Although searching did not turn up Dunn's Lark, Bradders did find a Mourning Wheatear that we all missed, but even better four Thick-billed Larks. We were counting on getting these at Tagdilt the following morning, so to get them now was a bit of a bonus. By about 9.30ish the sun was pretty high, and so reluctantly we went back for breakfast and to pack - we were going to use the heat of the day to head back west towards Boumalnes, trying a few predetermined sites along the way for Pharaoh Eagleowl and Mourning Wheatear.
Our first stop was a rubbish dump site near Rissani. Scanning more cliffs for owls we narrowly averted tragedy when a massive hole appeared in the middle of the track that would have swallowed half our car, and so decided to proceed on foot. We were attacked my more flies that you can possibily imagine, it was like something out of a horror movie. Up my nose, crawling on my lips, anywhere I had sweated on any of my clothes or gear. In a way it was pretty good news when we failed to find any Owls as it meant we could high-tail it out of there. Consolation Lanner at this spot, but we couldn't bear to stay and watch it. Even the car was full of flies, and we ended up distributing them over large tracts of eastern Morocco at 60mph.
Our second stop, over a hundred kilometers further west near Tinehir, proved much more successful, with Mick sensationally spotting a roosting Owl in a cliff fissure that basically had an invisibility cloak on. Quids in, and yet another Western Pal tick for my burgeoning list - I saw something like 28 news birds on this trip, over thirty if you include distinct African sub-species.
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