Friday 6 April 2018

Western Sahara - Specialities

Some of the desert specialities from the Western Sahara.
We enjoyed a fabulous tour full of specialities and some great migration spectacles. 
A respectable tally of 128 birds and 10 mammals.
Just some of the highlights included: Golden Nightjar, African Dunn’s Lark, Sudan Golden Sparrow, Cricket Warbler and African Royal Tern. Plus numerous migrating Bluethroats, Subalpine Warblers, Wrynecks, Redstarts as well as a couple of surprises in the form of a Spotted Crake and a Great Bittern! Mammals were exceptional too with great views of Sand Cat, African Wildcat, Fennec and Ruppell’s Fox and Atlantic Hump-backed Dolphin!
A good selection of reptiles were also seen including Sand Viper and Spiny-tailed Lizard.

Many more highlights can be seen at:
Includes a sound recording of the Golden Nightjar.

Male Sudan Golden Sparrow - one of five birds seen in Oued Jenna

Male Sudan Golden Sparrow - Oued Jenna

Dunn's Lark - Distributed along S edge of Sahara in SW Western Sahara, Mauritania, N & C Mali, S Niger,
NC Chad and C Sudan. Split from "Arabian Lark" (Eremalauda eremodites) found in Middle East: Jordan, N & C Saudi Arabia,
Kuwait, S Yemen and SW Oman. Sporadic breeding in S Israel and Syria. Cited from HBW Alive

Cricket Warbler by Tour participant Peter Alfrey

Tree full of Desert Sparrows - The flocks were quite amazing with over 400 birds seen in one day!

Male and Female Desert Sparrow near Derraman

Pharaoh Eagle Owl

Sand Viper on the Aousserd Road by tour participant Peter Alfrey
Birding the Aousserd Road
Fennec Fox by tour participant Peter Alfrey - Check out those ears!

Caspian and "African" Royal Tern - Dakhla Bay
Atlantic Hump-backed Dolphin by tour participant Peter Alfrey - Really exciting to see this critically endangered mammal.
This species is endemic to the tropical to subtropical west coast of Africa, from the western Sahara to Angola. It is a shallow water
specialist and there have been very few records reported from WS in the last couple of years.

Birding Dakhla Bay

The erlangeri race of Lanner Falcon is a true stunner

Lanner Falcon over Oued Jenna

Lanner Falcon

"Desert" Grey Shrike, Oued Jenna

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