Thursday, May 5

From Spain with love

Hi all,

Today you are fortunate enough to enjoy the writing of Juan:

Last day in Eilat for the Swedish Connection, Aron and Simon. Looking for celebrate this, two teams had been made today. The A-Team, composed by the Sgt. Tzadok and the Mad Rea opened the ringing station as usual and after ring some birds, like an adult male of  Barred Warbler, went out for buzzards in the Samar´s palms fields.
The Mobile Team, Aron, Simon and Juan, woke up at four in the morning and drove till Km 76, searching for some desert fauna in the dusk. The first lights showed so many Steppe Buzzards roosted over the bushes, as well some Lesser Kestrels and one beautiful Red-Footed Falcon. Desert Red Foxes run to hide when the two expert birdwatchers, and Juan, spread over the plain. In the beginning of the morning only a few birds were already awoke, as Desert Finches and Bar-Tailed Larks but, as morning went by, more and more species occurred. Spotted Sandgrouses called from the air mean while one Hoopoe Lark song and run, with no papers, between Israel and Jordan and the rest of larks started to fed: Crested, Temminck´s, Desert and Short-Toed ones. The green grassy wady provided by the last rains were full of migrants passerines like Ortolan and Black Headed Buntings, this was a lifer for the Spanish; Tawny and Tree Pipits, Yellow Wagtails, Blackcaps and Lesser Whitethroats; Isabelline and Northern Wheatears; Masked Shrikes. Also, two Montagu´s Harriers flew very low this area trying to get breakfast with those birds.
Satisfied for the healthy and productive walk, the two smart birdwatchers, and Juan, drove back to Eilat stopping in Yotvata for a short support and, by the way, a watch in the sewages ponds. A lot of Squacco Herons, Spur-Winged Lapwings shared the place with so many thirsty raptors, Black Kites, Steppe Buzzards and mostly Honey Buzzards were drinking at the shores of the pond. In the most stinky of them, one male Honey Buzzard was frustratingly trying to fly over the semi-liquid substance, with the whole plumage absolutely out of order. With no doubt and having no notice about the low density fluid, the two encouraged men and Juan, decided to rescue the unlucky bird. One small boat in the shore of the terrible pond was shuttled with Aron and Juan. The slow sailing in that ocean of pure shit was full-time recorded by Simon who watched the mission with mixed feelings between the admiration and the disgusting. After fifteen minutes of untireless swinging, the ship reached the bad-looking Honey Buzzard who was immediately hung up to the boat and expressed its grateful biting the shit-guards´s hands and sputting drops of indescribably smelt over both of them. Waving back in the Yotvata´s last twenty years shit, the Insensitive Mary I, as could be named the boat, landed in the coast of that inmundous ocean and the Honey Buzzard was finally washed as best as could be but, not being able to fly because the damaged feathers and weakness, was brought over to the IBRCE ringing station for its whole recuperation, where the two heroes and Juan, arrived later, even more satisfied for the unhealthy and productive sailing.

It's Re'a again- hi

Some photos from the last two days at the ringing station-

A beautiful Turtle Dove-

A fledgling Indian Silverbill

We know very little about these bird's moult. You can see that this juv. Is completely fresh, with some dark tips to upper tail coverts, and still has some bare skin in the gape.

A male Red Backed Shrike- first for the season!

An adult male Barred Warbler. Note the heavy barring, dark grey head and the strong yellow eye.

A bunch of Blue Cheeked Bee-Eaters  that stopped by.

Tzadok and me went ringing rehabilitated raptors at the Hai-Bar reserve at yotvata.  Most of the birds were Honey Buzzards that were found contaminated with mud or oil in the southern arava. It's not so often, that I ring 10 HB in one morning! Very interesting and beautiful birds. Thanks to Shay Kabessa, the manager of the Hai Bar, for this opportunity!
Here is Tzadok and the Hai bar Volunteers with some of the birds.

Today was Aron and Simon's last day ay Eilat this spring. Thanks a lot for tha help guys! I'm sure we will meet again in Israel and also in Sweden!
A typical end of the day, at the best ice-cream shop of Eilat-Pinilick!

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