Saturday, April 3, 2010

Postcard from Jordan

The focus of the first four days of the tour is a lot of black iris twitching. There is a swarm of black iris species and we have spent time chasing down three of them.

It is nearly 20 years since I was last in the Middle East. The birding has been slow in the north-west - too much hunting I suspect. Good to catch up with a variety of wheatears though and tomorrow we head south to the Dead Sea and beyond and we should start seeing some desert birds.

Not many wetland habitats encountered so far. A few stops at the Zarqa River have produced large numbers of Platycnemis dealbata though - a new damselfly for me.

Orchids have been on the menu too, violet limodore (pictured here) is a widespread parasitic species that I always enjoy seeing.

In the absence of dragonflies I am spending plenty of time looking at reptiles. This Ptyodactylus gecko is one of several new species for me.

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