Saturday, 27 February 2016

A weekend in Jebel Shams, Oman.

It is 24th February & Robin & Anne are picking me up for a couple of days around Jebel Shams (3009m)  in the northern Hajar mountains of Oman. They have been talking about the famous Balcony walk for some time now & it was a walk I hadn't done, so Robin made it a bit of a mission to get me there!

I had just flown in from Ethiopia less than 24 hours previously so was a little tired, but Robin did all the driving & we arrived at 10pm & after a good nights sleep awoke amid grand scenery in the morning.

 Robin & Anne glamping!
 The view from the tent.
Not bad!
A few of the locals finding shade!
The start!
Yours truly!
Robin & Anne
The start of this spectacular walk.
The scenery is really stunning & we had lovely
 weather on the way down the canyon.
Jebel Shams means mountain of the sun in Arabic
 & it certainly lived up to its name!

The abandoned village on the distant cliff face.
Anne & myself at the edge of the village.
Shades of Titanic?
Terraces on these cliffs! Madness!

This village was only abandoned
 around 25 years ago!

I really don't fancy tilling the land just here!
The Mosque

The hidden pool which made life here possible.

Ferns growing in this little micro climate.

It's a new day & we are walking in Wadi Damm.
 A really beautiful, but hot morning.

 The wadi has an extensive falah system

After a very pleasant couple of days, it was time for the long drive home to watch the rugby! Thanks guys for a great weekend!

Stresemann's Bush Crow: Photo Essay

Possibly the ultimate avian prize in Ethiopia?

Stresemann's Bush Crow.

The Stresemann's Bushcrow (Zavathariornis stresemanni) is only found in a very small part of southern Ethiopia. It is currently thought to be a member of the corvidae, but this is by no means certain, as it behaves very much like a starling or myna.

I saw it both feeding on the ground & feeding on the backs of goats. It seemed to be closely associated with these semi-nomadic herders & their domestic livestock.