Friday, March 19, 2010

Festival update - day 2

Today I led the Dead Sea tour. We made a very early start. Our first stop was at Shezaf reserve. Soon we located an Arabian Warbler, feeding very actively and giving us superb scope views. Other good birds were Scrub Warbler, Desert Finches, and a flyover Spotted Sandgrouse.
From there we drove staright to Metzoke Dragot. There was no raptor migration, possibly due to the cold front in central Israel that must have pushed the stream farther south. But there were some quality birds around - we had a female Bonelli's Eagle sitting on a nest across the mighty Darga gorge, and a male Mountain Bunting performed nicely on the cliff below us, singing and collecting nest material.

The rest of the day wasn't that busy. In Wadi Mishmar I had a male Hooded Wheatear but none of the group managed to get on to it. We didn't manage to see Clamorous Reed Warbler and Dead-Sea Sparrow but heard both south of the Dead Sea. A White-throated Kingfisher at Hemar reservoir was nice.
We ended the dat at the very birdy KM 76. Lots of wheatears, Short-toed Larks and Tawny Pipits there, with the added value of Pallid Harrier and Siberian Stonechat.
Tomorrow I have a morning off so I will try to catch up with some of the goodies around - Menetries's Warbler, Pied Wheatear etc.

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