Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Epilogue from Laayoune

On Saturday I made a short but slightly different second visit to the oasis at Laayoune, Western Sahara. I paid more attention to the bushes and cliffs in the wadi rather than the water body.

I saw 41 species which was down on the 54 species seen on Thursday. Nevertheless six were different and so additions to my new Western Saharan list.

It soon became obvious while looking at the cliffs how many black wheatear there were in the area.

black wheatear 1

The last time I saw this bird was up the Jebel Nafusa in Libya and that was almost ten years ago.

black wheatear 2

A first year white-crowned wheatear can look very similar as the white crown is missing. However, the black on the underbelly goes back further on a black wheatear. Also there is a thick black terminal band which is missing on a white-crowned wheatear.

black wheatear 3

In this bird, the black terminal was the first feature I noticed. It is visible in the photograph above.

stone curlew

My first addition to the Western Saharan list was a stone curlew which I flsuhed while walking. As is typical with stone curlew, it didn't fly very far.

glossy ibis

While I saw many glossy ibis on Thursday's visit, I failed to photograph them well.


Dunlin was the second addition of the day. I am confident none were present on Thursday.

Soon afeter, unfortunately, I found I had forgotten to recharge the battery on my camera. It went dead.

speck of a woodchat shrike

And typically, I saw three more additions to a country list in quick succession with the camera out of action. These were sub-alpine warbler, thekla lark and woodchat shrike. I tried to use my smart phone to record the woodchat shrike. It is the speck in the middle of the picture.

Camera failure apart, it had been a good birding session.

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