27 March 2013

Morocco part two: deserts

After a day of travel we had five days of desert in, around and between Ouarzazate, Boumalne and Merzouga. Amongst amazing landscapes we chalked up a haul of all the usual suspects (plus a few), most of which showed down to doughnut distance. Larks included Desert, Bar-tailed, Thick-billed, Temminck's and Hoopoe (overall we ended with 12 species on the trip though we didn't try for Dupont's and somehow missed Woodlark); and wheatears included 'Western Mourning/Maghreb', Red-rumped, White-crowned Black and Desert plus migrant Isabelline and Seebohm's in a total bag of eight/nine species (depending on how you treat Seebohm's). Other goodies included: Scrub Warbler, Crowned Sandgrouse, Egyptian Nightjar, Spotted Sandgrouse, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Desert Warbler, Pharaoh Eagle Owl, Cream-coloured Courser, Tristram's Warbler and, bird of the trip, Desert Sparrow.

A dinky ickle Bar-tailed Lark.

Only saw a handful of coursers but this was one of three which pottered about within yards of our vehicle.

Some rocks,... wait a minute.

An awful photo of a mouse in birds clothing.

Would you look at the size of that bill.

Head-on the bill isn't actually that thick, it should probably be called Deep-billed Lark.

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