Home to coasts, islands, wadis, plains, forests, mountains and deserts – with such terrain it’s no surprise that Morocco is a bird-watchers paradise. You can easily travel to see birds on a day trip, or else overnight if more time is required.
You could start by heading out towards the Oukaimeden valley where a world of bird watching opens up. Resident and migrant species exist in abundance in this valley. Grab a pair of binoculars and a good bird watching book and look out for Woodchat Shrike, Common Crossbill, Hawfinch, Brambling, House, Rock and Cirl Buntings.
In amongst the rocky slopes, if you’re lucky, you may spot Blue Rock Thrush and the Levaillant’s Woodpecker.
Up at the ski resort at Oukaimeden (80km from Marrakech), it is sometimes possible to spot the Crimson-winged Finch (November to May), or the elusive Rock Sparrow, Water Pipit and Horned Lark.
Further afield, around the Tizi-n-Tichka pass, you might see the Tristram’s Warbler, raptors and Short-toed Snake Eagles. Ouarzazate is the place to head to for the chance to view the Ruddy Shelduck, and Long-billed Crested Lark, Eurasian Spoonbill and a selection of waders.
A decent book for bird-watching in Morocco is: http://www.nhbs.com/a_birdwatchers_guide_to_morocco_tefno_4859.html