Language Translator

Friday, 24 November 2017

Morocco Day 1

 I saw lots of female Moussier's Redstart before I saw this cracking male on the road, N9 approaching Quarzazate

   I collected my hired car from Marrakesh airport at 15.30 and drove east onto the N9 and stopped over at Ait Ourir. Here I stayed overnight and was rewarded on a quiet road, en-route, with a North African Hedgehog in the middle of the road! I was in Morocco five years ago but that was a looking around holiday with Ildiko and we had a great time visiting the cities. This time it was different and early the following morning I was back on the N9 south towards Quarzazate through the High Atlas Mountains. At the roadside I made a few stops and just tow mile down road from where I was staying, my first stop, I got 2 Cirl Bunting, male Black Redstart and 2 Thekla Lark. High in the mountains, while watching 3 Barbary Ground Squirral, Serins and a Northern Wheatear, above me I could hear some birds that I did not recognise and quickly looked up into the blue skies and saw my first new species of the trip, over 50 Alpine Chough. 

This was my view first thing this morning from my crap hotel in the town of Ait Ourir

Thekla Lark

2 female Cirl Bunting

Male Black Redstart

Over 50 Alpine Chough drifted across the High Atlas Mountains

This Northern Wheatear was fighting off the Black Wheatear 

3 Barbary Ground Squarrel were playing chicken on the N9

  Still moving, now in the foothill of the  mountains, I came to a stop when a large flock of 150 Chough i couldn't help but notice, feeding in the fields next to the road. They showed surprisingly, as I watched from the car and were very vocal. Further down road and I got African Blue Tit and Chaffinch, I had seen many already but these showed a lot better, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Blackcap and good numbers of Chiffchaff. Also, I saw up to 3 Plain Martin and  6 Moussier's Redstart on the road side and out of the all the redstarts, only one stunning male!

The High Atlas Mountains all taken from the N9

Over 150 Chough feeding at the side of the N9 stopped me in my tracks!

African Blue Tit

In Morocco, the Great-spotted Woodpecker show dusky underparts compared to our birds that show white underparts.

What I like about Moroccan roads is that there very quiet to travel on but at the same time, very dangerous drivers as this truck shows. I guess it's overturned from the driver going too fast around the bend! 

Approaching Quarzazate with the city just visble in the distance

  I arrived at Quarzazate in the late afternoon and checked into Zaghro Hotel. I was back on the road very shortly afterwards and continuing south along N9 and turned off left, just before Issougrid towards Barrage and the west end of Barrage El Mansour Eddahbi Lake. It was a solid track and in the evening sun I scored with good numbers of both Thekla and Desert Lark, single Southern Grey Shrike, Grey Wagtail and having no idea it was there, kicked a Little Owl from off the deck before making my ways back to the hotel for a hot shower and me dinner.

There were 10+Thekla Lark

and 4 Desert Lark

I only pulled in once along and on each side of this track I got all the above species

 The day tbefore I lef to go to Morocco, I had a look at Venus Pool in Salop and in front of the hide was only my second ever Little Egret in the county! My first was during the influx year, August, I think it was 1994, when over 25 birds were being reported in the Midlands! There had to be one in Shropshire and in the afternoon, after looking all over the shop, Matthew Webb and I found one at Chelmarsh! This was the second or third county record and birders twitching it, the following day there were 2 Little Egret at Chelmarsh!! Back at Venus pool, I was told that if I came earlier then I would of seen 3 Little Egret! I was very happy with the one that was showing very well at close range. I also saw 2 Brambling and Lesser Redpoll and a male Goldeneye flew through.

Little Egret

Male Goldeneye

This Whitespeck was at the Star Castle lights a few nights ago

Nursery-web Spider The two spiders above I discovered when I put the light on. They were only a meter away on the wall from my head while I was sleeping back home on Scilly!

A baby steatoda grossa, size of an ant and a member of the False Window family. that's molted, that I spotted across my moms kitchen floor in Salop

 I saw this magazine and couldn't stop laughing!!! And no, it wasn't the price I was laughing at! It should be 10p for hypocrites on the front page who cheat the system for their benefit!

Love this song about Trump and lots more crap goin down in the great USA by Drive-by Truckers


  1. Sorry your Bar-tails are Desert larks

  2. No need to be sorry. Thanks for the info. If you see any other mistakes, please let me know. ain't got a field guide with me! Cheers