Sunday, March 14, 2010

Nizzana and nightjars

Weather was terrible today in the south, with a mighty and dramatic sandstorm blowing the whole day. I was stupid enough to try an atlas box near Ezuz, and ended up with seeing relatively few birds. The slightly sheltered wadis had some birds, but the open hills were totally empty. However I had some good migrants, including 1 Oriental Skylark, 15 Bimaculated Larks, and an Eastern Black Redstart (probably ochrorus). Among the local birds worth mentioning were 1 MacQueen's Bustard, and a pair of Bar-tailed Larks.
I did not manage to locate two Cyprus Wheatears seen yesterday, one at Nizzana fortress and another near Zohar junction. I can blame the weather for this...
I was very pessimistic about chances for nightjars this evening as the sandstorm was blowing in full blast down at Neot Hakikar. I met up with Gonzalo et al. (Spain) and Miguel (Belgium) and we gave it a try anyway. After a bad start we eventually had terrific views of three birds at point blank range.

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