Morocco Day 3 - Into the High Atlas

On the third day we left Marrakech and headed into the High Atlas. This mountain range can already be seen from the city. One of the targets there wass the Atlas or Seebohm's  Wheatear. Not long ago this species was treated as a subspecies of the Northern Wheatear but was split into a separate species by the IOC in 2021. There are records of vagrants in Europe, including one in the Netherlands in The Hague, May 2017

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Morocco Day 2

One of the first birds one would see in Marrakech is the House Bunting, it's even more abundant then the House Sparrow. You see them hopping on the street or eating the crumbs from the dinner tables. If you can across a nut shop it's worth to look inside as you probably see a dozen of House Buntings hanging around in the shop.

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Morocco Day 1

On the first full day in Morocco I visited the "Cyber Park" in Marrakech early in the morning. I almost tripped over several Turtle Doves foraging on the ground.

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Get closer

This first winter / second calendar year male Common Kestrel perched nicely on a dead branch. John, who I was guiding on a Birding Netherlands tour, and I sneaked up to the bird using a shed as a shelter.

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Redstarts

Last four months I've spend my free time at a non-inspiring habitat, an industrial area. Among the high buildings of offices and parking lots I've photographed wintering Black Redstarts.

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Ameland

Ameland is one of the Dutch Wadden Islands, it's 27 kilometres wide from the east to the western corner and only 2 kilometres at the narrowest point between the North - and Wadden Sea.

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Wax

This autumn holiday we spent our family week at Texel, a good place to be in autumn for bird migration. I was hoping to find a rare bird so set out when I had the opportunity but had to do with two Little Buntings, Richard's Pipit and Lapland Bunting.At De Koog two immature Waxwings were reported and together with Sven we visited them. Both birds are immatures (first calendar) as they only have the horizontal line on their primaries and not the arches like adults do. The right bird is a male as the throat patch and bandit mask reaches farther then the left bird, making that a female.

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Little Rings

Last month I spend a couple of evenings at a construction site. Between the buildings was a mudflat with some water which is an ideal habitat for Little Ringed Plovers. These plovers are very opportunistic and favour these kinds of habitats.

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King of the leaves

For the third year we've visited Helgoland, a small island about 55 km out in the North Sea and just over four square kilometers. A visit in autumn can't go without seeing and preferable photographing a Yellow-browed Warbler.

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Hup

Every time I go trough my European bird books I stop at the page with the redstarts. My eye is then caught by the splended colours of the male Common Redstart, yes there are more and even prettier like the Moussier's and Guldendtadt's Redstart (only the name has more status then "Common").

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