This morning I revisited an atlas box in the Arava, to confirm breeding of birds I saw there on my previous visit. Weather was good early in the morning, and quickly I found a family of Dunn's Larks - both parents with a fully grown juvenile. They were very mobile and I didn't manage to get close to them at all. They flew west, and later I found in that direction the same or another family, again very mobile birds.
Bar-tailed Lark was the most dominant species in the box, with two families, several more singing males, and this cool female I found incubating on a nest under a small bush:
I was curious to see the Thick-billed Lark nest that I saw a few weeks ago. After making sure that the nest was abandoned, I had a close look, and it's quite an amazing nest, the size of a tennis ball, lined with toilet paper!
Soon the weather deteriorated, and a strong dust storm began. I headed back north early, and on the way back I followed up on a nest of Temminck's Larks at Hameishar found by Jonathan Meyrav 9 days ago. As expected, I found three fully grown juveniles flying together not far away from the used nest; no sign of their parents around. Damn, these larks breed so fast!
I checked the hills near Sde Boker for Hill Sparrows, and indeed I saw quite a few birds, including a female (?) feeding two fledglings. They must be breeding in their thousands all over the Negev.