Saturday, 23 April 2011

Morocco - Part 3

Above 2 images - White-crowned Wheatear

Day 4 and we moved towards more new species as we headed in the direction of Tata with the aim of birding at a few location en route. Shortly after seeing our first White-crowned Wheatear at the roadside (see above), we stumbled across a superb dry riverbed. We birded the riverbed for 2 hours and recorded Desert Wheatear (1, see below), Olivaceous Warbler (4), Orphean Warbler (1, see below), Spotted Flycatcher (1), Bonelli's Warbler (1), Melodious Warbler (2), Redstart (2), Rufous Bush Chat (1) and Fulvous Babbler (14, see below). Click on any of the images to see an enlarged version.

Desert Wheatear

Fulvous Babbler

Orphean Warbler

We next stopped a further 90km towards Tata at an area that looked good for Larks, our decision was a good one and we were soon finding excellent birds. In total we managed to record - Hoopoe Lark (1), Desert Lark (4, see below), Bar-tailed Lark (6, see below), Short-toed Lark (8) and the best of all was an unexpected Brown-necked Raven !(see below).

Above 2 images - Bar-tailed Lark

Above 3 images - Desert Lark

Above 2 images - Brown-necked Raven

Having found all of the target species en route to Tata we dropped the bags off and freshened up at the hotel before going back out at dusk in search of Sandgrouse. Unfortunately we didn't find any, however we did stumble across a pair of Egyptian Nightjar!!! We first were attracted to their presence when the male began singing, after a short wait we managed to get good views in the torch light!

The following morning we set off into the field before sunrise, again in search of Sandgrouse. Today our look was in and during the first 2 hours of daylight we enjoyed views of both Crowned and Spotted Sandgrouse as well as a single Cream coloured Courser. Having cleaned up on our desert target species we enjoyed the scenic route back to Agadir stopping at a Little Swift colony on the way. The Little Swift were superb and we enjoyed them for at least 2 hours before heading to the hotel, see below for the pictures.

Above 3 images - Little Swift

Our final day in Morocco was spent birding at a lesuirley pace as we had managed to connect with everything we had hoped to see. Before leaving Agadir we checked the Oued Massa again, adding Marbled Duck to the trip list. We slowly worked our way to the airport birding a number of places a long the way, the most interesting sighting being an albino Black-tailed Godwit!! A superb trip was had by all and a full trip report along with details of next years tour can be found on the website - click here

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