Head­ing west to Dana

Bird Watching (UK) - - Bird The World -

From here we hit the road, west then south to­ward what proved my favourite site in Jor­dan, the Dana Bio­sphere Reserve. The jour­ney brought spec­tac­u­lar views of desert and a brief stop to look over a mag­nif­i­cent dry, canyon-like gorge, brought my first Tris­tram’s Star­ling (or Tris­tram’s Grackle if, like me, you pre­fer the Old Skool nam­ing). These so­cial birds are black with ch­est­nut wing patches and they whis­tle across the echo­ing rocks, re­mind­ing me very much of Alpine Choughs in high Euro­pean moun­tains. Like the choughs, these are the guys which will come and clean up af­ter you leave your pic­nic site! There were pale-race Desert Larks, a Brown-necked Raven flew by, as did a Grif­fon Vul­ture. Down the road, we picked up Great Spot­ted Cuckoo, Mourn­ing Wheatear, and that clas­sic Mid­dle Eastern chat, the Black­start (all ticks). The lat­ter are some­what like a wheatear and some­what like a red­start; desert-lov­ing

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