An European vulture in Mauritania – and an African one in Spain

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Last month some Dutch birdwatchers recorded a young cinereous vulture at Iouik (Iwik), which is located in the Banc d’Arguin National Park, north-western Mauritania. The bird was wearing a yellow colour ring, so most likely from Spain. The bird was photographed with two other scavengers, a griffon vulture and a brown-necked raven (see photo). This is the first record of cinereous vulture in Mauritania, and one of only a handful of records of this European vulture species south of Morocco: the species has only been recorded in Senegal (4 records) and in Mali, but has been seen more frequently in Morocco.

On the other hand, Yoav Perlman has recently published in his blog details of an observation of an African white-backed vulture near Trujillo (Extremadura, Spain) last May (17th May). Yoan was doing fieldwork there when he saw a group of vultures on the ground, clearly attracted by a carcass, including griffons and several cinereous vultures too. He then noticed a very small and extremely pale vulture (see photo), which he has now identified as an African white-backed. Read his fascinating account of the discovery – and the identification challenge – here.

If accepted by the Spanish rarities committee, this would be the 5th Spanish record. All previous four records were near Straits of Gibraltar, between 2008 and 2016. There are two records in Portugal: 2006 and 2014; There are two more WP records, both in Morocco, 2014 and 2017.

Photos: Rob Honing & Yoav Perlman

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