On our tour of Morocco, I took every opportunity to do some birding.
It proved to be more difficult than I thought. Because we were with a mini-bus tour group, the opportunities to stop and watch – and photograph – the local birds were somewhat limited. I was constantly distracted by looking at the sights, as well as taking photos of the buildings and scenery, as well as listening to our guide and keeping up with the tour group.
In many situations, I could not take the time to get good photos which would have helped with identification later. During our visit to the beautiful Kasbah Ameridhil, I was able to take several photos, and these are featured today. Sadly, they are of very common species, birds I can see almost anywhere here at home in Australia. Above and below, I included photos of two differently coloured Rock Doves. The pure white one above is particularly nice; one does not normally get pure white birds in this varied species. It is more normal to get the plain grey and black colours as in the one below.
Another species present in large numbers was the House Sparrow, one of which is shown above. This species appears to be very common in many parts of the world.
The last photo (below) is of a White Stork. I saw plenty of this species throughout our tour of Morocco. This pair – I am assuming that they are a pair – have constructed quite a massive nest on a nearby building. The birds are over a metre tall, so this nest would have to be four or five metres tall. They obviously do not get very strong winds in this area – or those birds are very good at constructing a solid nest.
You can read about Australian birds I have photographed on my other site Trevor’s Birding.
HAPPY 11th BIRTHDAY TO TREVOR’S TRAVELS
I can hardly believe that I started this blog 11 years ago. It was started with an account of my travels in Thailand and Nepal. During that trip I trekked with my daughter up towards Everest Base Camp. It was an amazing experience and one I highly recommend.
You can read about my adventures in those countries in one of the following ways:
- use the search function in the top right-hand corner
- use the archives button on the top bar of each page
- click on the “Contents” heading in the sidebar
- click on one of the topics in the cloud on the sidebar on the right
Each of these ways will take you to well over 1000 articles about my travels around the world. In many cases, I have included photos taken on our travels. The main places covered include the following:
Australia: my wife and I have travelled extensively throughout many parts of our home country. Along the way we take photos to share here and on my other site Trevor’s Birding. I enjoy taking bird photos where I can, as well as scenery shots to share here. I also like taking shots of native Australian flowers and plants which are of interest to my wife, as well as many of our friends.
Thailand: I only spent a few days in this country on my way to Nepal. Despite that, I made the most of my time, seeing some of the highlights of this interesting and beautiful country.
Nepal: my visit to Nepal was to meet up with my daughter who was on her way home from teaching in England for a year. Together, we had some amazing experiences on the route to Everest Base Camp. On this site I have shared some stunning scenery we saw on that trip.
Ethiopia: a few years ago my daughter again showed how adventurous she is by going to Ethiopia to teach for a semester. At the end of her time there my wife and I joined her, travelling around Addis Ababa and nearby parts of the country. This year our daughter has returned to teach in Ethiopia, this time for two years and we are hoping to make another visit soon.
Morocco: after our visit to Ethiopia the three of us continued on to travel around magical Morocco. This trip included many of the principal cities as well as rural highlights and the magnificent Sahara.
Spain: we concluded our wonderful journey by exploring southern Spain. We came away having fallen in love with the people and country, not to mention their food. We would dearly love to return to scintillating Spain.
I must apologise to my readers for a lack of new articles and photos on this site over the last few months. We have been very busy this year. Some of that time was taken on two trips to Sydney to look after our two grandchildren, ages 8 and 5. Each trip took about five weeks.
The rest of the time was occupied helping our daughter pack all of her belongings and putting them into storage for the time she will be in Ethiopia.
Life is now getting back to normal, so look for new articles and many more photos over the coming months.
On our tour of Morocco we spent a night in the Sahara Desert camping in a Berber tent. The next day our guide woke us early, before dawn. This was so we could slog our way to the top of a nearby sand dune to witness the sunrise over the desert. Looking to the east from our vantage point we could see the Algerian border some 30 km away, though the actual border was disputed territory at the time.
Perhaps something many of the others in the tour group didn’t notice were the beautiful patterns made by clumps of grass growing on the dunes. Set against the deep red sand and emphasised by the early morning sun’s rays, they made quite an impression on me. I just had to take a series of photos.
Over the years during our many travels I look out for birds to photograph so I can add them to my site called Trevor’s Birding. When the birds are not showing themselves I often turn my camera lens towards things more botanical, especially flowers. We have some spectacular flowers here in Australia so that makes it easier. Sadly, we didn’t see any flowers in the Sahara Desert. On the other hand, these photos of the grasses growing there sure made up for that lack.
I am not sure what the grasses were as my speciality is birds. I had enough trouble identifying them. Even my wife, who has a lot of expertise in Australian native plants (see her website here), had some trouble identifying plants in Morocco and Spain during our holiday.
You can access more articles about our tour by going to the side bar or the archives here.
In recent posts here on this site I have written about our tour of Morocco. The visit to this amazing country was certainly a wonderful experience. One of the highlights of the visit occurred on Christmas Eve. We were taken on a camel ride into the Sahara Desert.
While the experience was unforgettable, I must say that riding a camel is not one of my favourite modes of travel. I find it very uncomfortable. In addition, I also found it hard to take photos while riding a camel and I found that most frustrating. I must say I was quite happy to dismount at our destination, a Berber camp in the desert.
One of the frustrations of trying to take photos while riding a camel relate to my interest in birds. I write about the birds I see and photograph on this site. With a constantly moving platform such as a camel in motion, it is very hard to compose the scene, focus and shoot. I saw some interesting desert birds on this ride but none I could use here, or on my birding site. I couldn’t even use the photos to identify the species. (Sigh)
Still, despite these limitations, I managed a few good photos while riding a camel. I must say that some of the shots I did manage to take – without falling off or otherwise injuring myself – do show the amazing colours of the desert at sunset. I did take more the following morning as we rode out of the desert.
In recent weeks I have been sharing photos and writing about our tour of Morocco a few years ago.
In my last post here I wrote about our camel ride into the Sahara. This occurred just before sunset and so the colours of the desert sands were stunning. It certainly made up for the discomfort of riding a camel. It was not only uncomfortable – it was very hard to take good photos while constantly on the move.
Who was the not-so-bright spark who thought that riding a camel was a good idea?
Our destination after about an hour of painful riding was a group of Berber tents near a little oasis. After a delicious meal eaten around a camp fire we slept in these tents for only one night. During the night we had a visitor. It seems that most of the touring group had a cat visit them in their tent overnight.
This experience just happened to be on Christmas Eve. It was certainly different and one to remember.