting here so another bird that obviously comes down in winter.

On the way through the gorges of Paradise Valley as I slowed for roadworks I spotted a much closer Black Wheatear, we managed to park up for it and got out to get good views of a pair on a narrow ledge above us, we also saw an African Chaffinch at this point.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	bald ibis sea in background.jpg
Views:	24
Size:	142.0 KB
ID:	682343  Click image for larger version

Name:	bald ibis pair.jpg
Views:	13
Size:	227.9 KB
ID:	682344  Click image for larger version

Name:	bald ibis single.JPG
Views:	15
Size:	872.1 KB
ID:	682345  Click image for larger version

Name:	moussier redstart male.jpg
Views:	21
Size:	67.9 KB
ID:	682346  Click image for larger version

Name:	moussier redstart2.jpg
Views:	22
Size:	160.7 KB
ID:	682347  

__________________
Life List - David 5037 - Sarah 4970 Last bird David. Tristram's Warbler Sarah - Tristram's Warbler
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/

Last edited by dandsblair : Thursday 13th December 2018 at 12:31.
dandsblair is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 13th December 2018, 12:37   #2
dandsblair
David and Sarah
 
dandsblair's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: lancashire
Posts: 1,460
A few more photos

Tristram's Warbler, Magpie, Sardinian Warbler and House Bunting
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	tristram warbler cu.jpg
Views:	48
Size:	199.5 KB
ID:	682348  Click image for larger version

Name:	tristram with long tail showing.jpg
Views:	32
Size:	158.7 KB
ID:	682349  Click image for larger version

Name:	magpie blueeye.jpg
Views:	31
Size:	77.3 KB
ID:	682350  Click image for larger version

Name:	house bunting3.jpg
Views:	29
Size:	245.9 KB
ID:	682351  Click image for larger version

Name:	sardinian warbler.jpg
Views:	38
Size:	108.9 KB
ID:	682352  

__________________
Life List - David 5037 - Sarah 4970 Last bird David. Tristram's Warbler Sarah - Tristram's Warbler
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/
dandsblair is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 13th December 2018, 17:50   #3
Dave Williams
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: North Wales
Posts: 2,572
Stayed at the same hotel on a last minute deal a couple of years ago and couldn't believe how good it was for the money. We ate in the Moroccan nearly every night ( no extra charge then) and although the food was virtually the same every night it was a much more pleasant experience than the main buffet place.
Failed in the search for Ibis but did find Coursers and had a drive out in to the lesser Atlas Mountains for some amazing scenery.
The Riu's sister hotel in Tunisia got hit a week or so later and I have few doubts that it has not helped Moroccan tourism either. We loved the place but for birding you need to be there much earlier in the year than we were there.
Dave Williams is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 14th December 2018, 05:24   #4
MKinHK
Mike Kilburn
 
MKinHK's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 4,221
Sounds like a cracking short trip with some great pix of quality birds - lots of ticks for me there!

Cheers
Mike
__________________

Hong Kong: Ultramarine Flycatcher, Rufous-faced Warbler, European Golden Plover (468)
Greater China: Franklin's Gull, Buff-breasted Sandpiper European Golden Plover (972)
Lifer: Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Steller's Sea Eagle
MKinHK is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 14th December 2018, 09:51   #5
dandsblair
David and Sarah
 
dandsblair's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: lancashire
Posts: 1,460
Still no extra charge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Williams View Post
Stayed at the same hotel on a last minute deal a couple of years ago and couldn't believe how good it was for the money. We ate in the Moroccan nearly every night ( no extra charge then) and although the food was virtually the same every night it was a much more pleasant experience than the main buffet place.
Failed in the search for Ibis but did find Coursers and had a drive out in to the lesser Atlas Mountains for some amazing scenery.
The Riu's sister hotel in Tunisia got hit a week or so later and I have few doubts that it has not helped Moroccan tourism either. We loved the place but for birding you need to be there much earlier in the year than we were there.
Dave - there is still no extra charge to eat in the Moroccan - just need to book the day before.
I'm already looking at sister hotel RIU Garden in Marakesh for some possible January sunshine and drives into the high atlas for a few additional birds. Seems to be same price in January/Feb 19.
__________________
Life List - David 5037 - Sarah 4970 Last bird David. Tristram's Warbler Sarah - Tristram's Warbler
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/
dandsblair is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 14th December 2018, 09:54   #6
dandsblair
David and Sarah
 
dandsblair's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: lancashire
Posts: 1,460
Thanks Mike

Quote:
Originally Posted by MKinHK View Post
Sounds like a cracking short trip with some great pix of quality birds - lots of ticks for me there!

Cheers
Mike
Morocco is great value from UK even with the pound down in the doldrums. I suspect flight from Hong Kong would cost a lot more for you.
__________________
Life List - David 5037 - Sarah 4970 Last bird David. Tristram's Warbler Sarah - Tristram's Warbler
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/
dandsblair is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 14th December 2018, 18:54   #7
Dave Williams
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: North Wales
Posts: 2,572
Quote:
Originally Posted by dandsblair View Post
Dave - there is still no extra charge to eat in the Moroccan - just need to book the day before.
I'm already looking at sister hotel RIU Garden in Marakesh for some possible January sunshine and drives into the high atlas for a few additional birds. Seems to be same price in January/Feb 19.
Just had a peek at my blog form that trip.
https://davewilliamsnaturephotograph...Morocco%202015
We paid a huge £640pp but for two weeks. If I hadn't already booked something for January and February I'd be off there again.
Dave Williams is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 16th December 2018, 09:38   #8
KenM
Registered User
 
KenM's Avatar

 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: London
Posts: 10,434
A mouth/watering trip David and Sarah!...one I must do some time soon. For me quite a few ticks!....Moussier’s Redstart being one of the prime targets, Tristram’s Warbler, House Bunting and Black Wheatear to name a few. Was very surprised with the Wood Warbler! Always thought they were a Sub-Saharan Wintering species?

A great report...Cheers
KenM is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 16th December 2018, 13:27   #9
davercox
Dave Cox
BF Supporter 2019

 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Dawlish, Devon; in a seabird colony
Posts: 1,648
Yes, a great report as usual from you, David & Sarah. Thank you.
__________________
Dave
davercox is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Sunday 16th December 2018, 14:12   #10
dandsblair
David and Sarah
 
dandsblair's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: lancashire
Posts: 1,460
Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by KenM View Post
A mouth/watering trip David and Sarah!...one I must do some time soon. For me quite a few ticks!....Moussier’s Redstart being one of the prime targets, Tristram’s Warbler, House Bunting and Black Wheatear to name a few. Was very surprised with the Wood Warbler! Always thought they were a Sub-Saharan Wintering species?

A great report...Cheers

Didn't really think about whether these birds were wintering here or just very late on passage but as it was two birds I suppose it could be either.
__________________
Life List - David 5037 - Sarah 4970 Last bird David. Tristram's Warbler Sarah - Tristram's Warbler
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/
dandsblair is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Juvenile bird in Agadir last week alanc Bird Identification Q&A 5 Monday 28th January 2013 18:50
where in Europe for a great week of birding in December? TonyS Information Wanted 8 Tuesday 1st November 2011 10:45
Agadir 1st - 4th December Arbu Vacational Trip Reports 6 Friday 12th December 2008 15:00
Agadir 1st - 4th December Arbu Morocco 0 Wednesday 15th October 2008 11:16

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.40076494 seconds with 22 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 11:44.