Monday, November 28

It ain't over till the fat lady sings

On Wednesday afternoon (23rd) I received a report that James Smith and his group found both Little Bunting and Blyth's Pipit in Yotveta fields. Unfortunately I was already on my way north to join the Hula Bird Festival where I was invited to participate at the festival conference: A Bird’s Eye View of Migration Stopover Sites: Flyway Conservation through Science, Policy, Education and Tourism.
It was a great success and also it was great to meet up with many interesting and knowledgeable people and share ideas and thoughts. 

So I couldn't look for the neither the Pipit nor the Bunting...
Nevertheless it was great being up north and in fact I managed quite well with a great observation of an Alpine Accentor among a group of Rock Sparrows. Alpine Accentor is a great rarity in Israel and only my 2nd in Israel (I've seen more in Romania and Turkey).

During the Festival reports from the south kept on coming and Yesterday as I was driving back home I revived a note from Barak Granit who found a male Grey Hypocolius next to the IBRCE park!

When I reached home I received also photos of the Bunting and possibly of the pipit from Shay Kabessa.  
The Pipit has a very short and pointed bill for a Richard's  and also has a rather short supercilium, short tail and general appearance more like a Tawny than the large Richard's. Nevertheless, it is worth to see Barak's comment regarding the hindclaw which brings this bird, back to the status of a different looking Richard's Pipit (thanks Barak for the comment)
Today I came to the IBRCE and looked for the Grey Hypocolius. It didn't took much time until a brilliant male was found and alongside were both Olive-backed Pipit  and Rose-coloured Starling.  

And as I write this, I received a report from our Avi Meir of a group of  some 10 Thick-billed Larks  feeding happily on the ground not far from Elifaz. So as the title suggests: It ain't over till the fat lady sings...

Hope to find more great birds soon,


  1. The pipit is clearly Richard's: check the hindclaw (long...). All the other features separating Richard's and Blyth's are there as well.

    The RC-Starling and the OBP next to the Hypocolius were seen by me yesterday and reported already last night at the Tapuz Forum. I assume you were not aware of that. There was also a Red-wing at the same place.

    Concerning the Hypocolius - I was a sole finder and identifier. I'd like it to be noted as such.


  2. After checking some hind-claes lengths and shapes on both blyth's and Richard's on the net, I am coming back from my previous id: This bird must be the same Blyth's Pipit.

    congrat to Shay for the new species and for Itai for the correct identification.