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Wed, 02/06/2013 - 15:08 -- abc_admin

The following largely unconfirmed records are from the Bulletin of the African Bird Club for information only. Some records were first published in Birding World and Dutch Birding.

from ABC Bulletin 26.2

Records from the north of the country in March–April 2019 include three Blue-naped Mousebirds Urocolius macrourus at Choum, northern Adrar, on 17 March, and four at Toujounine, south of Choum, in April (the species, which mainly occurs in the Sahel, is known from a few sites in the Adrar region and even further north, in southern Zemmour), several Golden Nightjars Caprimulgus eximius near Ouadâne, El Beyyed and Agouidir, a pair of Grey Woodpeckers Dendropicos goertae with two juveniles 15 km north-east of Ouâdane on 12 March and c.20 Sudan Golden Sparrows Passer luteus at Toujounine on 13 March (per Dutch Birding 41: 133 & 188–203).

from ABC Bulletin 25.1

A first-winter Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus photographed at Iouik (Iwik), in Banc d’Arguin National Park, in December 2017, was the first for the country. An eagle photographed at the Cap Blanc Peninsula on 23 September 2014, has been identified as a Wahlberg’s Eagle Hieraaetus wahlbergi—the first for Mauritania and the second for the Western Palearctic, the first being one photographed on the west coast of the Gulf of Suez, Red Sea, Egypt, on 3 May 2013 (per www. An adult Abyssinian Roller Coracias abyssinicus was photographed at Nouadhibou on 31 October (per Dutch Birding 39: 401); there are few records so far north (cf. Isenmann et al. 2010. Birds of Mauritania).

from ABC Bulletin 24.2

An adult Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio with five juveniles was photographed at Nouakchott on 5 March 2017, indicating that the species breeds there, further north than was previously known (RT). A Broad-billed Sandpiper Calidris falcinellus at Banc d’Arguin on 27 January was the third record for Mauritania; previous ones, both also from Banc d’Arguin, were made in March 1985 (one) and April 1985 (two). A Franklin’s Gull Leucophaeus pipixcan at Nouakchott on 23 April was the third for Mauritania; the two previous records were from Banc d’Arguin, in January 2006 and April 2016. In Adrar, northern Mauritania, four Blue-naped Mousebirds Urocolius macrourus were observed near Choûm on 19 April and two African Grey Woodpeckers Dendropicos goertae north of Ouadâne on 21 April—both species were at the northern edge of their range (per Dutch Birding 39: 124, 206–209).

from ABC Bulletin 24.1

On 13 November 2016, two species were recorded for the first time in Mauritania, both at Nouadhibou, on the coast, in the extreme northwest: Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni (two; Figs. 19–20) and Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus (also two; Fig. 21; RvB); in West Africa, Yellow-browed Warbler has been reported previously only from Senegambia and the Cape Verde Islands, and Olive-backed Pipit is a first for the region

from ABC Bulletin 23.2

A South Polar Skua Stercorarius maccormicki was photographed flying west off Iwik, Banc d’Arguin, on 1 May 2016; the species does not figure in Isenmann et al. (2010. Birds of Mauritania). The second Franklin’s Gull Leucophaeus pipixcan for Mauritania was found at Banc d’Arguin on 17 April; the first was recorded there in January 2006. In the Adrar Region, three Golden Nightjars Caprimulgus eximius were heard near Gelb El Richat on 11 April. The same day, a male Grey Woodpecker Dendropicos goertae was photographed there and c.40 Sudan Golden Sparrows Passer luteus were found at various sites in the area (per Dutch Birding 38: 240–253).

from ABC Bulletin 23.1

The first Swinhoe’s Storm-petrel Hydrobates (Oceanodroma) monorhis for West Africa was observed southwest of Nouakchott on 6 September 2015. As during the same period in 2014, vast numbers of Black Terns Chlidonias niger (probably >40,000 individuals) congregated near Nouadhibou at nightfall in September.

from ABC Bulletin 21.2

A Dark-bellied Brent Goose Branta (bernicla) bernicla (or perhaps a Black Brant B. (b.) nigricans but not a Pale-bellied Brent Goose B. (b.) hrota) flew past Arel, Banc d’Arguin, on 29 January 2014. A Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes at Nouakchott on 6 February was the second for Mauritania; the first was observed further north, between Nouakchott and Nouâmghâr, on 22 March 2004.

from ABC Bulletin 20.1

The first Red-footed Booby Sula sula for the country, a juvenile, was observed offshore at 19°22’26”N 18°59’22”W on 10 October 2012; a second (or the same) individual was noted at 18°03’09”N 16°34’43”W on 16 November.

Records from the south, made along the road from Nouakchott to Kiffa, Ayoun, Timbhedga and Nema on 21 - 23 October, include some noteworthy distributional data (cf. Isenmann et al. 2010. Birds of Mauritania) for Little Swift Apus affinis (at least 50 at Nema), Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops persicus (7–8, including four juveniles, at Timbedgha), Abyssinian Roller Coracias abyssinicus (one between Ayoun and Kiffa; an adult and a juvenile at Kiffa), Hoopoe Upupa epops (one near Ayoun), Western Red-billed Hornbill Tockus (erythrorhynchus) kempi (one between Ayoun and Kiffa), and House Sparrow Passer domesticus (observed at Kiffa, Ayoun and Timbedgha).

from ABC Bulletin 19.1

An African Crake Crex egregia was reported from Iwik, Banc d’Arguin, on 29 November; there is one previous record from the area, of an exhausted individual found in late January 2007.


In 2009, a juvenile Saker Falcon Falco cherrug, satellite-tracked from Hungary to Spain and Portugal, migrated south along Morocco’s coast and arrived at Banc d’Arguin in October; there are few records of the species in the country.

The long-staying Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus vetula at the Banc d’Arguin was still present at Iwik in December 2007. Other December records from the north-west include an Abyssinian Roller Coracias abyssinicus at Nouadhibou on 16 - 17th (there are few records this far north), four Eurasian Skylarks Alauda arvensis also there on 16th, and an adult Sudan Golden Sparrow Passer luteus at Cansado on 15th. Also in December, a warden of Banc d’Arguin National Park claimed that he had seen 4–5 Ostriches Struthio camelus in the park in 2006 and 2007.

About 60 Seebohm’s Wheatears Oenanthe oenanthe seebohmi were observed or trapped in the south of the country between 9 and 14 March 2007.

The long-staying Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus vetula at Zira, Banc d’Arguin, first seen in 1997, was found again on 8 December 2006. In the north-west, close to the border, c.20 Black-crowned Sparrow Larks Eremopterix nigriceps, including at least one fledgling, were seen south of Choûm on 3-4 December and a Dunn’s Lark Eremalauda dunni was c.23 km south of Boû Lanouâr on 9 December. Fifteen Cricket Warblers Spiloptila clamans were found south of Choûm on 4 December and three c.20 km south of Boû Lanouâr on 7 December. At the latter locality, more than 65 Desert Sparrows Passer simplex were observed on 7 and 9 December, and more than 55 Sudan Golden Sparrows P. luteus south of Choûm on 4 December.

A visit to the Atar area during 20-27 March 2005 produced the following records. A Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia was at Akmakou oasis on 24th, a juvenile Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos west of Chinguetti on 21st, and a Cream-coloured Courser Cursorius cursor west of Ouadane on 23rd. Several Blue-naped Mousebirds Urocolius macrourus and Crested Larks Galerida cristata were seen on 25th-26th. In Toungad oasis, near Atar, Common Bulbul Pycnonotus barbatus and Black Scrub Robin Cercotrichas podobe were found; the latter also at Terjit oasis. A Cricket Warbler Spiloptila clamans was observed between Chinguetti and Ouadane. Desert Sparrows Passer simplex were rather common around Chinguetti and Ouadane; several Sudan Golden Sparrows P. luteus were also found in that area. Four African Silverbills Euodice cantans were seen at Toungad oasis on 25th.

In January 2006, the long-staying Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus vetula from the Banc d'Arguin was seen again on 11th; this bird was first found here in April 1997 and is paired with a Yellow-legged Gull L. cachinnans michahellis. At least 15 Grey-headed Gulls L.cirrocephalus were also present. Two Dunn's Larks Eremalauda dunni and 15 Desert Sparrows Passer simplex were encountered south-east of Bou Lanouar in Dakhlet, Nouadhibou, on 9th. In Adrar, a male Tristram's Warbler Sylvia deserticola and 26 Desert Sparrows were found at Tazazmout-es-Shrir on 14th.

A research cruise to the upwelling zone off Banc d’Arguin in July 2005 produced an estimated total of c.10,000 Wilson’s Storm-petrels Oceanites oceanicus on 15-17th, including feeding flocks of up to 700 birds. These numbers are unprecedented here, although it seems likely that large congregations of this species regularly visit the area in midsummer. Also recorded in the area during this period were c.10,000 Black Terns Chlidonias niger, c.700 Royal Terns Sterna maxima and c.350 Cory’s Shearwaters Calonectris diomedea, all of the form borealis where this could be determined.

Records from November 2005 include the following. On the Banc d’Arguin, 21 Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna were found close to Nair Island, on 27th. In Diawling National Park, two Black Storks Ciconia nigra, at least 100 White Storks C. ciconia and three Dark Chanting Goshawks Melierax metabates were seen on 24th. Also there, a perched Lizard Buzzard Kaupifalco monogrammicus was discovered on 29th; this is c.70 km north of the Senegal border and some 400 km north of its usual range. A Brown Snake Eagle Circaetus cinereus was in the Marigot Three area on 30th. Four Desert Sparrows Passer simplex were observed at km 253 on the Nouadhibou-Nouakchott road on 25th and four more on the Ten-Alloul track, the turning from km 253, on the 28th, with a pair nest building in an Acacia tree. 

The following records were received from the period December 2004-January 2005. A Barbary Falcon Falco pelegrinoides was at Aghkmakou (21°12'N 11°53'W), in the Adrar region, northern Mauritania, on 1 January, with presumably the same individual at another site in the same area two days later. Three Common Moorhens Gallinula chloropus were at some small pools near Aghkmakou on 1-3 January. The Kelp (Cape) Gull Larus dominicanus vetula at Tidra, Banc d'Arguin, on 27-28 December, is considered to be the same individual last reported on 24 March 2004 and first seen in 1997. In January, Speckled Pigeon Columba guinea was very common at Nouakchott and appears to have further increased compared with previous years. A few Eurasian Collared Doves Streptopelia decaocto were at Nouadhibou airport on 9 January; the species was first found in March 2004 and this is the southernmost and so far only area in western Africa where it occurs. More than 30 Plain Swifts Apus unicolor were at Nouakchott on 8 January. About 20 Dunn's Larks Eremalauda dunni were seen in northern Mauritania around 21°21'N 11°49'W on 3-6 January. A group of ten Isabelline Wheatears Oenanthe isabellina was seen between El Beyyed and Aghmakou (at 21°29'N 11°27'W) on 6 January. Five male Tristram's Warblers Sylvia deserticola were recorded in the 21°30'N 11°25'W area on 3-6 January. A group of three Cricket Warblers Spiloptila clamans was photographed at Aghkmakou on 2-3 January. Notable numbers of Desert Sparrows Passer simplex were seen between Nouakchott and Akjoujt on 31 December (c50) and in the north, at El Beyyed (40) and between El Beyyed and Aghkmakou (35) in the first week of January.

In November 2004, 30 Dunn’s Larks Eremalauda dunni were seen north of Nouakchott on 26th and six on and 29th. A small colony of c30 Rock Martins Hirundo fuligula was found on cliffs north of Iwik, Banc d’Arguin National Park, on 26th. Six Desert Sparrows Passer simplex were in the small hamlet at the Ten Alloul turn off of the Nouadhibou road on 29th and a single male was seen further south, c100 km north of Nouakchott, on the same day.

March 2004 records include the following. A Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes was found on the beach between Nouakchott and Nouâmghar on the 22nd. In Banc d'Arguin, the Cape (Kelp) Gull Larus (dominicanus) vetula was seen again with its Yellow-legged Gull L. cachinnans michahellis partner on Zira and at Iwik on the 23rd and 24th; it was also observed (and photographed) on 24 November 2003 and may be the same individual that was first seen in 1997 and 1998. Up to 12 Grey-headed Gulls L. cirrocephalus were at Iwik, Banc d'Arguin, on the 23rd and seven at Cansado on the 25th. At Cap Blanc, between 800 and 1000 Caspian Terns Sterna caspia and c500 Royal Terns S. maxima were counted on the 26th. Eurasian Collared Doves Streptopelia decaocto and Laughing Doves S. senegalensis were common at Cansado on the 25 and 26th; the occurrence of the former has yet to be documented for the country. About 20 Plain Swifts Apus unicolor were flying over Nouakchott on the 29th. Three Dunn's Larks Eremalauda dunni were singing and one pair was feeding a chick  some 127 km north of Iwik on the way to Nouadhibou, between the 25th and 27th. A Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris was seen at Cap Timirist, Banc d'Arguin, on the 29th and a male Sudan Golden Sparrow Passer luteus was found to hold a territory at Cansado on the 25th and 26th.

Observations made during a pelagic trip just inside the Western Palearctic boundary from 21 April to 9 May 2003 included several hundred each of European Storm-petrels Hydrobates pelagicus, Madeiran Storm-petrels Oceanodroma castro, Sabine’s Gulls Larus sabini, Common Terns Sterna hirundo, Arctic Terns S. paradisaea and Black Terns Chlidonias niger, mostly moving north and also over 100 each of adult Pomarine Skuas Stercorarius pomarinus and Long-tailed Skuas S. longicaudus. Other seabirds included c120 Cory’s Shearwaters Calonectris diomedea, 5 Sooty Shearwaters Puffinus griseus, c30 Arctic Skuas Strercorarius parasiticus and 5 Great Skuas Catharacta skua. Landbirds included a Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus, 10 European Turtle Doves Streptopelia turtur and a European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus.

Records from the Iwik area, Banc d'Arguin National Park from the 4th to 6th April 2001 include a Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus, 15 Grey-headed Gulls L. cirrocephalus, six Lesser Crested Terns Sterna bengalensis, a Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus, four Temminck's Horned Larks Eremophila bilopha, two Red-throated Pipits Anthus cervinus and 12 Desert Sparrows Passer simplex. At Cap Timirist in the same park, species seen on the 8th and 9th April include a Great White Egret Egretta alba, a Hooded Vulture Necrosyrtes monachus, a Tawny Eagle Aquila rapax, a Temminck's Stint Calidris temminckii, a Common Gull Larus canus, two Lesser Crested Terns Sterna bengalensis, a Roseate Tern S. dougallii, a Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus, a Temminck's Horned Lark Eremophila bilopha and an adult male Isabelline Shrike Lanius isabellinus. Estimates for other species include c500 Long-tailed Cormorants Phalacrocorax africanus, c5,000 Eurasian Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia, c50,000 Grey Plovers Pluvialis squatarola, c50,000 Red Knot Calidris canutus, c5,000 Curlew Sandpipers C. ferruginea, c50,000 Dunlin C. alpina, c1,000 Royal Terns Sterna maxima, c100,000 Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica and c100,000 Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus. A Little Gull Larus minutus was seen at Nouakchott on the 1st April 2001. An Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola was mistnetted on the 4th September 2001 in coastal scrub near Nouakchott.

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