And a video:
I must say, a better work-day, fully paid by your employer, is hard to come by. I was guided in a forest in north-east Algeria by top man Karim, and it was a morning I will never forget. Absolute magic!
This species was discovered in October 1975 by a young Belgian birder, which is exactly 6 months before I recorded my first bird, an Eurasian Jay at our cottage in Norway. This was the start of a hobby that has lasted a lifetime.
My friends and I were looking at this species in our books for years, a bird restricted to a few mountain-tops in far-away Algerie, as one of the very few IMPOSSIBLE birds to see. A difficult to visit country, combined with the Black Decade in the 1990's meant this bird was off limits. Big time.
I'm happy to tell you that this is true no more.
As the first Norwegian to see this bird, ever, (that is HUGE!) I can tell you that if you fly into Constantine, stay in one of the 4 star hotels there, hook up with the amazing gentleman named Karim, start at 4am and drivetwo to three hours to the north while enjoying an Algerian breakfast , you are almost guaranteed this gem of a bird.
A HUGE thank you to Karim that really went out of his way to help me enjoy the Algerian Nuthatch today. He started at 4am, and will be home around midnight, meeting two Swedish birders 4 hours later to do it all over again.