TRANSFER FROM MERZOUGA TO TALIOUINE VIA RISSANI, ALNIF AND AGDZ
This is always the day with the longest journey and the shortest bird list! We set off at 8am in the most glorious of weather, bright sunshine and not a cloud in the sky. We soon got to Rissani where we saw the Little Owl again, also Yellow Wagtails, Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters and Crested Larks. We made a quick stop to look at the Saharan Olivaceous Warbler. This subspecies breeds locally and is resident year round, it is smaller ( Phylloscopus size) than its cousin the Western Olivaceous Warbler which is a migrant. Within minutes we saw a pair of them feeding in the tamarisk trees, seen well, job done, so we moved on.
Next we stopped along the Alnif road just outside of Rissani for our last search for Crowned Sandgrouse, again we failed to see any, but we listed a few species whilst searching, Cream Coloured Courser, Brown-necked Raven, Bar-tailed Desert Lark, Greater Short-toed Lark and Desert Wheater.
From there we drove to Agdz making one coffee stop where we sat on a terrace with a beautiful panoramic view over palm trees and distant mountains. We had close views of House Bunting, Blue Rock Thrush, Subalpine Warbler and an Agama Lizard, also an African Tiger went by, a butterfly of course, not the striped mammal!
We bought lunch in Agdz and ate a few kilometers outside of town under the shade of thorny trees, during lunch we had good views of Laughing Dove and Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, also House Bunting, Bonelli’s and Subalpine Warblers.
From Agdz we put in a long afternoon on the road, stopping only twice, firstly to look for sandgrouse and secondly to scope a Peregrine Falcon on a telegraph pole.
Once we reached Taliouine we quickly dropped off our luggage in our rooms and set off for a walk in a wooded area where many small cultivated fields sat in the shelter of the trees. There were lots of common woodland species flitting about as well as Common Bulbul, Eurasian Hoopoe, European Bee-eater, Laughing Dove, Common Nightingale (singing), Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Serin, African Chaffinch, Great Tit, House and Spanish Sparrow, Woodchat Shrike and down by the river we saw Little Ringed Plovers.
Dinner was taken at 7:30pm, a delicious lamb tajine with lots of vegetables, we were in bed by 9pm knowing that the clocks are changing to summer time hours and we lose 1 hour of sleep, such fun!