Tuesday, May 31

Let the robin save the day(and the spring?)

After looping Jethro Tull's "Thick as a brick" during the last few days, I could only think of this name for the post- 3 birds were ringed this morning- a  Blackcap a Prinia and this beauty-

A female White throated Robin! This species is an extremely rare spring migrant at Eilat. In some springs relatively large numbers occur, with tens around Eilat and the Arava…spring 2008 was the last spring with such an influx noted.

A descent twitch was gathered! Limor got a lifer, Tzadok actually had this species on his list before me but still enjoyed and Itai, who got a reason to leave the writing work and go out to the field…

This Robin is definitely a good end for 2011 spring, but was not the only peak for today-
Yesterday , 3 Black Winged Stilt eggs, in hatching process  were brought to us from the nearby salt factory. After quick consulting with Itai, we drove to K20 salt ponds. Short search provided 3 optimal adopting nests. We placed each egg at a different nest and drove away, uncertain about the outcome…
That's how it looked with the additional egg-

This morning, just fter the Robin was released Tzadok and I got back to the ponds to try and see what happened with the Stilts. We were relieved and happy to see 1 nest with a baby, which looked well treated by the adopting parents! We don't know what happened with the two other eggs. We could only see they were not in the nests, and no remains of the shell or chick were found…
Moreover, we had some nice waders- 4 Red Necked Phalaropes, 2 Collared Pratincoles and 30-40 White Winged Black Terns.
Later this afternoon I went to check a location in Eilat area which was reported as holding Lichtenstein's Sandgrouses. After extensive search, 4 birds were found, 1 female type gave excellent views!      

Thia species is known as highly sensitive and endangered in Israel. This location, being a potential breeding area, will not be published. There's a well known drinking spot, visited often by birders, and disturbing these beautiful and rare desert birds in other places is unnecessary.
After such a day out birding I really feel lucky to be here at Eilat...     

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