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Thursday, 30 November 2017

Morocco Day 7

This cracking Desert Shrike spent most of it's time around my tent on the dunes of Erg Chibbid, Merzouga.

  No Desert Sparrow to join me for breakfast this morning. Instead I had the usual two, the White-crowned Black Wheatear and Desert Shrike. Also, something I always wanted to see in the Sahara and that's Swallow and there was a single hawking around my tent! I was leaving Merzouga and said goodbye to Youssef and made my ways onto the N13 towards Rissani where I will be staying for the night. Before I left, I gave a quick look at the dam again. Looking over the water I could see single Little Egret, Grey Heron, Moroccan Wagtail and 2 Kentish Plover. From a distance I could see some duck coming my ways. With my naked eye they looked like Shelduck but I'm in the Sahara. I put my bins up, bloody ell! 5 Shelduck! It was so strange to see them flying past Erg Chibbid and then after circling a few times, settled on the water before making there ways to the shore. If that wasn't enough, I could hear sandgrouse and 9 Spotted Sandgrouse touched down on the NE shore. They had a quick drink and were gone. I left the Shelduck to rest and saw an area north beyond the lake that might be worth a try for Desert Warbler. A wagon drove past in between the lake and the area I was aiming for. I got in my car instead.


The Desert Shrike was eyeing up it's breakfast

Crazy to see 5 Shelduck fly in over Erg Chebbid!

These 9 Spotted Sandgrouse came in for a drink very briefly at the far end of the dam

This Moroccan Wagtail is the only one I've seen so far

  I found the right turning off the R702 towards Erg Chebbid Hotel and drove down towards the building. Mid way there's a Acacia and I pulled up by the side of the tree. Jumped out and heard a Desert Warbler!! I thought the habitat was ideal but I thought I would have to walk a bit before seeing one. I ain't seen this one yet as it was in sub-song out of sight. I caught it fly off low into some cover a long ways off. A few minutes later I relocated it and for the next twenty minutes it showed down to a meter giving me crippling views! The five birds I saw a few days ago, were very good but this was awesome! It returned to the Acacia and started to sing before flying into cover to where I was standing! I left it as I could see a male Desert Wheatear nearby. There were also 2 Hoopoe and 7 Bar-tailed Desert Lark, 2 Desert Shrike, 5 Chiffchaff, 4 White Wagtail and a single Stonechat. I saw a few more Hoopoe Larks on the N13 out of Merzouga from the car.

For Desert Warbler, it don't get better than this!!

The Acacia that the Desert Warbler was singing from

The habitat where I found the Desert Warbler with the Dam in the distance

2 Hoopoe Lark were also in the area