Sunday, May 1

Waders, raptors and bugs

The last few days around Eilat combined nice raptors migration, excellent arrival of Waders, some nice passerines and more.
The Levant Sparrowhawks are still passing in good numbers, most of them being 2nd cy birds like this male caught today. Note the mixture of adult and juv. patterns on the breast.

Honey Buzzards also seen in good numbers, but yesterday we were slightly disappointed to have only a few thousands up at the mountains…we expected a peak day, which will probably arrive this week.

That’s how they look with heavy clouds in background…

Still we had a nice variety of Raptors, with some good stuff- Eastern Imperial, Greater&Lesser Spotted, Steppe, Booted and Short toed  Eagles. Some Egyptian Vultures, a Red Footed Falcon, a Gosehwk(By Itai), and 6 Crested Honey Buzzards(by Itai also…).
While scanning some city parks for invasive species nests we had all 3 species of black and white Flycatchers   with most of them Collared… I'm happy for this rather late wave of these beautiful and sweet birds, which also gave us some good ID practices… 2 Upcher's Warblers were present at Canada gardens on Wednesday, unfortunately neither the volunteers nor Itai could re-locate the birds(…and now they think I'm a big stringer!)
Today we had a descent ringing session, with over 100 birds trapped- relatively good for this season but less than the yearly avarege. Again a beautiful Wood Warbler, the 12th bird for this spring. Seems that these superb Phyloscopus are doing well.

a rather late Little Swift passed overhead, bringing our seasonal total to 39 birds!
Yesterday a strong passage of waders was noted. Barak and Shachar had very good numbers of Wood Sandpiper(470), Curlew Sandpipers(125), Broad Billed Sandpipers(19). Also around- a Bar-tailed Godwit at k20 salt ponds. a good bird for us Israeli birders. 3 Oystercatchers at the north beach, a single(!!!) Red necked Phalarope(usually a few tens around at this time of the year), 3 Whimbrels at the north beach, and a few Collared Praticoles passing during the day.
The sea is getting better and better. Yesterday's morning, Shachar and Barak had a Scopoli's Shearwater, first for the season.
After a long time(more or less since January…) with almost only 1 species of Dragonfly around- Vagrant Emperor Hemianax ephipiger, I noticed a good waking up during the last two weeks. Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope- a less common species around Eilat was seen  a few times this week. This is a male

This one has a respectable bite!

Today I had the first Violet Dropwing Trithemis annulata, what a gemstone!


  1. Nice shots! I love the eye contact capture!

  2. Interesting, that you get such species of dragonflies there. I wonder where do they come from? You probably have overlooked Wandering Glider, Pantala flavescens, this spring. I saw two ind. there on 29.-30.3.. It behaves like Anax epphippiger, circling above ground.
    Yours, Petro Pynnönen, Finland.

  3. Hi Petro,

    yes we know that Wandering Glider is also around, and indeed it was flying in very small numbers during late March (i saw it also in town), but in the Park it was absent from some reasons.

    it is very interesting to understand the Odonata around Eilat as there is a very strange pattern that is a mix of tropic and temperate climatic zones.