Finding Birds in Morocco: Coast and Mountains
Like many birders I have grown up with, and based tours and trips on, Dave Gosney’s Finding Birds in ... series of books. With that in mind, I knew what to expect when I received this new addition to the series, covering Morocco’s coast and mountains. Even with 10 tours to Morocco behind me I had been secretly waiting for these updates, as they always contain hidden gems of information.
This title follows the same format as the others – a lightweight booklet with clear, hand-drawn maps, neatly annotated and linked to numbered texts for each site. All potential target species are mentioned and there are usually several sites given for each, greatly enhancing your chances of seeing Tristram’s Warbler, Marsh Owl, Crimson-winged Finch and Levaillant’s Woodpecker.
There are also useful pointers about what else to expect apart from the birds (for example the troublesome locals at Oued Massa – from personal experience I just ignore them, although this is easier with a group of 10 people than on your own).
I enjoyed watching the DVD which accompanies this booklet, although I am not sure who the target audience is. It contains footage of some great birds, including Maghreb endemics such as Tristram’s Warbler, Levaillant’s Woodpecker and Moussier’s Redstart. Although the DVD doesn’t add anything to the book, which is essential, it might provide some additional temptation to would-be visitors.
The information in the book is very up to date, but staying abreast of further changes would mean producing a new book every few years. Instead, Dave will be launching an app that can be downloaded to a smartphone or computer. This will be free and, once installed, will allow birders to upload data for others to benefit from – an excellent idea.
Not only did Dave Gosney popularise many of the key birding sites in Morocco, it looks like he will continue to enthuse visitors with his quality products.
• Finding Birds in Morocco: Coast and Mountains by Dave Gosney (Easybirder, Sheffield, 2011).
• Book: 38 pages, hand-drawn black and white maps. DVD: 60 minutes running time.
• Book: ISBN 9781907316340. Pbk, £7.50. DVD: £15.95. Buy both for £19.95
Available from Birdwatch bookshop