Regular readers of Birdblog may remember meeting Ali Mouni aka, "The Man" back in 2007 when myself, Neill, Trops, Jellyhead and Bazzo headed out into the Moroccan Sahara for a spot of Houbara and larks.
One of the high points of an eventful trip was Ali's amazing desert driving and hospitality, but even without his interesting relationship with old Land Rovers, he still oozed enigmatic.
There he is look, trying to ignore Neill's camera while he hurtles through the sand, shingle and wadis...
And here's his supercool house, no tarmac round here baby, just camels and sand - the road is a distant world away.
You see, enigmatic.
Anyone who harbours any doubts need only scan the following shot for the ,er, opposite of Moroccan enigmatic....
Anyway, Ali contacted us recently via his excellent associate Maryam, who kindly sent the following pix and e-mail, imagine bumping into these critters on an afternoon drive....Maryam takes up the story.
"I am writing to tell you about Ali's recent sighting of a group of Houbara Bustards in the desert near Merzouga. It was in the afternoon as I understand it and he and a friend were driving through the desert when they came upon this flock (?) serendipitously. I thought you would like to see the photos. I've put them on Ali's website as well", Maryam explains.
"I had to do a bit of work in Photoshop to make the birds stand out from the background. I'd like your input on this. One of the pics, is more photoshopped than the others, giving the birds a different color...what do birders think of this?"
"I didn't include that one on Ali's site as I got the idea that birders would not approve. (Family sharp)"
Lovely people, lovely place, lovely birding - if you're ever down Morocco way seek out "The Man", he'll show you what a desert is all about.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...