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Nature: Birdwatching trip to the Dayets of the Middle Atlas early May 2013

Squacco HeronWe had a great daytrip to the Dayets (small lakes) found off the main road between Immouzer and Ifrane, about 50km south of Fez.  Our first stop was Dayet Aoua, the part near the road was full of Little Grebes, but after short drive to the south side of the lake we saw Coots and large numbers of Red Knobbed Coots, next we spotted Blank Winged Stints, Mallard, & Ruddy Shelduck, Little & Cattle Egrets, and then we saw our find of the day a Squacco Heron, initially only it’s head was showing in long grass, but after a while it took off and we saw the distinctive white wings and it landed in a more open spot allowing us better views.   There was also a largish raptor but it appeared about the same time as the Squacco so we didn’t have a chance to identify it.  We also saw some Jays and Mistle Thrushes by the trees next to the lake.   Then we moved on to Dayet Ifrah, a more open lake with less bird life than Auoa, but still several Little Grebes, Ruddy Shellduck, and also a Common Sandpiper. We finally headed to Dayet Hachlaf, and on the roadside saw a Wheatear and a small flock of Ravens, at Hachlaf we again saw many Little Grebes, Ruddy Shelduck, Coots & R.K. Coots, Black Winged Stints &  Sandpipers, Egrets, but 2 new sights were of a pair of Great Crested Grebes in courtship, and large numbers of Pochard.  Also lots of African Chaffinches under the trees by the shore.  On all the Dayets there were other water birds that we failed to identify, but we’ll get then some other time. A great day.
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Posted 08 May 2013

 

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