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Morocco and Western Sahara

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Old Friday 22nd May 2009, 19:10   #1
SueBryan
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Morocco and Western Sahara

Just had a fabulous trip to Morocco and the Western Sahara. The roads were surprisingly good and accommodation although basic was cheap. The birds in the desert were wonderful and well worth the long journey down the African coastline to see in the Western Sahara. The Atlas mountains were covered in Spring flowers that added to the wonderful bird song especially of the larks.

An amazing sight was the migration of millions of painted lady butterflies taking place. For those of you interested in a more detailed report, please have a look at the following:

http://www.freewebs.com/suebryan/morocco2009.htm

Sue
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Old Saturday 23rd May 2009, 09:47   #2
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Great trip report and some really good photographs.

The Painted Lady migration has been occuring here in northern France in the last week. Even in central Paris there's been a steady flow, crossing the Seine in a north-westerly direction.

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Old Saturday 23rd May 2009, 10:14   #3
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Hi Sue
Your photo of a Fulvous Babbler looks like something else to me - not sure what but not a babbler.
Excellent trip by the look of it -you fitted a heck of a lot into a short time.
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Old Saturday 23rd May 2009, 11:17   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Lister View Post
Hi Sue
Your photo of a Fulvous Babbler looks like something else to me - not sure what but not a babbler.
Excellent trip by the look of it -you fitted a heck of a lot into a short time.
Steve
Looks like a Roufus Bush Chat to me. A superb trip report Sue!!
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Old Saturday 23rd May 2009, 12:39   #5
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Excellent trip report, but just a comment on your experience at the Bald Ibis colony...

"Once we had taken several photographs we headed for their breeding cliffs where we met an extremely officious individual who claimed he was the warden and asked us to leave. Considering that at Birdfair we raise an awful lot of money to pay his wage I have never met such an obnoxious individual"

Though you may well have kept a respectable distance, they do have problems with persons disturbing the birds at the breeding colony and visiting birders are generally asked not to publicise or visit the actual nesting cliffs - the birds are easily seen away from the nest and considering this is a species not far from global extinction, it is not a big request.

Maybe there is a question over his politeness, but it's tad off linking this to the source of funding for the Bald Ibis project. I wouldn't like to think there is a suggestion he owes British birders something because the project recieved funding via the Bird Fair.
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Old Saturday 23rd May 2009, 13:14   #6
Steve Lister
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I would echo what Jos says. I accidentally visited the actual breeding cliff two years ago when our Moroccan driver drove straight to it without telling us. We were told to leave and our name and addresses were taken. The warden was firm but not at all officious.

So this year I knew to stay on the road and just watch for birds coming and going. I am surprised Lee did not know to do the same.

And the Birdlife operation is I think mainly funded by the Spanish SEO rather than the Birdfair.

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Old Saturday 23rd May 2009, 20:15   #7
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Hi Steve and Jos

Thanks for your points and I do partly accept and agree with what you say. However I also believe in education and I think it is important to get the general public (and birders) on board. By showing people in a well managed and interesting way it is possible to raise awareness how important these threatened birds are to everyone.

Perhaps not quite the same but I am sure you can draw similarities, just think how successful some of the RSPB/NWT showcase reserves (Loch Garten, Weeting etc) have been in making the general public aware of some of our birds. This is then the opportunity of talking to people about endangered birds, rather than turning them away.

We were, by the way, stood well away from the cliff and were in no way any where near the birds.

Best wishes
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Old Saturday 23rd May 2009, 20:41   #8
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Looks like a Roufus Bush Chat to me. A superb trip report Sue!!
Whoops ! Thanks you are of course correct. (piccy now removed as I have another piccy below of RBC)

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Old Sunday 31st May 2009, 08:21   #9
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Hi Sue,

Enjoyed the trip report and good to hear you enjoyed your experiences in Morocco. We were there in March and again in April, so many Painted Lady butterflies heading north and this experience has been repeated here in southern Spain. Thought the photograph attached might amuse you.

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Old Thursday 25th June 2009, 14:05   #10
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Who is obnoxious, a warden doing his job or the group that feel superior and they have the right to visit.

There is no similarity between being in the UK and being in a third world country where the locals, perfectly reasonably given their situation, have no reason to believe the conservation of a species is going to provide them with any benefit. You cannot put your first world comforts and associated public perceptions and expect anyone in a developing country to have any idea of why you are doing or why you are walking around looking at a few birds.

To put it bluntly your linking to a little bit of funding you may have provided is one of the most obnoxious things I've ever read on this forum.
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Old Saturday 27th June 2009, 12:44   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Lister View Post
I would echo what Jos says. I accidentally visited the actual breeding cliff two years ago when our Moroccan driver drove straight to it without telling us. We were told to leave and our name and addresses were taken. The warden was firm but not at all officious.

So this year I knew to stay on the road and just watch for birds coming and going. I am surprised Lee did not know to do the same.

And the Birdlife operation is I think mainly funded by the Spanish SEO rather than the Birdfair.

Steve
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Who is obnoxious, a warden doing his job or the group that feel superior and they have the right to visit.

There is no similarity between being in the UK and being in a third world country where the locals, perfectly reasonably given their situation, have no reason to believe the conservation of a species is going to provide them with any benefit. You cannot put your first world comforts and associated public perceptions and expect anyone in a developing country to have any idea of why you are doing or why you are walking around looking at a few birds.

To put it bluntly your linking to a little bit of funding you may have provided is one of the most obnoxious things I've ever read on this forum.
This will teach me to read through a thread and report properly! I agree with the above both inexcusable and even unnecessary to go anywhere near to the breeding colony. I am sorry to have posted here previously.

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Old Sunday 28th June 2009, 14:47   #12
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A quote from Chris Bowden of the RSPB regarding how to responsibly view the Critically Endangered Northern Bald Ibis can be found on the following thread

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=144738

Says it all really...
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Old Wednesday 8th July 2009, 21:26   #13
Mick Sway
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Morocco

Excellent report and pics Sue.
Reads like a great trip!
Thanks for posting.
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