Sunday 28 February 2010

More from Morocco… Tristram’s Warbler at Auberge Yasmina

One of the highlights of the trip was our stay at Auberge Yasmina, alongside the dunes of Erg Chebbi near Merzouga in the SE of the country. Having bumped along 15km of rutted dusty track in the dark to get there, we didn’t quite realise how stunning the scenery would be the next morning. Suffice to say I can’t recall a better view from the breakfast table anywhere in the world…  but a bit of pre-breakfast birding produced an additional sight for sore eyes: a very confiding male Tristram’s Warbler. Fantastic bird!

tristrams1 tristrams2 tristrams3 

And here’s that view… it’s not bad, is it?

Erg Chebbi 2

After breakfast, a leisurely return to the main road produced several Desert and Spectacled Warbler, a selection of of the desert lark and wheatear species, and a Brown-necked Raven…

Saturday 27 February 2010

Finchley Waxwing

An afternoon out with some of the East London contingent started off in urban Finchley, where a solitary Waxwing kept us waiting, but eventually showed very well – shame the sky was grey for the photographers rather than blue, though! Later on, we saw at least one Red Kite inside the LNHS boundary near Sarratt, but nothing much else of any significance before poor weather set in again. Still, any day with a Waxwing is a good day…

waxwing1 waxwing2 waxwing3

Thursday 25 February 2010

Larking about in Morocco… first pics

Howard, my Dad and I got back very late last night after a superb 8-day trip to Morocco: our first visit to the country certainly did not disappoint! A full trip report and lots more photos will follow ASAP, but in the meantime, here’s a quick gallery illustrating one of the birding highlights. We saw a grand total of 11 different lark species… or should that be twelve? (Clue: see Dutch Birding’s taxonomic recommendations re the last photo!)

atlas_shorelark Shore Lark

bar-tailed_lark Bar-tailed Lark

desert_larkDesert Lark

temmincks_horned_larkTemminck’s Horned Lark

hoopoe_lark Hoopoe Lark

thick-billed_lark Thick-billed Lark

long-billed_crested_lark‘long-billed’ Crested Lark