Saturday, April 6

Rain of Birds at last...

This spring has been very strange. After such a rainy winter with 4-6 floods in the southern Arava, we all expected that the desert will be filled with migrants.
Then came March and by the end of it we were still looking hard to find birds in the Arava. Nevertheless there were many quality species like Menetrie's Warblers, Black Bush Robins, White-tailed Plovers... the over-whole numbers of migration were lower than the average so far. One reasonable explanation for this is the high frequency of southern winds which were 3-4 times more than the usual Feb-Mar.

Over the last week still there were some quality species around, but surely the most outstanding is a wave of Black Bush Robins with a total of 10-11 so far (including 3 birds found today at Yotveta sewage by Tuvia Kahan and another bird I found with Raz, my 4 years old son, next to the Flamingo view point of K20).
Also, we had one big swarm of Desert Locust which made the farmers in the area very stressed, but it has been a paradise of migrating Steppe Buzzards, Lesser Kestrels and Black KitesOne more species which seemed to enjoy this swarm of flying food, was more surprising, but even the gentle Collared Pratincoles were seen flying up in the air to trap these fatty grasshoppers and enjoy a very juicy nutrition on migration...

At the IBRCE ringing station, the dream team has managed at last to get a proper Spring day with a total of 398 birds ringed this morning comprised mainly by Blackcaps but there are also representatives of other Sylvia warblers including a late Subalpine Warbler and also the first Nightingale and Thrush Nightingales. Out in the field, there are 3 species of Ficedula and many more Yellow Wagtails, Rufous Bush Robins and the first chicks of Kentish Plovers! 

At north beach there are rising numbers of Common Terns and more reports of Arctic & Pomarine Skuas.

Tomorrow we should get another heat wave with southern winds, I just hope that it wont blow all the birds away and that soon after it, we will get another good wave of migrants...

1 comment:

  1. Mieke, colleague of ArnoldApril 9, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    Very nice pictures of the beautiful birds you are seeing there, and have been seeing! Are the Dutch visitors doing their best? I hope so! Lots of greetings from a very cold Holland where temperatures still were below zero during the nights, until now!