Tuesday, 30 March 2010

10th March. Transfer day.

We transfered across to As Suwayda to start our week of surveying breeding and passage birds at Al Lajat, in the south of the country towards the border with Jordan. We will be training Ministry of Agriculture employees in census and identification techniques. But first we had to say our goodbyes and have our last 'free birding' trip out with Ghazi to see the Bald Ibis. Migrants continue to pour in; the grove of trees on the Ibis valley held 100+ Chiffchaffs, 24 Hoopoes, 30 Black Redstarts, 3 Ruppell’s Warblers, 2 Great Spotted Cuckoos, 4 Sibe Stonechats, 3 Quails and waves of larks and Swallows passing over. The Ibis cliffs held Ravens, Chough, Rock Sparrow, Lesser Kestrel, Desert Lark and Mourning Wheatear.We posed for the group photo in front of Ghazi's house. A stray kid managed to slip into the end of the photo without being noticed. Housam then drove us to Damascus, Arabic beats blaring out and camomile tea being passed around. Driving in Damascus is interesting!

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