25 August 2015

I said I'll be back

Week 29, 16 July 2015 - Shuaiba area

I know this is primarily a birding blog, but desert biomes have so much more to offer, if you make the time and effort to look closer and after the sun goes down.

And so it was that Aziz and I met up at around 10pm when the moon was not so bright and explored a desert area in the south. This time we were a lot more fortunate finding many Gecko and Rodent species - so much so, that we only finished at 4:30 in the morning when it was starting to get light!

I will start with the cold-blooded fella's and really one of my favourite reptiles - Gecko's. The most abundant and common that we found were Desert Gecko's

Desert Gecko (Stenodactylus doriae)

Less common were Blandford's Rock Gecko which we found in different habitat.

Blanford's Rock Gecko (Bunopus tuberculatus)

The most uncommon was Slevin's Gecko of which we only found one

Slevin's Gecko (Stenodactylus slevini)
Whilst searching for arachnids and other invertebrates, we came across this Camel Spider. These guys can really move fast - so always a challenge when you are lying on your stomach less than 1-foot away pointing a camera at them, hoping that they will run around you, rather than over you!

Camel Spider
Right, onto the warm blooded creatures and tonight the most common was Lesser Egyptian Jerboa with it's abnormally large hind legs and also extremely fast across the desert. Often they would stop abruptly; allowing you to get pretty close.

Lesser Egyptian Jerboa (Jaculus jaculus vocator)

Cheeseman's Gerbil is a smart looking rodent with it's orange upperparts and white underparts

Cheesman's Gerbil (Gerbillus cheesmani arduus)

The larger Sundevall's Jird was scarcer and also took some time to find. Once we did, it took some time for it to get used to us and come right out of it's burrow - although it was still skittish.

Sundevall's Jird (Meriones crassus crassus)

It was a great night out and I couldn't believe it when I saw the sky start lightening. When I got home to my apartment as the sun was coming up, I found a Persian House Gecko at my front gate.

Persian House Gecko (Hemidactylus persicus)

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