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Morocco/Western Sahara December

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Old Saturday 9th November 2019, 12:07   #1
Mtn. Quail
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Morocco/Western Sahara December

Hi,

Looking for any birders to join me from the 17th-24th of December for a trip to the Atlantic Coast of Morroco and then Western Sahara. Targets will be Golden Nightjar, Cricket Longtail, Sudan Golden Sparrow, Black-crowned Sparrow Lark, Pharaoh Eagle Owl, Black-crowned Tchagra, Bald Ibis, Crowned Sandgrouse, Spotted Sandgrouse, Temminck's Lark, Lanner Falcon, Tristram's Warbler, Fulvous Chatterer, Cream-coloured Courser, etc. A lot of driving involved but should see some great birds. I'll be flying from London Stansted to Essaouira (cost 54 pounds today).

Message or reply if you're interested or want further details (I can send itinerary etc). I'm 20 and you can see some photos from my past trips at https://www.instagram.com/benjaminlucking/ or https://ebird.org/media/catalog?medi...n%20%20Lucking

All the best,

Ben Lucking

Last edited by Mtn. Quail : Saturday 9th November 2019 at 12:08. Reason: typo
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Old Saturday 16th November 2019, 20:19   #2
Mike Hunter
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Originally Posted by Mtn. Quail View Post
Hi,

Looking for any birders to join me from the 17th-24th of December for a trip to the Atlantic Coast of Morroco and then Western Sahara. Targets will be Golden Nightjar, Cricket Longtail, Sudan Golden Sparrow, Black-crowned Sparrow Lark, Pharaoh Eagle Owl, Black-crowned Tchagra, Bald Ibis, Crowned Sandgrouse, Spotted Sandgrouse, Temminck's Lark, Lanner Falcon, Tristram's Warbler, Fulvous Chatterer, Cream-coloured Courser, etc. A lot of driving involved but should see some great birds. I'll be flying from London Stansted to Essaouira (cost 54 pounds today).

Message or reply if you're interested or want further details (I can send itinerary etc). I'm 20 and you can see some photos from my past trips at https://www.instagram.com/benjaminlucking/ or https://ebird.org/media/catalog?medi...n%20%20Lucking

All the best,

Ben Lucking
Hi Ben

I've been to Morocco twice and Western Sahara once. This year has been a poor one for Golden Nightjar and Sudan Golden Sparrow but maybe things have changed since my visit earlier this year. Even in a good year you'd have close to zero chance of Golden Nightjar in December. But you will see a lot of birds (and some great mammals), the birding is top notch and I hope you get the trip off the ground - even if the optimum time is probably March to April (which would give you a much better shot at tricky species such as Dupont's Lark if your proposed itinerary took you within range).

Good luck

Mike

Last edited by Mike Hunter : Saturday 16th November 2019 at 20:38.
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Old Sunday 17th November 2019, 10:44   #3
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Stanstead to Ess for 54 quid Is that return? Who is it with btw?

It is a lot of driving and another pair of eyes and hands would split the work and the cost altho i think fuel is subsidised in WS - i took a coach from Agadir to Dhakla and managed some good birds from the window and stops over...........27 hours

Make sure you have photocopies of your details as they will be asked for by zealous military types numerous times from Laayoune South. Cover any alcohol as they tried to confiscate ours and then said they would settle for half! They got a stiff round of F..ks from the Bride and make sure you keep to speed limits and well under it 10 miles either side of towns as they have radar guns and love ripping off tourists.

Laurie
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Old Thursday 21st November 2019, 23:50   #4
Mtn. Quail
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Thanks Mike, hopefully things have changed but either way there sounds like there should still be some good stuff around. And thanks Laurie, will make sure to have lots of photocopies. The flight is with Ryanair. Not ideal obviously, but the price was excellent lol.

Best,
Ben
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Old Friday 22nd November 2019, 00:49   #5
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i took a coach from Agadir to Dhakla and managed some good birds from the window and stops over...........27 hours

Laurie
Interesting stuff; i've been to WS twice and enjoyed it thoroughly - once driving, once flying. I've looked at the bus thing but thought only truly bonkers people or locals would do it. Genuinely interested to read about the coach journey, coz i am way way overdue another Morocco trip.. TIA :-)
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Old Friday 22nd November 2019, 07:25   #6
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I think we did about 1200 kilometres for about 28 quid single

Our return was done in hops stopping at Sidi Ifni, Oued Massa, Tarifa, Ess and Agadir. Sidi Ifni is worth a visit the whole place was expanded by the Spanish in Art Deco even the Mosque n Prison are constructed in AD style... Birded there twice in 3 years once Spring and once Autumn and had a Bluethroat in a 2 metre square bit of vegetation, the only ‘throat type habitat there, both times!

The stops were about every 3 hours so no probs with loo and getting a bite. I thoroughly enjoyed it as i do with new landscapes etc plus i have the annoying (to the bride) ability to sleep anywhere at anytime The coaches on these distant routes are best served by Supratours the road carrier for ONCF national rail service as the train network is limited to the upper Northern half down to extralimital Marrakesh n Casablanca. Supratours do not stop to pick up so more local operators run between cities etc and can be flagged down.

Despite the difficulty of using binoculars from a moving coach medium to large species can be identified as can perching Chats n Shrikes etc. Lots of slow bends can yield goodies. We had a kebab stop at Laayoune and i heard a wailing a coupla hundred yards away that revealed about 40 Stone Curlew on a dusty football pitch at about 3 in the morning If/when i go again it will be shared costs in a car as this will allow numerous stops at likely looking points and excursions to Assoueard etc. You can fly with MarocAir to Dhakla but too pricey for me. I actually like travelling using local transport with the Marocs. We have travelled all over the country on numerous trips and are usually the only pale faces except if you travel from Marrakesh to Essouira which is popular with Western tourists. Some excellent birding around Ess which i have done on my folding Brompton bike - a late Spring timing with the offshore Eleonoras is a must. The sight of 500+ hawking over the coastal scrub to the South of the Town is eye-popping

We haven’t been for 3 years as our sights have been set further East in Georgia and Batumi but an Atlas trip is pencilled in

Good birding -

Laurie -
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Last edited by rollingthunder : Friday 22nd November 2019 at 07:32.
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