Unfortunately, one of our party had come on the trip with a really heavy cold. Muggins here had to go and catch it. Again, unfortunately, this coincided with us staying at the coldest hotel of the whole trip! It was so cold, we had to have our meals in our coats and fleeces. Our hotel room door wouldn't lock properly and the water was also stone cold! Urgh!
Throughout the whole trip, I was conscious of not wanting to offend any of the locals so there are not many photographs of people. This man seemed in a world of his own, lost in contemplation. We saw many MANY men sitting like this throughout the trip.
This area we were in now was a land of contrasts as I'll show later on at the end of the post. We spent some time birding the desolate looking Tagdilt track. It might look void of any life, but it's there if you look hard enough.
Once we got our eye in, there were lots of these lovely Fat Sand Rats keeping a wary eye out for their nemesis, the Long-legged Buzzard.One of our target birds in this area was the aptly named White-crowned Black Wheatear. This stunning male posed nicely if a little far away!
The only way to try and get to see some of the birds was to go hiking over this forbidding but beautiful landscape. Here's one of our party, Geoff taking a breather to enjoy the view.
Not all our target birds are stunning to look at, but desirable none the less. The Desert Lark was one such bird!Similar to Shore Larks (or Horned Larks as they're called in the US) is the Temminck's Lark. These lack the yellow shading to their plumage, instead displaying lovely black 'horns' on a brilliant white face!
We had a second day to explore this area of Morocco. Here's a typical town sprawling along the Dades Valley.
Once again we visited the Tagdilt plain area and found some camels wandering around with no human to keep an eye on them.
Here's another of those Fat Sand Rats!
Another subtle bird, very similar to the Desert Lark is the Bar-tailed Desert Lark.
I'll finish today's post with a photo showing the rugged hills and then the lush palm trees at the bottom of the Dades Valley. Quite a weird contrast.
Part three will come shortly.