Desierto

Galería de imágenes: Desierto africano

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Colección fotográfica de lo que fue un gran viaje conociendo los diferentes desiertos. En las áreas del desierto se incluyen dunas desérticas (erg), desierto de grava (reg), desierto de roca (hamada) y valles secos (wadis). Las áreas de vegetación densa que nos fuimos encontrando corresponden principalmente a oasis. (De aves por Marruecos: El desierto)

Nuestro objetivo principal fue localizar aves propias de aquellas duras tierras. En total las especies de aves que vimos fueron: Terrera sahariana (Ammomanes deserti), Alcaudón real (Lanius meridionalis algeriensis), Camachuelo trompetero (Bucanetes githagineus), Alondra ibis (Alaemon alaudipes), Curruca de Tristram (Sylvia deserticola), Cuervo desertícola (Corvus ruficollis), Búho del desierto (Bubo ascalaphus), Terrera colinegra (Ammomanes cinctura), Ganga moteada (Pterocles senegallus), Halcón borní (Falco biarmicus), Chotacabras egipcio (Caprimulgus aegyptius), Curruca sahariana (Sylvia deserti), Gorrión sahariano (Passer simplex), Alcaudón común (Lanius senator), Terrera común (Calandrella brachydactyla), Cogujadas montesinas (Galerida theklae), Busardo moro (Buteo rufinus), Cogujada magrebí (Galerida macrorhyncha), Collalba desértica (Oenanthe deserti), Collalba negra de Brehm (Oenanthe leucopyga), Collalba negra (Oenanthe leucura), Collalba culiroja (Oenanthe moesta), Alondra cornuda sahariana (Eremophila bilopha), Cernícalo vulgar (Falco tinnuculus), Cernícalo primilla (Falco naumanni), Mosquitero papialbo (Phylloscopus bonelli), Collalba rubia (Oenanthe hispanica), Collalba núbica (Oenanthe lugens).

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De aves por Marruecos. Desierto

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Segunda entrega sobre el viaje realizado a Marruecos para disfrutar de su naturaleza, especialmente buscando aves. En esta entrega de Aves por Marruecos está dedicada al desierto, a bote pronto podríamos pensar en un terreno yermo y vacío. Nada más lejos de la realidad, puesto que es un ecosistema sorprendentemente rico con numerosas especies con unas adaptaciones increíbles a sus condiciones. Además de ser un entorno clave para las migraciones de muchas aves migradoras que año tras año se atraviesan el Sáhara.

Realmente el desierto tiene una gran cantidad de hábitats y geomorfología bien definidos. Atravesamos cordilleras montañosas así como áreas de llanuras.

En las áreas del desierto se incluyen dunas desérticas (erg), desierto de grava (reg), desierto de roca (hamada) y valles secos (wadis). Las áreas de vegetación densa corresponden principalmente a oasis.

Vegetación almohadillada
Vegetación almohadillada

La primera mañana que disfrutamos del desierto y sus aves fue al amanecer en Er-Rachidía, en dirección sur. Donde admiramos desde un punto elevado la extensión del palmeral del Río Ziz, un largo río que nace en el Atlas Medio y, tras 282 kilómetros, desaparece en el desierto del Sáhara en Argelia. Este río ha sido clave en los pasos y transporte a través de estas montañas.

Aquí empezamos a ver otro tipo de aves como las primera Terreras saharianas (Ammomanes deserti), en su hábitat de preferencia, como son los desiertos pedregosos, no suele verse en terrenos llanos y arenosos. Como buena representante de la familia de las «alondras» es un pájaro marrón de plumaje muy críptico. En guías se lee que se alimenta principalmente de semillas y de insectos en época de cría, pero como curiosidad pudimos contemplar a una terrera capturando un pequeño geco.

Terrera sahariana
Terrera sahariana (Ammomanes deserti)

El mamífero que más nos llamó la atención, precisamente por su llamada de alarma, fue la Ardilla moruna (Atlantoxerus getulus). Una ardilla terrestre de costumbres muy sociales, y como la mayoría de mamíferos gregarios, se ha visto una estructura social bien definida. Los individuos que vigilan al grupo desde una atalaya elevada fueron los que dieron la voz de alarma de nuestra presencia. Van a elegir siempre hábitat pedregosos y muros de roca, donde además buscan calentarse al sol, puesto que es una especie muy térmica, prefiere desarrollar su actividad a las horas más calurosas del día.

Ardilla moruna
Ardilla moruna (Atlantoxerus getulus)

 

Nuestro camino nos llevó hasta Erfoud donde nos desviamos de nuestra ruta para explorar otra zona muy interesante, algo de matorral y plantas rastreras, donde vimos muchas aves reponiendo energía después de atravesar el Sáhara: Alcaudón real, Mosquitero papialbo y Terreras comunes.

Pudimos observar la subespecie del Alcaudón real (Lanius meridionalis algeriensis). Y por la zona comenzamos a ver especies nuevas: Camachuelo trompetero (Bucanetes githagineus) y la Alondra ibis (Alaemon alaudipes).

Camachuelo trompetero
Camachuelo trompetero

 

Llegamos a otra zona para explorar con el telescopio terrestre y nuestra sorpresa llegó entre los arbustos: una Curruca de Tristram (Sylvia deserticola). Especie que suele criar en las Montañas del Atlas incluso a 1.600 metros de altura, y pasa el invierno al sur, hasta el mismo borde del desierto, aunque su preferencia son los matorrales áridos.

Curruca de Tristram (Sylvia deserticola)
Curruca de Tristram (Sylvia deserticola)

Una de las especies más interesante que vimos y, a nivel personal, preciosa es la Alondra ibis. Con un pico muy especializado, recuerda en su forma de alimentación a la Abubilla. Es un aláudido grande que, como curiosidad, construye un nido verdadero con raíces, ramitas e hierbas en el que realiza una puesta al año, incubando ambos miembros de la pareja.

Alondra ibis
Alondra ibis

Tuvimos la suerte de observar a muy poca distancia la parada nupcial de la Alondra ibis, el macho cantando a pleno pulmón hasta que, de repente, salta volando al aire batiendo las alas para luego descender con las alas plegadas hacia el mismo posadero.

Alaemon alaudipes
Alaemon alaudipes

Aquí es donde nos encontramos con los Cuervos desertícolas (Corvus ruficollis), el córvido más abundante del verdadero desierto y, por supuesto el paseriforme más grande del verdadero desierto.

Se diferencia muy bien de los nuestros por su aspecto físico, con la cabeza y cuello de color de negro a marrón, y un poco más pequeño que el Cuervo (Corvus corax).

En esta zona con abundantes cortados y colinas rocosas es donde tuvimos la suerte de disfrutar del Búho del desierto (Bubo ascalaphus), precisamente los cuervos fueron los que delataron su presencia. Al Búho del desierto también se le conoce como búho faraón, como lo conocen en inglés, ya que incluso se ha visto criando en las mismas paredes de las pirámides. Normalmente lo hace en huecos de árboles, en cortados o nidos abandonados de otras aves.

Búho y cuervos
Búho del desierto molestado por cuervos

El Búho del desierto se trata del super depredador del desierto, una rapaz oportunista que caza roedores, lagartos o, incluso, otras aves, pero lo que domina su dieta son los artrópodos que superan el 50% de su alimentación.

Búho del desierto (Bubo ascalaphus)
Búho del desierto (Bubo ascalaphus)

 

Seguimos nuestro camino hacia el sur hasta llegar a Merzouga pasando por Rissani, hasta llegar a sus famosas dunas: Erg Chebbi, el único Erg de Marruecos. Mientras llegábamos al destino íbamos a paso de ornitólogo, como no podía ser de otra manera, así seguíamos viendo Terreras saharianas, Alondras ibis, Alcaudones comunes, Cernícalos primillas, Terreras comunes… Así como las primeras Terreras colinegras (Ammomanes cinctura) y Gangas moteadas (Pterocles senegallus). También nos sobrevoló por sorpresa un Halcón borní (Falco biarmicus) con su vuelo directo y horizontal. El lugar donde llegamos fue el elegido para contratar un guía y que nos llevara a explorar nuevas zonas en busca de aves, lugares a los que no podíamos acceder con nuestro coche. Gracias a nuestro guía ornitológico vimos al Chotacabras egipcio (Caprimulgus aegyptius), a la Curruca sahariana (Sylvia deserti) y al Gorrión sahariano (Passer simplex).

Chotacabras egipcio (Caprimulgus aegyptius)
Chotacabras egipcio (Caprimulgus aegyptius)
Gangas moteadas
Gangas moteadas

El Chotacabras egipcio es un ave que difícilmente lo hubiéramos localizado sin la ayuda del guía, totalmente mimetizado con el entorno, junto a rocas en terreno arbustivo con arbustos dispersos, por eso su plumaje es mucho más claro que el del Chotacabras pardo (Caprimulgus ruficollis), y como nuestro chotacabras se alimenta de insectos que captura al vuelo, principalmente al crepúsculo.

Caprimulgus aegyptius
Chotacabras egipcio

Luego buscamos por ramblas pedregosas con un poco más de suelo donde crecían algo más de vegetación hasta que dimos con la Curruca sahariana (Sylvia deserti), una pequeña ave de comportamiento similar a los miembros de su familia, aunque con un plumaje muy discreto: parte superior del cuerpo de color ocre y la zona inferior blanquecina. Lo que más destaca es su mirada, los ojos con el iris amarillo intenso.

 Curruca sahariana (Sylvia deserti)
Curruca sahariana (Sylvia deserti)

El Gorrión sahariano (Passer simplex) lo localizamos en una pequeña granja, donde están acostumbrados a acudir a la comida de las gallinas y a los bebederos. Es una especie vinculada al Sáhara, la zona de Merzouga es donde encuentra su distribución más norteña, pero por desgracia se encuentra en claro retroceso.

Gorrión sahariano (Passer simplex)
Gorrión sahariano (Passer simplex)
Passer simplex
Gorrión sahariano macho

 

Otro día lo destinamos al Tagdilt Track, una serie de carriles que conectan la carretera principal con el pequeño pueblo llamado Tagdilt. Aquí vimos Cogujadas montesinas (Galerida theklae), Busardo moro (Buteo rufinus), Camachuelos trompeteros (Bucanetes githagineus), Collalbas desérticas (Oenanthe deserti), Terreras saharianas (Ammomanes deserti), Alondras ibis (Alaemon alaudipes), Collalbas culirojas (Oenanthe moesta) en abundancia. Además de nuestros primeros Corredores saharianos (Cursorius cursor), Alondras cornudas saharianas (Eremophila bilopha) y Calandria picogorda (Rhamphocoris clotbey), por desgracia en el lugar más feo e insaluble de todo el viaje.

 Calandria picogorda (Rhamphocoris clotbey)
Calandria picogorda (Rhamphocoris clotbey)
Alondra cornuda sahariana
Alondra cornuda sahariana (Eremophila bilopha)
Corredor sahariano
Corredor sahariano

Bastantes individuos vimos de Corredor sahariano durante todo el día, un ave de la familia de las Canasteras, incluso recuerdan a ellas cuando vuelan. Un ave que ya ha llegado a criar en Andalucía, en Almería y en Granada, hecho que pone de manifiesto un claro proceso de aridez y cambio climático en nuestra región.

Cursorius cursor
Corredor sahariano​ (Cursorius cursor)

 

Tiene unas patas adaptadas a la carrera (De ahí su nombre) muy largas, además se ayuda de ellas para localizar a posibles peligros, de forma que se pone casi de puntillas y el cuerpo erguido para poder observar sobre los pequeños arbustos.

 

Alondra ibis
Alondra ibis cantando