Friday, 15 February 2013

Morocco - Part five of six

We kind of had a day off birding in Taroudant. First we had a good look around our hotel which was luscious! The rooms weren't plush by any means but the ambiance of the place was amazing. So colourful!
There were all sorts of exotic palms and plants growing within the grounds of the hotel. Here's a banana flower with bananas growing. I'd never imagined before what a banana plant would look like! This exceeded expectations!
Our driver recommended for us to hire a guide to take us around Taroudant and visit some of the souks (markets). Hassan was a wonderful guide with a quiet sense of humour and pretty good English.
The earliest I can find out about this fortified town is from the year 1056 when it was occupied by the Almoravids, so it was obviously around before then. Most of the town is still within the original walls!
Even though we weren't birding, nevertheless we found some Cattle Egrets perched on a roof.......
......and a pair of House Buntings acting much like our House Sparrows.
We were soon making our way amongst the busy Souks in town. The sights and sounds were wonderful. The call to prayer is something that it would be hard to miss. Loud and very evocative!
This is where my friend Jane finally bought herself a rug. This man was totally charming and very persuasive. She was already in the mood to buy something anyway, so it wasn't too hard a sell for him! She bought the one she's look at here.
The next day we made the shortish drive to the coast and our final place to stay at Agadir. After settling in at our hotel which was comfortable but somewhat boring (usual tourist hotel), we drove northward to do some coastal birding. This was to look for the rarest of our target species the Bald Ibis. These birds are critically endangered and have a fragile stronghold here on the Moroccan coast. We didn't get close views and this shot was taken with my point and shoot camera through my telescope. Not easy at the best of times! So, please forgive the quality.
This is us looking down onto the rocky beach where about four of these Bald Ibis were searching for food.
Another bird on the beach was the Audouin's Gull a reasonably rare Gull found here and in the Mediterranean. Again, this shot was taken through my telescope. One of the Audouin's Gulls looked to be injured or ill in the middle of this photo which was a shame.
Later in the day we drove south of Agadir to the Oued Souss estuary. There we enjoyed watching Greater Flamingos and various waders. The late afternoon light was lovely.
We ended the day here watching the sun go down over the estuary.
The final part of my Moroccan adventure will come shortly.


Steve Borichevsky said...

I've been enjoying the reports from Morocco. I would have gone nuts with all the colors. My wife and I found six Silby lithographs in an antique store, one of them was is a "Red Legged" Chough. Then I saw your Chough posts bellow.

Pix at Under the Oaks said...

Jen the outside of your hotel is gorgeous. Hard to believe all that greenery and beautiful colors. Love the tiled walkways. The gull breaks my heart. The flamingos in the warm golden light make me smile. Sunset is beautiful.

ShySongbird said...

It was certainly a place full of atmosphere Jenny which you have portrayed beautifully. Well done on the Bald Ibis and I love the wonderfully lit Greater Flamingo photos. That pink/mauve blossom at the hotel was gorgeous.

Jenny said...

Hi Steve, I'm glad you're pleased with your lithographs. We have Choughs in Britain, but only in a few localised areas close to the coast. Always lovely to see. They have a wonderful 'chough' call too!

Hi Pix, yes, all the colour was amazing after the browns of the desert areas, plus the pink walls! Yes, I hate seeing wildlife in distress too.

Hi Jan, I think the colourful plants at the hotel were bouganvillia which is always a treat to see. (-:

Mary said...

The flowers and tile work are both beautiful at the hotel. Isn't it great to find birds no matter what you are doing? That bald ibis is certainly different and I think you got a pretty good shot of it considering how you had to do it. And the flamingos and waders and gulls....lots of good stuff here!