reasonable price with them... I was part of a group of 8 people with a nice atmosphere although the weather was not always optimum!
|16 March||I arrived in Marrakech
end of the
morning. After I put my luggage in my room, I went to visit the town
with one person of our group. The
Medina (the old part of
town) was around 3 km from the hotel. We ate near the main
Djemaa El-Fna with a view to the big Mosque
In the afternoon, after a more or less guided visit of the Tanner area. We arrived in the Medersa Ibn Youssef, probably one of the most beautiful buildings of Marrakech. Late in the afternoon, we came back to the hotel by a nice Park which allows me to take my first birds pictures: House Bunting and Common Bulbul.
|17 March||We had 400 km to do to
join our starting point of the trek Tamsaheit after crossing the Atlas Mountains by Ouarzazate
and the beautiful Drâa
The weather was very nice, the landscapes wonderful... but the driver
was very slow but very dangerous! Moreover his van generated some
worries particularly in the coming down
as the brakes had a burn smelling! Even our guide was frightening and
fortunately he asked for another driver for the return trip...
We arrived around 6:00 pm and after having pitched out tents, I turned slowly around the camp only to find one White-tailed Wheatear very difficult to approach.
|18 March||I woke up with the sun
continued my discoveries around the tents: this morning the birds were
really more active than yesterday and I did some very interesting
observations in fact: Crested
Gray Shrikes, at least 5 Subalpine
Warblers and one Western
Bonelli's Warbler, 11 Black-bellied Sandgrouse, and 3 Thick-billed Larks
before the breakfast!
The walk from Tazzarine to Aït Ouazik and its engraving is nice although le wind started to blow stronger and stronger during the day. We climb to a small pass where we had some good lookout. During the walk I saw several Desert Larks, one Desert Wheatear, one Western Orphean Warbler, one female of Woodchat Shrike. In the morning there was a significant migration of Swallow to the North (Barn Swallow, House Martin and even one Bank Swallow). We saw 2 big Lizards, one green (the picture) and the other (a male?) blue and red but unfortunately in the shadow of a big rock...
We arrived in our campsite with a very cloudy sky and a strong wind and we even had a shower during few minutes. Our guide had the good idea to obtain the permission to install our tents under some palm trees as the wind continued to blow a big part of the day!
|19 March||I walked around the camp
early in morning and saw my first Black-eared
one female of Moussier's Redstart and probably a male of
Spectacled Warbler but a little bit too far to be totally sure. Black Wheatear, White-tailed Wheatear
and Southern Gray Shrike
are common near the camp like in most of the sites we visited.
The daily walk by the visit of the small village of Aït Ouazik with its 3 old fortress houses where all the people went in case of trouble several centuries from now. After some beautiful gorge, we walked in a very flat area with a few Acacias. After the lunch, this area allows me adding one Eurasian Hoopoe, one Northern Wheatear to my bird list.
In the middle of the afternoon, the sand wind came back and because of that I missed pictures of a couple of Greater Hoopoe-Lark. Later during crossing the village of Amrad I was able at least to take some good pictures of 5 Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters. Our campsite was near this village close to an oasis with a lot of Tamaris full of Subalpine Warblers. Just before sunset, I discovered an interesting pond with 2 Little Ringed Plovers, certainly a good spot for the next morning...
|20 March||Early in the morning, I
found again the 2 Little
with 2 Green Sandpipers but they flew away immediately. I sat near the
water and then I saw several species coming for drinking just in front
of me: Subalpine Warbler,
Bulbul. I left my post for the breakfast with some regrets
asking myself what else I would have seen staying like that...
The aim of the walk today is the sand hill of Foum Tizza. We took our lunch near Tarhbalt, in another oasis boarded with Tamaris with one Subalpine Warbler in every tree! I saw my first Bar-tailed Lark here. The first sand hill we reach was really the most impressive. We arrived to the top by a soft slope but the other side was really more abrupt! Even if it was a small dune far from the one of 150 meters, this is quiet unexpected.
Fortunately there was no wind today and we were able to enjoy the site and the crest Afrou n'Tounathazm which dominated the dune. Almost no birds in this place except one White-tailed Wheatear: I even found an old nest under a big rock certainly of this species...
|21 March||A strong wind
a big part of the night but our tents had stayed in place...thanks to
our guides who put some sands on the base of them!
In the morning therewas a lot of clouds in the direction we went and we had no other choice than to go as fast as possible to our next camp: a camping near Seredrar. Finally we walked 3 hours under the rain and we arrived around 1pm. Fortunately, a nice meal and a rest allowed everybody to restore themselves.
The sun came back around 3pm but the temperature stayed colder than the other day. I left the camping a walk around to look for some birds with success with 8 Fulvous Chatterers, one Red-rumped Swallow hunting in the camping, a possible Brown-necked Raven and my last Western Orphean Warbler.
|22 March||Early in the morning we
went back to Marrakech by
Ouarzazatte crossing again the beatiful Atlas Mountains. We
arrived around 4pm although a stop more than the first time and we a
better feeling concerning safety!
|23 March||Waiting my taxi to the airport, I succeeded taking pictures of Pallid Swift and Little Swift in flight. The plane will have 1 hours and 30 minutes of delay due to problem with the brakes!|