Monday 11 March 2013

Morocco: a mystery wheatear

Just time for one more quick post tonight… time for you to get your thinking caps on.

I took the following (rather poor) photos of a wheatear sp out along the approach to Auberge Yasmina, in the Rissani / Erfoud area. At the time, I thought it was one thing, but then subsequently realised that I’d screwed up the ID, it was something else, and I’d learned something. Well, I think so, anyway!

So, what’s this then? Answers on a postcard comment, please!


Morocco: land of contrasts!

As you may well have gathered from other people’s blogs , I’ve not long been back from a great trip to Morocco, travelling from Marrakech over the Atlas to the Erg Chebbi near Merzouga and back. It was my second visit to the country, and once again thoroughly enjoyed it – the combination of some pleasant winter warmth, seeing excellent birds without millions of other people crawling all over them, and enjoying wonderful hospitality while generally surrounded by jaw-dropping landscapes is pretty hard to beat. And it’s all so easy to do…

A full trip report with useful stuff like where we stayed, where we went, what we saw there, and what it all cost is coming, eventually. But right not, I’ve not got enough time to sort out more than a handful a few photos – so you’ll have to be patient! (Anyone going out there sooner, drop me a line, and I’ll help you out).

By way of introduction, the trip was characterised by huge contrasts in the landscapes, the birds and even the weather. We travelled out to the edge of the ‘real’ Saharan desert, trekking over dunes of pure sand…


… to eventually find one of the classic speciality species, and one of the two new birds for me on the trip, Desert Sparrow.


Then, after plenty more top-notch birding (photos to come), we headed back west, delayed by some shocking weather and flash flooding. This was the main road in Boumalnes de Dades one morning:


Note the waves forming on the edge of the tarmac!

But then, after this had subsided a bit, and an entertaining journey towards the Atlas, we found ourselves up in the High Atlas in fresh snow and glorious sunshine… what a place!atlas_nr_oukaimeden-1

And, unlike the sparrows which had required a pretty long and arduous trek, my other new bird for the trip (Levaillant’s Green Woodpecker) appeared right by the roadside, landing directly above my head!


So: an awesome country, quality birds, and an excellent trip. Watch this space!