Star-studded Birding in Morocco – Can We Pap a ‘Pode..?

Inglorious Bustards

Birding in north-western Morocco has been bringing us a wealth of avian ‘A’-listers, and now we were headed for the beautiful little gem of Oualidia in search of the ultimate reclusive star bird, the Andalusian Hemipode.

Thought extinct, the small population that breeds here was rediscovered in the 2000s. On the neighbouring farmland, in 2007, a living Andalusian Hemipode was photographed for the first time in the Western Palearctic.

We’d brought our good friend, wildlife photographer and artist Tony Mills, within close reach of such glamorous species as Eleonora’s Falcon and Cream-coloured Courser and now we were up for this final star-stalking challenge.

Hemipode’s eye view!

Here at Inglorious Bustards we take the welfare and future of the wildlife we love extremely seriously, so it goes without saying we would only see this species if it could be done without causing them undue disturbance in the breeding season.


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Bonsai Tree 2nd

My Life in Scotland

Good morning my friends. This is a supplemental to my post “Bonsai Daddy”. It`s now one week since I am caring for this little companion and it`s still alive. I even dare to say it looks good. I just hope he will make it. Since I am scared to drown it and I got told that they easily drown, I decided to use a trick.

Since the pot has e hole in its bottom but the tray is not high enough I got a Spontex sponge and use this as helper to water the tree gentle. I fill the tray with water and place a quarter of the Spontex cloth in the middle of the tray, that is the place where the pot has the hole in its bottom. So I hope the Spontex sponge will work as promoter and delivers the water just when used and taken by the…

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A Benjamina

Bonsai Iterate

Ficus Benjamina. Not always considered outstanding material for bonsai, but it is readily available and will survive indoors, so I suspect it is used as bonsai more than many species — even if by the inexperienced and curious.

Mine is not dissimilar as this is a tree I have had since my early years in the art. By my records, I’ve had this plant for a solid 20 years.

I’m going to skip any root pruning this year and see if I can get a fairly refined canopy before it has to go back inside for the cold months. So first, today, is defoliating.

I’ve been warned that F. Benjamina can die back if you don’t leave a leaf at each growing tip, but that creates an odd challenge. You see, I like to see the tree structure when I prune, and I don’t know which leaf will be at…

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