121114 Morocco Day 5 Wednesday, Tan Tan Plage to Laayoune

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121114 Morocco Day 5 Wednesday, Tan Tan Plage to Laayoune

Woke up at 6 to pack and be ready for breakfast at 7.00h. Today we was sea birding at Several places along the coast south of  Tan-Tan Plage. We left Hagounia Hotel and headed out at 7.08 to a place 10km south of Tan-Tan Plage. It was quite nice to be there as the sun rised.

There was some rocky cliffs below us and also some kind of small settlement. The ocean was quite wild with huge waves roaring the beach. There was some seabirds and vaders and some Little Egrets (silkeshäger). I waved to the co-driver to come and take a look in the spotting scope. He seemed to like it. We also saw some Great Cormorant (storskarv) and  Thekla Lark (lagerlärka). The cormorant looked quite different from what I am used to. It had it´s winter plumage and I had never seen that before. We left this place at 8.40 when the sun was well up.

Stop 2 Oued Chebika at 8.55.  This was a, now almost dry wetland as it was low tide, with the road going over it. We birded both sides and I also took a lot of sand dunes shots. There was a couple of Black Wheater (svart stenskvätta) who was very nice. And some large gulls. Not much vaders though. A grey heron and some Little Egrets (silkeshägrar).

And... I almost forgot, Flamingoes! After that we ended up in our first police control. But they was satiesfied with the paperwork done by Anders so we were fast continuing.

Stop 3  Oued Fatma Is an inlet that was flodded now. There was a lot of Audouin´s Gull (rödnäbbad trut), Blackstart (svartstjärt) and Black Wheater (svart stenskvätta). We went up on the hill overlooking the inlet. Wild water here as well.

Stop 4  Oued El Waaer or Ouaar. Pick one. It was not that much here. Then we made a short stop at a gasoline station. And went to the loo. We did not see many of these but a  few in the south region. At least, this one was clean.  :)

Stop 5  Oued Khnifiss was an old camping ground and maybe also military or fishermen. There was some activity going on there. It was a lagoon with a sand dune at the farther side. A few people seemed to live there and they had a lot of cats. A lovely black kitten among them. This one liked to eat my yoghurt. It was lunch time now.  :)  There were quite a lot of birds in this area. Probably because of the lagoon. There were ibises, storks, vaders and birds of prey. And I got a shot of their local wagtail. :)

Glossy Ibis
Stop 6 Layounne, almost at the end of todays trip. A nice desert river with a lot of reed. This was a birders wonderland I guess. The river never reached the ocean. I got myself some new species here like Glossy Ibis (bronsibis), MarbledDuck (marmorand), Black-Necked Grebe (svarthalsad dopping) and so on.  Loved it.
 Laayoune Flamingo Lake

The shot shows Glossy Ibis flying over an area of Urban Saharan Architecture that we passed by later on as we neared our hotel. To bad we could not stop. It seemed quite interesting.

Then we headed into town to find a supermarket. After some search we found one rather close to the hotel we should stay in. Sahara Line Hotel, I took a shower and it worked well as soon as I figured out how it works.
We met down stairs at 19..00 for the birding list of today and then dinner. This hotel had a menue to choose from so I ordered chicken and it was good. Lol, and on this hotel we could get a bear to the meal. :)

I have got a coold and my lower lip is swollen. My nose running. Not fun! Some bug is running loose in the room attracted to some gum bears I have so I had to "hide" it.

Tomorrow will be a transport day down to Dakhla. About 600 km shall be covered. We will be stoping here and there of course but no long birding session.  Breakfast is served from 6.30 and we shall leave at 8.00h The surrounding area is rather boring now so maybe I´ll put my birdbook in my backpack.

Time to go to sleep. It is now 23.30.   
The bug is no more!
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Laayoune Flamingo lake on the opposite side.


day 5, 121114 Wednesday, Tan Tan Plage, Oued Chebika, Oued Fatma, Oued Ouaar, Khnifiss Lagoon
day 5, 121114 Wednesday, night in Laayoune http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Aai%C3%BAn
Sahara Line Hotel, Avenue Kairawane, Laayoune Tel 05 28 99 22 26
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121113 Morocco Day 4 Tuesday, Guelmim to Tan-Tan Plage

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121113 Morocco Day 4 Tuesday,
day 4, 121113 Tuesday. Leaving Guelmim and Hôtel au Rendez-vous des Hommes Bleus
On route to Oued Sayad, Oued Boussafen, Oued Draa, Tan Tan Plage

Breakfast with Moroccan tea

Woke up at 5.30 and departure at 6.00. Problem was that the staff did not wake up until 6.00 so breakfast was delayed. We had it in the lounge sitting in sofas. But it was ok when it finally arrived. Our guys was stressed and tryed to help with placing cups and stuff.  They wanted to leave as soon as possible. This was the only place where I actually found a, dead, .....
We were packed and left at 7.00h. First stop was a few km south of Guelmim at Oued Sayad. We walked alongside the dried waterbed. At first it was all dead. Probably due to the chilly morning. But then birds started to wake up. Then it was quite interesting. But what I don´t understand is why the Morroccan people throws plastic trash all over the place. That is not fun.

This settlement was located across the riverbed. I was aiming for a bird when I saw the women and the donkeys. The bird flew away and I did not see it anymore.

Stop no 2 was Oued Boukila. That was a large dry riverbed. With lots of bushes. It was very hard to walk in it at least as I was carrying both cameras and the tube. Most of the visible birds was larks. But on the other side of the road was a lot of dromedary camels (or Arabian camel) and some birds and  dragonflies at a waterhole. That was a fun place. The Trumpeter finch (Ökentrumpetare) was a very nice bird and there was about 30 of them at the most.
We was there for a long time and was back to the bus at 11.30 for the short drive to the next stop. I was a bit disturbed as we were told we should have time for lunch break. But in practise it was only 10 min in the bumpy bus. No time to rest an aching back and legs. And my toes start to feel like blisters are coming.

Well we headed out on a really big plane, just called the Lark Plane,  to search for diffferent larks. This time I did not bring the spotting scope as I was already to tired for that. But I managed without it. Sometimes the guys would let me look in theirs.

It was late when we arrived at the bus and continued south to Tan-Tan Plage. I went to the back of the bus to sleep a while and to rest that aching body. All those hours in the sun and dry land and bushes had taken it´s toll. And I am a bit distressed and envy of Anders pics too. Seeing his shots makes me really see the bad condition my camera is in. He has a Canon D7 with a really great lens.  :(

Ökenstenskvätta - Desert Wheatear
There was no Supermarket in Tan-Tan plage so we had to walk around in different shops to find what we need for tomorrow. Then off to the Hagounia Hotel

I got a room on the first floor with a view over the ocean. A bit spoiled by powerlines. But you can rarely get it all, can you?

I took a shower whitch was quite hard here. But I managed. Then I tried to connect with internet and it worked. We met again at 19.00 to go through todays birdlist before having dinner. Yea, dinner. Strange. First plate with lots of rice and sallad. Did not eat much as I was expecting a main course. BUT the main course was just a big plate with lots of fried fish and octopus. What a dissappointment! Luckily there was bread on the table. To finish off we got some fruit. And I ordered a cup of coffee.

Now I am writing of course. And I have to tend to my blisters.

Tomorrow we will have breakfast at 6.00. A bit later then ususal. And I look forward to our first stop. We are going to a waterbird location. :)
TanTan Ólage hourbour seen from my balcony with my long lens.
Tan-Tan Plage
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Hagounia Hotel, Tan Tan Plage. Tel 05 28 87 90 20


Moroccan butterflies

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121110-121124 South Morocco and WestSahara
Click to enlarge All photos  NF Photo 121110-24

Tistelfjäril - Painted Lady  NF Photo 121111

Rovfjäril -  Small White (Pieris rapae)  NF Photo 121112

Rödgul höfjäril -  Dark Clouded Yellow Colias croceus   NF Photo 121112

Peablue, Pea Blue, or Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus)  NF Photo 121112

Most likely a subspecies of  Moroccan Orange Tip  NF Photo 121117
ssp. androgyne almost lacking underside markings

 Monark - Monach  NF Photo 121117
Citronfjäril, hona Gonepteryx rhamni (Common Brimstone)   NF Photo 121117

Lang's Short-tailed Blue  -  Leptotes pirithous
NF Photo  121122

Unknown NF Photo 121122

NF Winged

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121112 Morocco Day 3 Monday, Oued Massa

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121112 Morocco Day 3 Monday, Oued Massa

I woke up at 5 as breakfast would be served at 5.30 to have an early start of the day. I wanted to boil water for my coffee but failed rather much. I managed to break a glas when I poored cool water in a hot glas. Well, nothing to do about that. We left The hotel Tulip Inn Oasis at 6.10 going south. It was a nice sunup this morning and I was sitting with the guys, who took the first rows in the bus, and seems to want to keep them. 
We arrived at Oued Massa around 8.30 and started to walk as the driver did not dare drive all the way down. Locals told him it was muddy and not safe for a bus. It was a rather chilly morning but sunny as we started to walk. There was birds all along the way. Not many but a little here and a little there. I´ll ad the list later.

We walked along the dirt road but it was not as bad as the driver had been told. But we were ok walking it. I don´t know, maybe  it was about 2 km. But as it was first chilly, then windy and later warm it was quite tiring. It was nice, we met some local woman riding donkeys and they were a very beautiful sight. We were not really allowed to take photos of them but I could not resist taking a few from behind. They were all covered up showing only the eyes. They were nice and friendly as long as your camera was pointing downwords. I can actually understand why they wear this outfit. When it was warm and windy the clothing helped you escape flies and helped avoid a lot of sand in the regular clothes they were wearing under this dress. I also learned where the expression "kick asses" comes from. Because that was what the ladies and gentlemen did. They kicked asses to get where they wanted. :)
Oued Massa
I think this was quite a nice place to live in with the nearby village on the other side of the river and so close to the Atlantic Ocean.
I and 2  guys walked all the way down to the ocean. I wanted to see the Eurasian Sponbill (skedstork) that was supposed to be there. But they were further out still and I did not get a good look at them.
Oued Massa Nat Park

We were back at the bus at 13.00h and had the rest of our lunch. We left the place at 13.00 to go to the water reservoir or rather the channel out from it. Barrage Youssef-ben-Tachfine
This was a rather interesting place. Not that many birds but nice ones. Then there was butterflies and dragon flies. And a frog! We also had the opportunity to watch a newborn goat getting on it´s feet the first time. How wonderful that is to see.
Ökenstenskvätta - Desert Wheater

New Born
Done with the area we headed south about 15.30.
Coming up on the high level we had a stop at 16.20. It turned out to be a truck that had gone off the road and they had to lift it up. Lots of cars was blocked. The police turned out to pick out the small cars and let them pass. We, in the bus, and other trucks had to wait until the truck was on it´s wheels again. We did the artlist to pass the time and to save some when we finally could move along. We were allowed to start again at 17.30, just as we finished the artlist. Now it was getting dark and we had a red sunset. As we were almost at the highest point we now went down. It was steep and curvy, truly alpine road. Quite scary.

At Guelmim we found a Supermarket but they did not have bread or fruit. So we had to go elsewhere to find it.
Arriving at the hotel we all were disappointed. A small hotel and nothing seemed to be ready for us. No assigned rooms, no towel, two of the guys only had one blanket they said. And they were not a couple. My room has no window but the shower was good but a bit unrelieable.  And the bed too, But the door lock was difficult. At 8.30 We met for dinner. And to our surprise it was delicious. Some kind of clay cooked meal that was well spiced. O, and there was a salad starter too. I had to go and ask for a spoon so we could get the “sky” to the food to. To finish with there was a plate with desert joghurt and fruit. Lastly I and one of the couples ordered coffee.

Even if the hotel had a lot to wish for the dinner was superb. But later I heard the guys was not full. Too little food or 14 people. But Anders had spoken to our agent to change the hotel for the road back. Maybe a bit sad as the food really was great.
          Hommes blues Hotel, 447 Ave. HassanII. Guelmim Tel 05 28 77 28 21
          can´t find it, Hotel au rendez-vous des hommes bleus finns men inga bilder
Tomorrow morning breakfast at 5.30 and departure at 6.00
Oued Massa
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day 3, 121112 Monday, night in Guelmim http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guelmim Gateway to the Desert

Hommes blues Hotel, 447 Ave. HassanII. Guelmim Tel 05 28 77 28 21
can´t find it, "Hotel au rendez-vous des hommes bleus hotel" finns men inga bilder


121111 Morocco Day 2 Sunday, Birding our way to Agadir

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121111 Morocco Day 2 Sunday,
I woke up at 5.30. Packed my bags and went to breakfast at 6.15. We were all finished and the coach left hotel Ryad Mogador Gueliz and Marrakesch at 7.10.

We made a short stop at Chichaoua, Marocco to buy some water and bread for lunch. It was some hills on the way but not the mountainrange I was hoping for. When we stoped to buy breakfast there was some people begging. I´m not really comforting with that. Morocco seem to be a very divided country, both modern as well as the old way of life.  Lots of cars and busses then there are still lots of donkeys in the traffic carrying people or gods. There is a lot of litter all over the place. Especially plasticbags and bottles everywhere. I saw my first Spotless Starlings (Svartstarar) at the little marketplace.
We bought whatever we needed for the rest of the day in this little shop. They had youghurt and bread and lots of fruit. And candy and coke as you can see. Very important. :)

Belive it or not, but it started to rain. So when we did stop to streach the legs at 10.00h,  it was wet. We walked for a while among trees but did not see much birds. But we did see a yellow scorpion and a shepheard guarding sheep.

The group looking for Eremit ibis - Bald Ibis, Added 2 birds
At noon we had reached the coast and turned south. Our first birding stop was at Tamri north at the coast. We walked around in a desert like country. A few sanddunes and some sticky dry bushes. We saw a lot of Bald Ibis (Eremit Ibis) and Cream-colored Courser (ökenlöpare). It was fun. At that time the sun had finally arrived. We stayed there for about 2-3h. 

Then we moved a bit south and stoped at a beach to check for birds and have the lunch of our choice. My choise was to eat later on the bus and use the time taking shots and looking around. Lots of Bald Ibis (eremit ibis), Audouin´s Gull (rödnäbbade trutar) and ducks was there and a wonderful beach with roaring waves. It was very windy so staying away from the cliffs edge was wise. 

Then we continued south and went to a lighthouse, Cap Ghir or Cap Rhir, and a small village. Spelling in Morocco is very complicated indeed. Same thing has a lot of different ways to be expressed in writing.  I took a lot of shots at the rocky beach. The guys tried to bird with the scope but I did not even try it. It was too windy.   We saw a pair of Moussier´s Redstart (Diademrödstjärt) among a few other birds.
The village and Lighthosue of Cap Ghir

We continued to Agadir and got there around 17.30. We found a supermarket and bought what we think we need for tomorrow.

We arrived at The hotel Tulip Inn Oasis around18.00. I took a shower and then we joined at 19.30 to go through the birdlist and tomorrows scedule. As usual the others had seen a lot more birds then me.

Then, finally, we had dinner. It was a buffé and some of it was good. I had beer and a cup of coffe to it. The only hotel that offered beer. And this table in the shot was just the starters. Then there was main course and dessert. Lots! :)

Tomorrow we shall have breakfast at 5.30 and leave the hotel at 6.00h. Ouch, early again.

Ole and Eva at Tamri Nat Park
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day 2 121111 Sunday Tamri, Cap Rhir images
day 2, 121111 Sunday, night in Agadir http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agadir
Oasis Hotel, Boulevard Mohamed V, Agadir Tel 05 28 84 33 13
Hotell-Tulip-Inn-Oasisinternet access in the lobby