Moroccan specialities

Dates

March 2nd to 12th 2018

Tour Cost

€ 2.400

Simple room suplement

£ 170.

Group size

Max group 5/6 photographers

Tour leader

Josele J Saiz

Airport

Marrakesh -Marrakesh

What´s included

All ground transport, all meals, services of guides and reserve entrance fees.

What´s not included

Transport to/ from UK and any overnight stay that may be involved, travel insurance, drinks and any items of a purely personal nature.

Tour code

Six photographers and one guide in a comfortable vehicle exploring the most genuine of Moroccan habitats close to the Atlantic coast in the search of the bird specialities to be photographed.

Target species

See below

Introduction

Boletas is proudly the company who every year guide more tours to Morocco with more than 40 bird tours in the last 10years to this exciting destination. We consider ourselves the market leaders and in our tours you can   find together both pure birders and keen photographers sharing the typical birding itinerary proposed. In recent years more and more people are joining the standard birdwatching tours carrying good cameras and big lenses instead of telescopes. There is now an increasing demand on photo tours. Due to our previous experience with several photographers, the knowledge of the Moroccan birds and our reputatation in organising tours , we have designed this tour exclusively for photographers concentrating on the day by day activity of picturing the most relevant of the Moroccan avifauna. At the beginning of March most of the Moroccan specialities wear their most beautiful breeding plumage ready to display before mating, in particular the impressive display of the Hoopoe Lark also the "dancing tails" that wheatears perform. At this time of the year the light in southern Morocco is never too strong allowing for photography during most of the day. We want to invite to all photographers to join us in this unique photographic experience where we will concentrate our efforts in the target species.

Itinerary

Day1: Arrive at Marrakesh, meet the local drivers and visit the famous Fna-Square- Overnight in Marrakesh.

Day2: From the Marrakesh plains we will drive to the Atlas mountains arriving at Okaimeden, the unique sky resort in Africa. Overnight in Marrakesh.

Target species: Crimson-winged Finch, Levaillant´s Woodpecker, Moussier`s Redstart, Shore Lark, Alpine Chough.

Secondary species: Red-billed Chough, African Chaffinch, African Blue Tit, Rock Sparrow, Barbary Partridge, Black Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Hawfinch, Firecrest, Crossbill.

Day 3: Transition day from Marrakesh crossing the Atlas mountain system to the hammada stoney desert with stops in suitable places to locate the target species. Overnight in Boulmane Dades.

Target species: Mourning Wheatear, Desert Wheatear, Trumpeter Finch.

Secondary species : Thekla Lark, Barbary Falcon, Barbary Partridge, Lanner Falcon, Long-legged Buzzard, Black Wheatear, White-crowned Black Wheatear.

Day 4: We will visit the Tagdilt Track, where we will explore new areas, like the now famous "wheatear wall" discovered in one of our tours in 2006. Overnight in Boulmane Dades

Target species: Mourning Wheatear, Desert Wheatear, Red-rumped Wheatear, Thick-Billed Lark, Temminck´s Lark, Hoopoe Lark, Trumpeter Finch, Crowned Sandgrouse.

Secondary species: Thekla Lark, Lanner Falcon, Long-legged Buzzard, White-crowned Black Wheatear, Short-toed Lark.

Day 5 : Transition from the stoney desert to the Sahara Desert - a long driving day. We will visit the picturesque Todra Gorge where we will search for the difficult Tristram´s Warbler. On our way to the east we will stop to look for our target birds including the scarce Scrub Warbler. Overnight in Merzouga.

Target species : Tristram´s Warbler, Scrub Warbler, Desert Wheatear, Red-rumped Wheatear, Temminck´s Lark, Desert Lark, Moussier´s Redstart.

Secondary species : Thekla Lark, Lanner Falcon, Long-legged Buzzard, White-crowned Black Wheatear, Short-toed Lark, Serin, House Bunting, Blue Rock Thrush, Black Wheatear, Bonelli´s Eagle, Crag Martin, Southern Grey Shrike (elegans race).

Days 6 and 7:  The highlight of the tour, the Sahara desert with its impressive sand dunes. No roads, not many birds but very exciting encounters. Overnight in Merzouga.

Target species: Egyptian Nightjar, Tristram´s Warbler, Desert Wheatear, Desert Lark, Desert Sparrow, Desert Warbler, Spotted Sandgrouse, Fulvous Babbler, Cream-coloured Courser, Hoopoe Lark, Bar-tailed Desert Lark, Desert Eagle Owl, Ruddy Shelduck.

Secondary species : Houbara Bustard, Thekla Lark, Lanner Falcon, Long-legged Buzzard, White-crowned Black Wheatear, Short-toed Lark, House Bunting, Black Wheatear, Southern Grey Shrike (elegans).

Day 8: Journey from Merzouga to Ouarzazate with several stops on the way, but mainly in the Tagdilt Track, concentrating our efforts on the species we need better images of. Overnight in Ouarzazate.

Target species: Tristram´s Warbler, Desert Wheatear, Desert Lark, Bar-tailed Desert Lark, Desert Eagle Owl.

Secondary species: Thekla Lark, Lanner Falcon, Long-legged Buzzard, White-crowned Black Wheatear, Short-toed Lark, House Bunting, Black Wheatear, Southern Grey Shrike (elegans race ), Trumpeter Finch, Ruddy Shelduck.

Day 9:  Journey from Ouarzazate to Marrakesh with several stops on the way, concentrating our efforts on the species we need better images of. Overnight in Marrakesh.

Target species : Desert Wheatear, Desert Lark, Spotted Sandgrouse, Fulvous Babbler, Cream-coloured Courser, Hoopoe Lark, Bar-tailed Desert Lark, Desert Eagle Owl.

Secondary species: White Stork, Black Kite, Thekla Lark, White-crowned Black Wheatear, Short-toed Lark, House Bunting, Black Wheatear, Southern Grey Shrike (elegans), African Chaffinch.

Day 10:  Transfer to Marrakesh airport for your flight back home.

Additional Information

Chances to get close encounters ( *easy **good chances ***difficult)

Tristram´s Warbler - **

Moussier´s Redstart - *

Crimson-winged Finch - **

Red-rumped Wheatear - *

Thick-billed Lark - **

Hoope Lark - *

Levaillant´s Woodpecker-**

Desert Lark - *

Bar-tailed Desert Lark - *

Fulvous Babbler - **

Cream-coloured Courser - *

Desert Wheatear - *

Mourning Wheatear - **

Scrub Warbler - **

Temminck´s Lark - *

Shore Lark - *

Desert Sparrow - *

Trumpeter Finch - *

Desert Eagle Owl - **

Egyptian Nightjar - * If they have arrived

Crowned Sandgrouse - ***

Spotted Sandgrouse - ***

Hide :  This work is done without any hides, but in the best places from where we know it is possible to see these species at the shortest distances.  For some birds we will use the vehicles as hide.

Clothing :   Weather in winter can be cold but specially early morning and before dusk. Weather in the high Atlas for Crimson-winged Finch and Alpine Chough can be cold with temperatures rising to as low as minus 6. Please check the weather forecast one or two days before the tour starts.

Equipment : The distance of displaying birds varies between 2 and 20 metres and the recommended focal lengths are 300 to 800 mm.

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