Kabylerspætmejse - (Sitta ledanti) - Algerian Nuthatch
Kabylerspætmejse - (Sitta ledanti) Algerian Nuthatch species factsheet
Stemmer findes her (eksternt link).
Titel / info:
Dangerous birding in one of the highest terrorism spot in WP !
Djebel Babor, Petite Kabylie,
2. juni 2009
David Monticelli and me, Vincent Legrand, planned to follow the way of the belgian finder (J-P Ledant 1975) of this endemic nuthatch in Algeria.
With the great help of friend of Pierre-André Crochet, and himself, we used a local guide and driver for a week. We found our first 2 males in the top of Djebel Babor.
After taken the best pictures in the world of this species we plan to published some paper about it.
Canon 1D Mark III + 500mm F4 + 2x TC
Vincent Legrand, Belgien www.vincentlegrand.com
8. juni 2009
Billedet har været vist
Was it really that dangerous, og is going there within the possibilities for other birders?
Since Vincent cites me in his comment, I feel I must answer here.
Djebel Babor is still absolutely unsafe. The truth is that nobody knows really who is hiding there, but all sources agree on one point: nobody goes there any more, and local authorities as well as inhabitants all agree that sensible people should not go there at all. Deadly attacks are still commonplace in this region of Algeria, even if they don't make it usually to the European press.
Some spots inhabited by the nuthatch are safe enough to be visited with minimal precautions (travelling with a local contact and following his advices). Vincent and David found the species during the same trip is some perfectly ok places such as Tamentout forest. But please do not visit the Babor area for the moment, this is simply totally unreasonable...
Thanks a lot for this not too optimistic information. I will cancel plans for going there in the nearest future!
What a great story. The true frontier of WP birding!
you should not cancell any plan to go in Algeria soon, and see Algerian Nuthatch. There are populations in four forest areas. The best known (Babor) is, as I said, best avoided for the time being. Other forests such as Tamentout (where I saw the species in 2007 and where Vincent and David found it again this year) are perfectly ok to visit provided you don't behave stupidely (no camping, no night driving, and have a local companion).
Vincent or myself can provide info to anyone willing to see the species. It should not be too difficult although it's better to keep a few days for it...
Algeria is a truly superb country, with very friendly people, and great birding. I enjoyed my two recent trips there, and I know Vincent and David feel exactly the same about their own trip. So don't hesitate to go there.
I was one of the last there in Djebel Babor in the eighties, 1983! We drove all the way from the Netherlands (c 15.000 km total). What a strange country Algeria was compared to Marocco, people totally ignored us, which was quite a relief after two weeks in Marocco.
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