Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

February 12, 2018

Anchor Point Surfing and Birds

Filed under: Birds,Surfing — Tags: — admin @ 8:38 pm

Taghazout Birds and Surfing.

I set off early from Mirleft after having breakfast and saying an emotional goodbye to my French friends. I have met some really nice people in Morocco. I got a shared taxi from Mirleft to Tiznit. Then I got a really old Mercedes Grand Taxi and was squashed up in the back, my foot went to sleep and it was so dead I could not move it. When I got to Agadir I got a taxi all to myself for only 60 Dirhams and arrived about mid-day or so.

Anchor Point wide shot
Anchor Point wide shot

After a shower and a shave I headed out to the beach and followed the coast out to Anchor Point. The surf was totally flat, the tide was going out and there were only a few guys out.

Lucky to get one
Lucky to get one.

Not many waves were coming in, so the guys were lucky to latch on to anything coming in.

do not hit the rocks
Don’t hit the rocks!

The waves were breaking a bit close to the rocks. I was expecting someone to wipe out and smash into the rocks but it did not happen. I also took some photos of birds along the way. I was lucky to get a few new races of species already photographed.

Southern Grey Shrike - race algeriensis
Southern Grey Shrike (Lanius meridionalis algeriensis)

This one is Southern Grey Shrike, race algeriensis, seen along the coast of Morocco. Race elegans is seen inland near the deserts.

African Chaffinch
African Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs africana)

Most properly called Common Chaffinch, race africana.

Taghazout Bird List
Southern Grey Shrike (Lanius meridionalis algeriensis)
African Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs africana) (Common Chaffinch)
Sardinian Warbler
Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Bulbul
House Sparrow

February 9, 2018

South-west Morocco Birds Day 4

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 8:32 pm

Mirleft – South-west Morocco Coast.

This afternoon’s mission was to go out and photograph a male Moussier’s Redstart. Mission accomplished. I walked up the street and stopped near a half-completed building and there on the ground was a very nice bird just standing up on rocks posing for me. I was very happy.

Moussier's Redstart   - male
Moussier’s Redstart (Phoenicurus moussieri) – male

I had photographed the female earlier in the week.

Moussier's Redstart   - female
Moussier’s Redstart (Phoenicurus moussieri) – female

Sardinian Warbler
Sardinian Warbler ( Sylvia melanocephala)

At first I thought this was a female but now I am not so sure. The Sardinian Warbler female is generally duller with a grey head and red eye ring. She has a white throat and upper parts are more brownish.

Iberian Chiffchaff
Iberian Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus ibericus)

I stopped near a garbage skip and photographed the Iberian Chiffchaffs.

Thekla Lark
Thekla Lark ( Galerida theklae)

These guys are very common around here.

House Bunting
House Bunting (Emberiza sahari)

Mirleft Bird List

Moussier’s Redstart (Phoenicurus moussieri)
Thekla Lark ( Galerida theklae)
House Bunting (Emberiza sahari)
European Stonechat
Sardinian Warbler ( Sylvia melanocephala) female
Iberian Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus ibericus)

February 6, 2018

South-west Morocco Birds 3

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 7:23 pm

Mirleft Day 3

Once again, more rain this morning. I spent most of the day indoors, waiting for the sun to come out. This afternoon it finally made an appearance, so I went for a walk. I was mainly looking for a male Moussier’s Redstart. I had seen one on the way to the shop earlier but to no avail. 🙁

Black Wheatear  - male
Black Wheatear (Oenanthe leucura) male

At least I got a decent shot of a male Black Wheatear. The females seem to be more approachable and numerous.

European Stonechat - male
European Stonechat (Saxicola torquata)

I thought this was a Siberian Stonechat at first but it is more likely to be a European Stonechat, aka Common Stonechat.

Iberian Chiffchaff
Iberian Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus ibericus)

A few of these were in a drain coming out of a yuppy walled french enclave.

Green Sandpiper
common sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)

Seen in a drain going down to the ocean.

Common Bulbul
Common Bulbul

Inside the walled city of rich French aristocrat layabouts. “off with their heads!”

Mirleft Bird List

Spotless Starling (Sturnus unicolor)
Iberian Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus ibericus)
common sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Black Wheatear (Oenanthe leucura) male
Common Bulbul
Common or European Stonechat (Saxicola torquata)

February 5, 2018

South-west Morocco Birding Numero Dos

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 10:05 pm

Mirleft – South-west Morocco

It rained all day today on and off. Finally I got out late in the afternoon and went for a walk up to the shop to buy some coffee and look for the Spotless Starlings. I got the coffee but not the starlings. But read on, dear readers.

Iberian Chiffchaff
Iberian Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus ibericus)

I was at my wit’s end trying to identify this little barmaid. I think it is right. And it is always a chiffchaff when I am looking for fancy warblers.

Spotless Starling
Spotless Starling (Sturnus unicolor)

“The spotless starling (Sturnus unicolor) is a passerine bird in the starling family, Sturnidae. It is closely related to the common starling Sturnus vulgaris, but has a much more restricted range, confined to the Iberian Peninsula, northwest Africa, southernmost France, and the islands of Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica.” (wiki).

 Blue Rock Thrush
Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius)

It was getting so dark with a big rain cloud coming over just before sunset. So, crap photo, but it’s a #recordshot.

Moroccan Wagtail
Moroccan Wagtail (Motacilla alba subpersonata)

This is supposed to be the local race, but I have my doubts. Maybe it is a young one and the black around the face has not fully formed yet. I dunno.

House Bunting
House Bunting

Popped up on the wall. Could not resist it.

Black Wheatear
Black Wheatear (Oenanthe leucura)

And then it started to rain, just on sundown. Back to the hostel.

Mirleft Birds List

Iberian Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus ibericus)
Spotless Starling (Sturnus unicolor)
Moroccan Wagtail (Motacilla alba subpersonata) ???
Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius)
Thekla Lark
Black Wheatear
House Bunting
Common Bulbul

February 4, 2018

Birds of Mirleft – South Morocco

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 10:10 pm

Mirleft Birding.

Today was a nightmare getting south to Mirleft. I had to wait two hours for the bus from Anza to Agadir and then it went straight past because it was full. Luckily the next one was only nearly full and let us on. Then when I got to the souk, I got in a taxi to take me to the bus for Mirleft, but he dumped me on a bus-stop to nowhere. Lucky I asked a bus driver and he told me to take bus 97 to Inzegane. When I got there I asked a policeman who waved me to a big area full of taxis. It was the shared taxi station. So I got a shared taxi to Mirleft and finally arrived. Whew!

Thekla Lark
Thekla Lark ( Galerida theklae)

Just as well I found some birds this afternoon. After settling into my room, I went for a walk to the beach with my camera. Around an old abandoned building I spotted what I hoped was a Thekla Lark. And it was. “Shorter and blunt bill compared to Crested Lark. Dark and sometimes streaked ear coverts. White supercilium and eye ring. Lore dark and distinct. Pale to white throat. Heavy streaking to upper and medium breast”. (http://www.andaluciabirdsociety.org/article-library/comparative-fieldguide/118-comparative-identification-guide-2.html)

Moussier's Redstart  - female
Moussier’s Redstart (Phoenicurus moussieri) female

I thought this was a European Robin for a while until I had a good look on the computer. The male is darker with white stripes on the wings. I did not see the male.

Black Wheatear - male
Black Wheatear (Oenanthe leucura) male

 Black Wheatear - female
Black Wheatear (Oenanthe leucura) female

The female looks similar to the male, but her plumage is dark brown rather than black.

House Sparrow - Moroccan race
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus tingitanus)

I am pretty sure this is the Moroccon sub-species tingitanus. But not totally certain.

Mirleft Birds

Thekla Lark ( Galerida theklae)
Moussier’s Redstart (Phoenicurus moussieri) female
Black Wheatear (Oenanthe leucura)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus tingitanus) Moroccan sub-species?

February 3, 2018

Birds of Agadir

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 10:41 pm

Anza Beach Birds Number Two.

Today I started out very late after a morning sipping coffee in the sun. I took a few photos of the guys surfing, then I went down the beach having a look for waders on the rock shelf. The tide was coming so I was a bit late but there were still birds all over the beach and rocks.

Western Olivaceous Warbler
Western Olivaceous Warbler(Iduna opaca)

Not sure about this one. It has a bit of yellow in it. Edit: It is the western olivaceous warbler, also known as isabelline warbler.

Mediterranean Gull - first winter
Mediterranean Gull (Larus melanocephalus) first winter

I got pretty close to this Mediterranean Gull. You can see the brown wing feathers quite clearly.

Little Egret
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

I do not usually bother showing Little Egret photos but this one was very close and it is nice and sharp.

Green Sandpiper
Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus)

Not sure which sandpiper this one is. I suspect it may be a Wood Sandpiper. Darn, I wish I had a book and some decent internet. Edit: Green Sandpiper.

Ruddy Turnstone
Ruddy Turnstone ((Arenaria interpres)

These are easy to identify. And this one stood up nicely for a photo.

thousands of gulls
Thousands of Gulls

This is the outlet near the fish factory so there are thousands of gulls, mostly Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

Lesser Black-backed Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus)

Possibly third cycle. Non-breeding adult.

Agadir Bird List

Western Olivaceous Warbler(Iduna opaca)
Mediterranean Gull (Larus melanocephalus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus)
Grey Plover (Pluvialis squaterola)
Ruddy Turnstone
Little Egret
Common Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula)
green sandpiper (Tringa ochropus)
Little Stint

Anza Beach Surfing

Filed under: Surfing — Tags: — admin @ 6:08 pm

Surfing Contest in Morocco.

There was a surfing contest at Anza Beach here in Morocco today. I think it was an event for all of Africa maybe. No idea.

Off the lip
Off the lip

Most if not all the photos are of guys doing re-entries off the lip. There was not much else they could do. The waves were not that great.

Backhand Sequence number 1
Backhand Sequence number 1

This guy did a nice floater off the top. He was surfing really nice.

Backhand Sequence number 2
Backhand Sequence number 2

And here he is coming down. He made it. I think he should have got lots of points for this manouver.

The rights.
The rights.

There was a right hander coming off the peak but the left was much better.

Morocco beach wear.
Morocco beach wear.

This is what they are wearing on the beach in Morocco. Very colourful.

February 2, 2018

Agadir – Morocco

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — admin @ 8:34 pm

Anza Shorebirds.

I got the bus from Marrakech to Agadir, but I had to wait for three hours because the earlier buses were full. The bus was so slow, it was crawling along. I eventually got to Agadir bus station where I fell into a taxi and got him to take me to Anza. Anza is by the sea just north of Agadir. It is a lot warmer than Marrakech and it seems sunnier. It is still a little cold, but.

Common Ringed Plover
Common Ringed Plover(Charadrius hiaticula)

This morning I took the camera for a walk along the rock shelf out the front of the hostel. It was low tide so everything was exposed. There were lots of people searching for shellfish and octopus, as well as dogs chasing the birds, which was a darned nuisance.

Whimbrel
Whimbrel (Numenius tenuirostris)

I saw quite a lot of birds on the rock shelves and the sand but most of them I could not identify. I do not have a book with me and I do not know where to get one in Morocco. doh! So it is quite difficult to work out what is what. And my internet is very dodgy.

Little Stint
Little Stint (Calidris minuta)

I think this is a Little Stint but it could also be a Sanderling. doh! No, it is a Little Stint.

Unknown Gull 5004
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)

“First winter, Very large and heavy-bodied. Block-headed. Thick black bill with some pale pink at base. Grayish brown patterning on back/wings” (www.allaboutbirds.org). Edit: Louis thinks this is a Yellow-legged Gull.

Another unknown Gull 5123
Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus)

Unidentified Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus)

Edit: Again, Louis thinks this is a Yellow-legged Gull. I have almost given up trying to ID these gulls. They are doing my head in.

Anza Bird List

Common Ringed Plover(Charadrius hiaticula)
Crested Lark ( Galerida cristata )
Ruddy Turnstone
Whimbrel (Numenius tenuirostris)
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba )
Grey Plover (Pluvialis squaterola)
Little Stint (Calidris minuta)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus)
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis)

« Newer Posts

Powered by WordPress