Thursday 21 March 2013


A Wheatear that I have thus far failed to talk about from Morocco is the Red-rumped Wheatear. Why, what did you think I meant? A Northern Wheatear in Wanstead? A spring migrant, in late March? A ludicrous suggestion - it's like the bloody Arctic out there, our chances of spring migrants seem to be lessening by the day! I've been out every morning recently - today the best I managed was a Lapwing - a sure sign that it isn't remotely spring-like out there. So back to Morocco for a bit.

Red-rumped Wheatear was perhaps the bird I was most looking forward to on the trip. Not sure why, it just struck me that it was a bit of a looker. We did find some happily, out on Tagdilt, but never really in the circumstances we wanted. Our second trip to Tagdilt was rained off, so the only photos I have are from our first, in the heat of the day. The birds, a pair, were feeding in the centre of the open tip outside Boumalne, next to a rotting pile of chicken death that stank to high heaven. I think Richard managed a photo on a dead cow. Anyway, it was all I could do not to gag, but from the Wheatear point of view, the flies that this attracted made it a superb feeding opportunity, and we were able to approach relatively closely in the car and get a few shots. The male was the real target, but I never managed what I wanted of him, the best is below, and although the female posed nicely, in reality, and in full keeping with her surroundings, she was pretty scruffy.


Morocco really is my kind of place - stuffed full of Wheatears. We saw six species: White-crowned Black, Mourning, Black, Northern, Red-rumped and Desert. Right now I'd settle for just one of those.......

1 comment:

  1. Just realized that all these Morocco photos, with their strong tones of red and orange, remind me of nothing so much as photos of Mars. (Not insulting the country, it seems rich in many things rather than barren, but the orangeness is really remarkable when you live in a place where the soil and rocks are gray.)