Tuesday 10 April 2018

Western Sahara - part five

5am came around pretty quickly and soon we found ourselves back at the Oued Jenna wadi standing silently in the darkness listening and hoping for Golden Nightjar. However there was neither sight nor sound. When the sun came up we decided to use the cool of the morning to bird the wadi - which turned out to be a good strategy. The place was heaving with migrants - mainly Western Olivaceous Warblers, Western Subalpine Warblers and Western Orphean Warblers.

Western Olivaceous Warbler
We had a good candidate for Moltoni's Warbler but the call was not quite right. We bumped into our Dutch buddies and birded with them until around 11am.

Our by now regular birding companions from Holland
Highlight of the morning was a fine Pharoah Eagle Owl - wish I had been a bit quicker with the camera though!
We returned to our digs in Aousserd and took brunch. The heat, the travelling, the long days and early starts were taking their toll on us all and we elected to skip the midday heat and enjoy a siesta. That was a good idea but we followed that up with another few hours back at Oued Jenna searching for Sudan Golden Sparrows and by evening time I was really shattered.....and we were 'sparrow-less'.

Oued Jenna wadi
Fortunately Nico had packed some emergency chocolate cake - while we waited for it to get dark we polished off the cake, drank a few gallons of water, rested a little and got ready for the Golden Nightjars to perform.

X marks the spot - or in this case a red rag marks the Golden Nightjar spot on the Aousserd road - thanks to whomever left this

All set for Nightjarring - my wife said I looked like a Minion!
And while we waited we had two Melodious Warblers feeding in Acacia trees beside where we had parked.

Melodious Warbler
We had two Golden Nightjars singing - one either side of the road, but we didn't see any unfortunately. There are proably a few more in the Oued Jenna wadi if you were to walk further into it after dark.

A lonely figure under the blue moon

We knocked it on the head at around 10pm and would give it one last go the next morning - alarms set for 6am..........and fingers crossed for Golden Nightjar!

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