It was the elusive Bruce's Scops Owl— a blackbird-sized little thing, which had us standing on the edge of Saiq Plateau near sunset. The heat had no hold on this landscape; I tightly wrapped my blue scarf around my shoulders and arms, cocoon-like, marvelling at the drop in temperature. Before and below me, a wide series of massive rocks and their deep valleys reached the horizon, the only sound a cat, and the whistling wind. We walked down into a small village, where we were greeted by a young man whose teeth gleamed white as he grinned in the fading light.
"Wa alaikum assalaam."
The sun was soon replaced by a giant yellow moon and glittering constellations.
We stood in silence, straining our ears for the telltale hoo-ing of our little friend.