Monday 9 April 2018

Western Sahara- part four

All good things come to an end and eventually we had to leave Mijk Farm and continue on towards Aousserd. Any traces of greenery disappeared and we were soon out in the desert good and proper!

We stopped briefly to check out these very elegant Cream-coloured Coursers.

Cream-coloured Courser
Next up was a site for African Dunn's Lark. Locating the birds was relatively straight-forward but taking photos was tricky. Apart from the strong light, the heat was now really building up - even kneeling on the sand was burning my knees.

African Dunn's Lark
Although perfectly adapted to life in the desert even they sought out whatever shade they could find, often stopping under a tussock of grass to escape the searing heat.
The heat didn't seem to bother these guys though!

Unable to stick the heat any longer, we piled back into our 4x4, turned the AC up full and continued along the Aousserd road towards a set of gps coordinates we had for African Desert Warbler.
Unfortunately we failed to see or hear any of the small Sylvias and the heat was really packing a punch by now. We trudged around for over an hour before throwing in the towel.

Nick and camel (camel on the left!)
En route to Aousserd we stopped off for a quick punt around the Oued Jenna wadi, thankfully it had cooled down a little and while we didn't see any Sudan Golden Sparrows we did have two Cricket Warblers and a small party of Fulvous Babblers.

Cricket Warbler, Oued Jenna, Western Sahara

Fulvous Babbler - Oued Jenna, Western Sahara
We pitched in at our house in Aousserd, ate dinner and then went spot-lighting for Sand Cat and other night-time goodies.

Home for the next three days - Aousserd, Western Sahara
Dinner time!

Spotlighting on the Aousserd Road

Nico and Nick check their shots
Our luck was really in when we came across this stunning Sand Cat watching us from about 80 yards in off the road. A truly beautiful creature.

Sand Cat by Nick Watmough (even my iphone photo from the back of Nick's camera shows how beautiful they are)
And in close second place was this impressive Sand Viper - photo taken with a long lens - from far back.....very far back !!!

Sand Viper

 At least this Gecko was a little less terrifying!

Gecko spp.

We got home around midnight and crashed. Alarms set for a 5am rendevous at Oued Jenna with Golden Nightjars.

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