Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ma'agan Michael

I spent today (1/10/09) with Mike Alibone (UK). Following yesterday's RBA flood, we made an early start and headed towards Ma'agan Michael. The shorebirds were rather mobile, but eventually we managed to catch up with all good birds around. the best for me was of course the Pectoral Sandpiper, found yesterday by Chen Rozen. I saw one at Yotvata last May, but it was good to see this one too.

Mike was actually very keen on seeing this Terek Sandpiper. It took us some time, but eventually we got great views of it.

Other good birds in the fishponds were a 1cy Red Knot, four Broad-billed Sandpipers, over 20 Temminck's Stints, a 1cy Black Tern, and several Citrine Wagtails.

'Big' birds were seen in huge numbers. First thing in the morning about 3000 White pelicans were sat in the sea; some moved on during the morning, while others tried their luck in the fish farm. There were more than 1000 Slender-billed Gulls present - an impressive figure.

During the morning we joined Jonathan Meyrav near Nahalal, and managed to get some decent raptor migration, with about 150 Lesser Spotted Eagles, 15 Levant Sparrowhawks and other bits and pieces. But soon the migration dried out and it ended up to be a very quiet migration day.

A windy visit to Tishlovet reservoir was productive with a single White-headed Duck and over 20 Ferruginous Ducks among the huge numbers of Shoveler and other ducks. Six Black-necked Grebes were nice too.

Bet She'an Valley in the afternoon was relatively quiet, but it was nice to see three bright Black-eared Wheatears.

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