Sunday 8 April 2018

Western Sahara - part three

At 8.30am we met with our guide Nico from Dahkla Rovers who would take us into the desert for the next three days to look for Golden Nightjar at the Oued Jenna wadi and to spotlight for desert mammals such as Sand Cat, Fennac Fox, Desert Hare and Desert Hedgehog along the Aousserd road.

All set for the desert

We made a short and yet again unsuccessful stop to look for Royal Tern - really becoming a bogey bird at this stage. We did enjoy nice views of Spoonbill, Greater Flamingo, Osprey, Peregrine and Great White Egret but no Royalty!

Spoonbill flock - Dahkla Bay, Western Sahara
From there we drove along the Aousserd Road stopping at a place called Mijk Farm to look for migrants. This was basically a large scale commercial banana and tomato farm where in the surrounds of the large hessian-type greenhouses, the owners had created some allotment type gardens with small little irrigation pools here and there.

Mijk Farm
A week before us a Great Bittern had been found here - only the second record for Western Sahara. The few hours we spent here were for me the highlight of the entire week. The place was dripping with migrant birds, Nightingales, Redstarts, Wryneck, Woodchat Shrikes, Bee-eaters, Willows, Chiffs, Bluethroats, Subalpine Warblers, Yellow Wagtails, Tawny Pipits, Western Olivaceous Warblers, Western Orphean Warblers, Reed and Sedge Warblers. I could have spent all week here. It was hard to know where to start, in the end I plonked myself down under the shade of an acacia tree and let the migrants come to me.

A very 'blue' Bluethroat

Look at that Blue bib!

A lifer - Western Orphean Warbler

Western Orphean Warbler

Western Olivaceous Warbler

Western Olivaceous Warbler

Western Subalpine Warbler

Western Subalpine Warbler

Western Subalpine Warbler
We stopped for a short while to take lunch (downside here was that I cracked one of my teeth on an olive stone!).

Lunch is served!
After lunch I sought out a new spot in the shade overlooking a little pond and enoying cracking views of a White-spotted Bluethroat (that at one stage was too close to focus on) plus Segdies, Chiffs and two dualing Nightingales!

White-spotted Bluethroat
Sedge Warbler

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