Tuesday, October 18

Autumn is great in the desert

Yesterday we (my wife and kids) joined the important event which was carried out at the Samar dunes to try and prevent the operation of a new sand quarry. These dunes are the last remaining dunes on the Israeli side of the Arava which are open for the public and hold a very interesting and important wildlife.
The event went on well and it was great to see so many people from the area and also from throughout Israel who came to support the dunes.
Today i decided to check the area of K33 and also the turf field of Samar.
On my way i received a txt message from a visiting British birding group that a Black-winged Kite was spotted and seen very well around the K19 cowshed. This species is certainly spreading in Israel. A growing number of records for the species are coming from all corners of the country. We also had 1-2 birds last autumn around Eilat and the Arava (the photo is from last year).

I than proceeded along the old Arava Rd. when suddenly a pair of Hoopoe Lark were jumping next to me, not far from where I've seen them with Re'a last December.
I then drove to Samar where I met Shachar Alterman and plenty of Red-throated Pipits, White Wagtails, a single Caspian Stonechat and one of each Desert, Hooded and Isabeline Wheatears. On my way back I met again the British gang next to Elifaz sewage where we had a White-winged Tern, Bluethroat and 3 Squacco Herons. I learned that they've missed the Larks but had a lone Osprey flying around the area where I had the Larks.

Back on the road towards Eilat, a family of 5 Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse were posing under the shade of a lone Acacia tree. When I txt this to the British gang, they were already too far, but responded that after I left them, they had a Red-breasted Flycatcher at the date plantation next to the Elifaz sewage.
As November (the rarity month) is just around the corner, I hope to have more sightings to report soon...

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