Sunday, February 23

They are back...

On Tuesday, I will be heading towards the amazing FIO bird Festival at Extramadura. So before I leave, I've decided to check if night-life around Yotveta is showing Spring as well. I went out with Avi Meir and found 2 beautiful Egyptian Nightjars! After an absence of a year they are back and I hope that they will stay until I am back to try and get at least a record shot of one of them...

Also there was the resident Pharaoh Eagle Owl which thanks to Avi, now we have a decent photo of it!

This morning, both Ruppell's and Cyprus Warblers were found in there regular places around K20.

Spring is alive!   

Saturday, February 15

Let the games begin once again

After long idle due to being too occupied in moving into our new house at last, yesterday I went back to the field, joined by Shachar with his powerful Nikon (thus I didn't really bother photographing...) We had a great day with many birds and good evidence of migration throughout.

Starting at K20 we found the ponds loading with waders after being rather empty last week. Altogether we had few hundreds of each Dunlin, Little Stint while Greenshanks numbers have risen as well. We then drove towards Evrona and found this nice Steppe Shrike which didn't really allowed closer views.
At Evrona, few Chiffchafs, Sardinian and  Scrub Warblers and a female Blue Rock Thrush that played 'hard to get' but very quiet otherwise. A long drive to K76 and there a Wheatear 'bonanza' with Desert, Hooded, Mourning, Isabelline and Finch's (which was not there up to now) all around joined by Trumpeter Finches (which make the Spiny Zilla flowers even better looking) and few Linnets. This was the first outing that neither Asian Desert nor Spectacled Warblers were seen at the site and I wonder if they moved on already?!
Finch's Wheatear
On the way back to Yotveta, I received a call from the Mrs's who was coming down from Neot smadar area, describing a huge Eagle with small white 'windows' on the wing, white base of tail and broad black terminal band to the tail. Since Shachar never saw Golden Eagle yet (they used to breed around in the past, but very few records mainly during winter now days), we rushed up the mountains but with no luck. Instead we had a nicely coloured Common Whitethroat.

At Yotveta, it was mainly hot, but still had a good view of Lesser Short-toed Lark, Richard's Pipit and 3 Oriental Skylarks among the many usual species and also a very high passage of Pallid Swifts, House Martins and my first for the season Alpine Swift. No signs of 

At K19, while numbers of ducks and Cormorants have fallen dramatically, a great collection of raptors - Imperial Eagles (X2), Bonelli's Eagle, Marsh Harriers and one Barbary Falcon which was successfully controlling the numbers of Collared Doves. Later at North Beach, a very active Gull scene (White-eyed, Black-headed, Armenian, Hugline's) with nothing out of the ordinary except for a single 2nd cal' Common Gull.

I'm back to unpacking and organising the house, next round will not be too long...