Working for birds in Africa


Wed, 02/06/2013 - 09:20 -- abc_admin

Moussier's Redstart adult male

Image Credit: 
Karim Haddad

Great Spotted Woodpecker ssp numidus adult male

Image Credit: 
Karim Haddad

The following largely unconfirmed records were published in the Bulletin of the African Bird Club for information only.

from ABC Bulletin 26.2

A Tawny Eagle Aquila rapax was photographed in the north-west of the country in January. The only previous record was of a second-calendar-year photographed south-east of Algiers in July 2018 (cf. Bull. ABC 26: 104) (per www. A flock of c.25 Red-billed Firefinches Lagonosticta senegala and >300 African Silverbills Euodice cantans was observed at Tamanrasset, in the south, on 24 March (per Dutch Birding 41: 203)

from ABC Bulletin 26.1

In the second half of 2018, two ‘firsts’ for the country were recorded: a Western Reef Egret Egretta gularis, observed from 17 July until mid August at the Mekhada marshes, a Ramsar site in El Tarf Province, in the extreme north-east, and a Blue-naped Mousebird Urocolius macrourus, photographed at a village in Tin Zaouatine district, Tamanrasset, in southernmost Algeria, on 29 July. A secondcalendar-year Tawny Eagle Aquila rapax belisarius was photographed at Bordj Bou Arréridj, south-east of Algiers, on 17 July. A flock of >30 Sudan Golden Sparrows Passer luteus photographed in Tin Zaouatine district, Tamarasset, on 28 July constituted the country’s third record; the previous two were from January 1984, when a small breeding colony was discovered at In Guezzan, on the border with Niger (Isenmann & Moali 2000. Oiseaux d’Algérie / Birds of Algeria) and January 2017, when a male was photographed at Djanet, in the south-east. Several African Silverbills Euodice cantans were photographed in Tamanrasset in December; this is the first sighting of this species in many years, and its present status is unclear (Tamanrasset is the only site from where it is known). Red-billed Firefinches Lagonosticta senegala were also present there (per

from ABC Bulletin 25.1

A male Blue-winged Teal Spatula discors was photographed at Lake Reghaïa, c.30 km east of Algiers, on 3 November 2007. This appears to be the second for the country: only one previous record, of a male at Beni Abbès on 23–24 April 1974, is mentioned by Isenmann & Moali (2000. Birds of Algeria) and none has been reported since (per www.

from ABC Bulletin 24.2

Records from January–May 2017 include the following. The first Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos for the country was photographed at Constantine, in the north-east, on 1 May; although there have been annual observations in Morocco since 2010, there were no previous records for Algeria (or Tunisia). A Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca photographed at Djurdjura, in the north-east, in early March, is apparently the first documented record for the country— previous records were considered ‘not well established’ by Isenmann & Moali (2000. Oiseaux d’Algérie / Birds of Algeria) due to possible confusion with female Sardinian Warbler S. melanocephala or, especially, the Subalpine Warbler S. cantillans complex; there are >30 accepted records for Morocco, but just two for Tunisia. A cat with a Collared Flycatcher Ficedula albicollis was photographed at Rhourde el-Baguel, Ouargla province, eastern Algeria, on 7 April; the species is rarely observed on autumn migration, but more regular in spring, particularly in the east, albeit in small numbers. A male Sudan Golden Sparrow Passer luteus photographed at Djanet, in the south-east, in January, is the species’ northernmost record to date; the only record mentioned by Isenmann & Moali (2000) is from January 1984, when a small breeding colony was discovered at In Guezzan, on the border with Niger. Recent sightings of Red-billed Firefinch Lagonosticta senegala, which was introduced at Tamanrasset, in the extreme south, in c.1940, confirm that it still thrives there. The species is also present at El-Goléa (since at least 1972), Djanet (abundant and also present in nearby villages; Isenmann & Moali [2000] state that the species has never been recorded here, so apparently its presence dates from the last 17 years), In Salah (introduced in the 1990s) and Hassi Moumene, a gas field c.60 km north of In Salah (a mating pair observed in April) (per

from ABC Bulletin 24.1

In January 2016, an exhausted Demoiselle Crane Grus virgo was found at Oran harbour; it was taken into care and released with a few wintering Common Cranes G. grus in mid February (www.magornitho. org). After the record of a flock on 4 March 1944 near Aïn Beida, the species became extinct as a breeding bird (in Morocco it persisted for c.40 more years, the last observations in the breeding area dating from the early 1980s, with a possible sighting on 10 May 1990: Thévenot et al. 2003. The Birds of Morocco).

Records from Krechba, Plateau du Tadmait, central Algeria, in 2016 include the following. Egyptian Geese Alopochen aegyptiacus were observed on 25 March (two flying north), 30 April (two on a pond) and 15 October (one); Isenmann & Moali (2000. Oiseaux d’Algérie / Birds of Algeria) mention just one record of two at El Goléa on 10–27 March 1973, apart from ‘a few in the 19th century’. Sixteen Ferruginous Ducks Aythya nyroca on a pond on 29 September were possibly migrants on passage to the Sahel. A Water Rail Rallus aquaticus was found dead on 10 April. Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto, which was first reported in the country on the north-east coast in 1994, with breeding observed in June 1996, has spread widely. A few tens are now resident in the Krechba area, where a nest with two chicks was found on 31 August; after the young had succesfully fledged, the same pair appeared to be incubating again on 14 October. Two abandoned nests, both containing a single egg, were found on 13 and 19 October. A Yellow-browed Wabler Phylloscopus inornatus was observed in a wadi on 20–23 October (Fig. 1); Isenmann & Moali (2000) mention just one sighting and two captures in October 1985, in the El Goléa–Ghardaïa area. A Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus was present on 7 January (with nine on 28 March–5 May and four on 15–20 October); there are relatively few winter records. A Eurasian Siskin Carduelis spinus observed on 7 January may be the country’s southernmost record; the southernmost localities mentioned in Isenmann & Moali (2000) are Ghardaïa and El Goléa (RM).

from ABC previous Bulletins

Noteworthy species observed during a short visit on 25–29 October 2009 included several thousand Cory's Shearwaters Calonectris diomedea off Jijel, a Eurasian Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus circling around the crags between Constantine and Jijel, a Water Rail Rallus aquaticus and a Eurasian Penduline Tit Remiz pendulinus at El Kala National Park, and three Algerian Nuthatches Sitta ledanti in Tamantut Forest.

Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri was seen in Algiers for the first time in 1984 and has been breeding there since 1995 at least. Its range throughout Algiers and its suburbs is expanding. It has been established that it is the African subspecies P.k.krameri which has been introduced (FELLOUS, A., MOULAI, R. & JACOB, J.P. 2005). Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos minor ledouci appears to be an unusual record for the city of Algiers.

In 2004, three pairs of Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca raised 3,5 and 8 young in a Saharan wetland near El Golea, and a pair of Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris raised three young in a wetland near Ouargla.

In August 1998, a colony of African Silverbill Euodice cantans was discovered in the central Algerian Sahara, at Abalessa, north-west of Tamanrasset. There are few previous records of the species in the Western Palearctic (FARID, B. 2001) . In May 1999, three pairs of Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata were breeding at an oasis called Tamentit, near Adrar, in the Algerian Sahara; this locality is situated 600 to 800 km south of the species’ regular breeding range. Whether this record represents a recent breeding range extension or is due to a lack of ornithological recording is unclear (MOALI, A. and ISENMANN, P. 2001) .

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