Friday, February 18

getting hot

I had an amazing day around Eilat, hot spring sun, clear sky good birds and a terrific finish.
Two days ago Itai told me about a special guest we are having in the park for a short while. Shai Kabessa showed up this morning with the surprise held inside a box…

This sweet Pale Scops Owl was found near Eilat the last autumn. Two weeks later it was found injured near the road and was probably hit by a car. The NPA(Nature & Park Authority) crew of Eilat district arranged a flight to central Israel for the little poor owl, from where he was taken to for Veterinarian treatment. The bird was diagnosed to suffer head injury and exhaustion. It was treated by the professional veterinarian teams of the Wild animals Hospital of the NPA and the Ramat gan Safari. The bird spent two weeks in a rehabilitation cage at Ramat Hanadiv, and was ringed, photographed and successfully released today at the IBRCE. Thanks to all who took part of the saving and rehabilitating of this wonderful creature!

It was a great opportunity for me to look at the delicate features of this owl. One feature seen very well in hand is the feathers reaching the middle toe:

Teun, Bram and Omer, Omri, Ofek&Alon( from the Ga'ash youth birding club) enjoyed  a lifer, and I got a ringing tic!

Other than that, good numbers of passerines around with the first Red rumped Swallow for the spring flying around the ringing station. An adult Eastern Imperial Eagle and very beautiful 2nd cy Greater spotted Eagle among  some 30 Steppe Eagles. Idit Katzanelson reported the Hume's Warbler  is still present at Ktura. The Danish guys had a wonderfull day around the southern Arava with Menetres's  & Desert Warblers, Oriental skylarks, Hoppoe Larks and more…

Afternoon I went with Bram and Teun to Holland park. The guys located and took photos of a snake un-aware to what they have just witness. As they showed me the picture a shive ent up my spine – an Elegant Racer (Coluber elegantissimus) looked at me through Teun's camera screen!

I tried to explain what they had just found as we raced to the location of the snake. After some searching I found it hiding in a bush. Took it out with vibrating hands and a dumb smile smeared all over my face.
This is one of Israel's rarest snakes , and as expressed in the names of at least three languages,  one of the most beautiful ones !

That's it for today...good night.

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