Tuesday, 30 March 2010

17th March. Bloudan.

After transferring to Damascus yesterday we travelled out to Bloudan in the Anti-Lebanon. This high level town is close to the Lebanese border and an increasingly popular summer retreat for Arabs from the Gulf states. We had arranged a taxi and a guide, Hazzam, through the SSCW. We picked up Hazzam at the arranged point but shortly after we stopped and again and Madj got in. Apparently he was Hazzams interpretor. Anyway 6 in a taxi was getting tight and 4th gear appeared quite painful for Madj. Even before we reached the higher outskirts of the town we had seen several Syrian Serins. Good views were obtained of a least 14 birds in a small area. We then searched for Pine Buntings but had no luck, nor with many of the other local specialities but Syrian Woodpecker, Wood Lark, semi-rufous Black Redstart and an odd race Lesser Whitethroat were seen. Back in Damascus, Common, Pallid and Alpine Swifts whizzed around the minerets of the Omayad Mosque.

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