Monday, September 10, 2007

Morocco 2008: February 17-27

Bird Watching Readers’ Break
Morocco: February 17-27, 2008
This Bird Watching break is being arranged by Celtic Bird Tours. For further details, or to book a place call Neil Donaghy, on 01656 645 709 or 07971 983 227.

This North African tour will visit the desert, mountains, wetlands and coast at the start of spring migration in Morocco. This exciting destination has special birds found only in the south of the Western Palearctic among the richly varied habitats – including the immense Atlas Mountains – which we shall visit.

Look what the Bird Watching holiday offers:
• Special species such as Bald Ibis, Cream-coloured Courser, Moussier’s Redstart, Black-crowned Tchagra, Thick-billed Lark, Black-shouldered Kite, Tawny Eagle and Southern Grey Shrike.
• Visit the Sahara Desert for Lanner and Barbary Falcon, Eagle Owl, Fulvous Babbler, Hoopoe Lark, African Desert Warbler and Desert Sparrow.
• Sousa Massa National Park is important for endangered Bald Ibis and many herons, egrets, Marbled Duck, Glossy Ibis, Ruddy Shelduck and perhaps Tawny Eagle.
• The ‘hammada’ or stony desert is the place to see Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Thick-billed, Desert and Temminck’s Horned Larks, Red-rumped and Desert Wheatears, Trumpeter Finch, Long-legged Buzzard, Booted Eagle, Montagu’s Harrier, and possibly Tristram’s Warbler and Mourning Wheatear.
• Birding in the Atlas Mountains, where Barbary Partridge, Levaillant’s Woodpecker, Blue Rock Thrush, Crimson-winged Finch, Red-billed and Alpine Chough and Golden Eagle occur.
• Other special birds include Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Woodchat Shrike, Wryneck, Nightingale, Egyptian Nightjar, Houbara Bustard, Booted, Short-toed, Bonelli’s and Golden Eagle, Black Kite and Lesser Kestrel. Expect to see 175 species.

Day 1: Fly London/Agadir. Transfer to hotel.
Day 2: Birding the Atlantic coast, Sous Massa NP and Oued Sous.
Day 3: Drive from Agadir to Taroudant through the bird-rich Sous Valley.
Day 4-5: Drive to Boulmane Dades across the ‘hammada’. Visit the Tagdilt Track, famous for special species.
Day 6-7: From Boumane to Merzouga on the edge of the Sahara. Birding the wadi’s and oases.
Day 8: Roadside birding en route to Ouarzazate will produce migrants and lots of wheatears.
Day 9-10: From Ouarzazate through the High Atlas Mountains to a watchpoint for migrants and raptors. Arrive Marrakech and spend day exploring valleys and mountains.
Day 11: Visit city of Marrakech before return flight to London.
Leaders: Josele Saiz and Neil Donaghy.
Group size: 11 plus leaders. NB: Tour includes early starts and late finishes and some walking at altitude.
Price: £1,399. Single supplement £150. Deposit: £350. Includes: Flights London/Agadir/Marrakech/London. Transport in Morocco, all meals except lunch on first and last days. Service of expert guides and entrance fees. Not included: travel insurance, drinks, personal items, local drivers’ gratuities.

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