This morning I was ringing at a small site near my house. I live in a small village at the Judean foothills, and this is a very birdy area. Not many hotspots but large numbers of common stuff everywhere. I've been ringing at this drinking spot for a few monthes, and it has produced some nice stuff (best was a Red-breasted Fly in September) but usually no dramas, so it was a nice way to spend a sunny morning with my son Uri.
Our best bird of the morning was this female Hawfinch. The little bitch bit some flesh off my fingers even though I was cautious.
Hawfinches are regular but rather sporadic winter visitors to the northern half of Israel. On most years they arrive in small numbers, though usually they peak in March. But this year is special, and many tens or hundreds are seen in many sites in Israel. I had about 50 flying around this morning, but only this one came down to drink. What a great bird!