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Wed, 02/06/2013 - 15:55 -- abc_admin

The following largely unconfirmed reports have appeared in Bulletins of the African Bird Club for information only. Some records were previously in Dutch Birding and Birding World.

from ABC Bulletin 22.2

The following were reported in January - February 2015. A Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris was seen at Lake Ichkeul on 19 February. In J’bil National Park, a flock of 24 Eurasian Dotterels Charadrius morinellus was found on 16 February. The fourth Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva for the country was seen at Djerba, on 5 January. Also there were four Great Skuas Stercorarius skua. In early January, 50 - 100 African Reed Warblers Acrocephalus baeticatus were counted at the wetlands of Douz, Zaafrane and Ghidma. On 13 February, 6 - 8 Alpine Accentors Prunella collaris were observed at Zaghouan. 

from ABC Bulletin 21.2

The first Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes for Tunisia was observed at a wetland near Douz on 18 March 2014; details will be published in a future Bull. ABC. Another first, if accepted, is a Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus claimed from Djerba on 8 December 2013. Neither species has been recorded from neighbouring Algeria, but both are known from Morocco, the former as a vagrant, the latter as an uncommon to locally common passage migrant and winter visitor.

from ABC Bulletin 19.2

Records from a visit in May 2012 include the following. An adult Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus was seen in El Feija  National Park (=NP) on 10 May, with an immature also there next day; according to Isenmann et al. (2005. Birds of Tunisia) the species is rare in the area. Three Rose-ringed Parakeets Psittacula krameri were seen flying to Belvédère park in Tunis on 23 May; a small population occurs in the parks around the Belvédère and the University of torquilla was singing in El Feija NP on 10 May; there are few breeding records for the country, but nesting was already suspected at this site. A pair of Grey Wagtails Motacilla cinerea was found nesting at Aïn Soltane, Ghardimaou; this apparently constitutes the first breeding record for Tunisia. At the same site, a late White Wagtail M. a. alba was observed on 8 May. Both Cetti’s Warbler Cettia cetti and European Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus were observed just once, on 19 May, at Oued Mellegue, north of Kef (single singing individuals of each). A late Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita was singing in El Feija NP on 9–10 May, with a singing Iberian Chiffchaff P. ibericus also there; a mist-netted female of the latter species had a well developed brood patch. A Eurasian Oriole Oriolus oriolus was singing in Belvédère park in Tunis on 23 May.

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A visit in late October 2009 yielded a flock of 11 Thick-billed Larks Ramphocoris clotbey at Matmata on 21st and up to 30 Desert Sparrows Passer simplex in Djebil National Park on 21st - 22nd, whilst a flock of 14 early Ring Ouzels Turdus torquatus was observed on Djebel Chambi on 30th.

A Red Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius photographed at Thyna on 10 February was the third for Tunisia; previous records were in April 1976, at the same site, and December 1981, near Nefta/Tozeur.

Records from October 2007 include the following. White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala were reported from Sidi Jdidi Reservoir, Nabeul, on 7th (81) and Barrage El Haouareb, Kairouan, on 10th (three). Single Black-shouldered Kites Elanus caeruleus were observed 65 km north-west of Sousse on 9th and 15 km south-west of Kairouan on 10th. Two adult Purple Swamphens Porphyrio porphyrio were at Sidi Jdidi Reservoir on 7th. A first-winter Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva was discovered at Barrage El Haouareb on 10th.

A first-winter Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius was claimed from Djerba in early January 2007; this would be the first for Tunisia, if accepted. Records from February 2007 include the following. Four hundred Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris were counted at various wetlands near Douz on 8th and 210 White-headed Ducks Oxyura leucocephala at El Haouareb Dam on 25th. A Spotted Crake Porzana porzana was near Douz on 8th. Five hundred European Golden Plovers Pluvialis apricaria were at Metbasta on 24th. An Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus was at Gabès on 21st, with two there the next day. Thousands of Mediterranean Gulls Larus melanocephalus and up to 1,500 Slender-billed Gulls L. genei were seen between Skhira and Tyna on 22nd. At Gabès, at least three, possibly five, adult Great Black-backed Gulls L. marinus were found on 21st; this is a very rare winter visitor.

Two to three calling European Scops Owls Otus scops were seen near Douz on 8th. A Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla was at Carthage, Tunis, on 4th. Water Pipits Anthus spinoletta were recorded at Thyna Salina salt works near Sfax (six on 5th:) and at Ghidma (three on 25th:). Also at Ghidma, a few Eurasian Reed Warblers Acrocephalus scirpaceus were in song on 21st - an early date. A Tristram’s Warbler Sylvia deserticola was at Zaghouan on 5th and another near Matmata on 6th; this species breeds in the west but disperses in winter as far as the desert zone. Four Desert Sparrows Passer simplex were observed at Jbil National Park, a known site for the species and Tunisia’s only Important Bird Area from where it has been recorded, on 7th.

On 10 March 2006, 13 Common Scoters Melanitta nigra (a male, a female and 11 immatures / females) were caught in fishing nets in the Gulf of Tunis off Ezzahra. The species winters along the Atlantic coast of North Africa but is accidental in Tunisia: there is only one previous definite record for the country, a male at Monastir in January 1976.

In October 2005-March 2006, the following records were reported. At Sebkhet Sejoumi, 20,000 Greater Flamingos Phoenicopterus (ruber) roseus were counted on 22 October. On 13 November, 31 Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus were at Lebna reservoir. In January, 5,500 wintering Commmon Cranes Grus grus were counted in the regions of Tunis, Kairouan and Sfax. Twenty Temminck's Stints Calidris temminckii were seen at Sebkhet Soliman on 5 March.

Records from April-June 2005 include the following. An adult Yellow-billed Stork Mycteria ibis was with Eurasian Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia at Korba Lagoons, Cap Bon, from 27 June until at least 10 July. Five family parties of Marbled Ducks Marmaronetta angustirostris were also there on 27 June. Several Steppe Eagles Aquila nipalensis, including a group of five, were reported from Cap Bon in April-May. Several Egyptian Nightjars Caprimulgus aegyptius were in song at Ghidma, south of Douz, in early May. In June, up to 14 Cream-coloured Coursers Cursorius cursor and c.30 Desert Sparrows Passer simplex were observed at Bir Soultane on 24th, two male and one female Egyptian Nightjars Caprimulgus aegyptius at Ghidma, with another male at El Matrouha, on 25th, and four Levaillant’s Woodpeckers Picus vaillantii at Ain Draham on 23rd.

On 9 October 2005, the Korba and Soliman Lagoons held 4,300 Greater Flamingos Phoenicopterus (ruber) roseus, including 87 ringed, and also Marbled Ducks Marmaronetta angustirostris, Ferruginous Ducks Aythya nyroca and Purple Swamphens Porphyrio porphyrio.

The following records were received for the period December 2004-May 2005. Sixty-one Ruddy Shelducks Tadorna ferruginea were counted at a lake near Douz on 11 Decembe, 3,200 Marbled Ducks Marmaronetta angustirostris in the same area on 9 December, whilst 30 White-headed Ducks Oxyura leucocephala were still at Barrage Sidi Jdid in early December. A Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis was displaying above oak forests of Beni M'tir, Jendouba, in the north-west, on 3 May, and an immature Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga passed Cap Bon on 2 May; there are few records of either species in Tunisia. On 20-22 January, an exceptional c1,000 Temminck's Horned Larks Eremophila bilopha were seen along the Bir Sultana Road, and c70 Desert Sparrows Passer simplex were observed at Ksar Ghilane on 10-11 December.

On 17 October 2004, 2,300 Ferruginous Ducks Aythya nyroca and 652 Marbled Ducks Marmaronetta angustirostris were counted at Barrage Oued Rmal, and 30 White-headed Ducks Oxyura leucocephala at Barrage Sidi Jdid.

Records from December 2003 include a pair of Ruddy Shelducks Tadorna ferruginea near Douz on the 17th and another west of Kebili the following day. South of Kairouan, c400 Ferruginous Ducks Aythya nyroca and c400 White-headed Ducks Oxyura leucocephala were counted on the 7th; a slightly higher number of Marbled Ducks Marmaronetta angustirostris was also present here and at least 280 were at Douz on the 28th.

Records from June to October 2003 include the following. At Sebket Halk el Menzel, Sousse, 18 Eurasian Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia and between 1,500 and 1,600 Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber were counted on 8 June. Also there on the same date were 120 breeding pairs of Pied Avocets Recurvirostra avosetta, 135 Slender-billed Gulls Larus genei and 60 breeding pairs of Little Terns Sterna albifrons. At Soliman, Nabeul, 142 European White Storks Ciconia ciconia were observed on 19 July.

Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris with young were recorded at Oued Sed, Sousse, on 8 June (two pairs with four and ten young respectively and one adult with 14 young), at Soliman on 13 June (one adult with 10 young) and at Lebna reservoir, Nabeul (seven adults with 15 young). On 25 July, 142 Ferruginous Ducks Aythya nyroca, and 14 adults with 7 young White-headed Ducks Oxyura leucocephala were counted at Lebna reservoir. Four Common Cranes Grus grus, presumably first-year birds, stayed at Soliman from 19 July until 7 October; this appears to be the first record of oversummering cranes in the country.

Records from the period November 2002 to March 2003 include the following. Twelve Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber, ten Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea and 27 Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca were counted in the region of Douz, Touzeur and Nefta, south Tunisia, between 20 and 23 March. Also in the Douz area c760 Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris were counted on 2 December, at least 4,000 on 13 February and 1,360+ between 20 and 23 March. A trip of 22 Eurasian Dotterel Charadrius morinellus was found near Enfida on 28 November. About 3,500 Mediterranean Gulls Larus melanocephalus were on the coast near Sfax on 6 December and three White-winged Terns Chlidonias leucopterus at Thyna salt-pan on 8 December.

In December 2002, five Eurasian Collared Doves Streptopelia decaocto were noted in two south-western oases; the first (possibly ship-assisted) were recorded in 1991 in Bizerte, north Tunisia; in 2001 the species was found in the Douz region, in the south. An Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina was found in the Douz region during a survey from 20 to 23 March. A few pairs of Desert Sparrow Passer simplex were in Kebilia National Park and the Bir Soltane road in early December.

In January 2001, more than 500 Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris were counted near Douz on the 17th. Near Tozeur, a Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata was observed on the 18th. Thirteen Thick-billed Larks Rhamphocoris clotbey were at Seldja on the 19th; it was an invasion year for this species.

Five Ruddy Shelducks Tadorna ferruginea, one Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops persicus and at least 10 singing Desert Warblers Sylvia nana were seen in the Douz area on 19 April 2001. An Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina was found at Zarzis, on the south-eastern coast, on 9 April 2001.

Birds observed at Oued El Rmal Reservoir (36°21'N 10°21'E) on 13 October 2001 included 4,000 Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber, 1,613 Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris, 1,682 Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca (with two more on Jdidi Reservoir, 36°25'N 10°27'E) and 186 White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala. The next day, 1,600 Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris were counted at Oued El Hajar Reservoir (36°52'N 11°02'E) and 1,053 at Lebna Reservoir (36°42'N 10°56'E), with also 269 Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca at the former. The total of 1,953 Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca is probably the highest number ever recorded in Tunisia.

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