Tuesday, 30 March 2010

15th March. Black desert.

The last day of surveying at Al Lajat was another 12 km yomp out and back. Chukars, Scrub Warblers and Orphean Warblers were everywhere and the highlights included a low fly-over Short-toed Eagle, Rock Bunting, Eastern Black Redstart and singing Spectacled Warblers.With some time in hand we decided to try to explore the Basalt desert towards the Iraqi border. This vast area of black stoney desert has its own 'black' Desert Larks and Mourning Wheatears, and even the local sparrows and Laughing Doves are dark in colour. Not an entirely successful day due to the strong winds and the reluctance of our driver to drive deep into the desert. "There is nothing out there but Iraq". We did see Desert Lark, many Black-eared Wheatears and a glimpse if what was almost certainly a Blackstart. This is an interesting yet unexplored area that will repay further scrutiny.In the evening, Wadij invited us to his house for a meal. Anwar and others were present and were soon singing while Wadij played the 'od (lute). A great end to the day.

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