"... they can be extremely difficult to see." Daff Cosney 2011
More-or-less how I imagined I'd see Double-spurred Francolin,...
... or, if luck was on my side, maybe like this.
March 20th, Sidi Yahya, Morocco
After an increasingly frustrating wait, a Double-spurred Francolin calls from deep in the scrub; as anticipated, a bastard game bird being a bastard to see. Will it climb a 'display tree'? Will it respond to MP3?
Before we can find out, enter random Moroccan: [Oh-so-accurately translated from the French] "I'm the forest guardian, blah, blah, blah,... You want to see the birds? I'll show you the birds, blah, blah, blah,..." In he jumps, off we go.
A couple of mis-fires later (e.g. "Nope, they're Barbary Partridge.") and we're driving slowly along a track a little off-piste, albeit still in ungated, seemingly openly accessible country, and Bob's-your-mother's-brother, a francolin is spotted in the distance [pap, pap, pap, pap,...]. We ease forward a little to enjoy said francolin at pretty close range [pap, pap, pap, pap,...]. We roll up a bit more, Moroccan now steering as I hang out the window, finger on the shutter, foot on the accelerator and [pap, pap, pap, pap,...] before we know it Frank (like I said we're pretty close now, definitely on first name terms) is directly alongside the car [PAP, PAP, PAP, PAP].
OK, so it's stuck between us and a chain-link fence, and it did appear a little flustered, but slowly we're all starting to suspect this bird may, just possibly, have had previous experience of humankind. At this point, the comedy (or tragedy[?]) of stalking a chicken as it attempts to find it's way back into it's cage from the confines of a combi-piloted Renault Kangoo set in; delirium, or hysteria, or maybe some form of full blown emotional incontinence overcomes three of the assembled (Moroccan included), tears roll down cheeks. Like I say, I think laughter was the cause but I can't speak for the other two.
"Apparently large numbers are released for hunting purposes every year and I have no idea whether some populations are truly 'wild'..." Anonymous WP Lister 2013Well, if we don't know which, if any, populations are 100% wild, there would appear to be severe doubts hanging over this one, the site for Double-spurred Francolin seems to be a turkey shoot.
If you have ticked Double-spurred Francolin at Sidi Yahya anytime in the last few years,...
... I can't help but think you may need to take a moment, lie down in a darkened room and look inwardly.
Or,... just tick it,... based, on the soundly reasoned, incontrovertible argument that every other fupper does.