Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ma'agan Michael - migration in full swing

I spent the last three days at Ma'agan Michael. I took part in a data anlysis workshop given by Nat Seavy of PRBO. After visiting PRBO last year it was great for me to meet Nat over here, and of course I learned so much from his experience and expertise. Unfortunately I had very little time for birding, and only this morning I had a couple of hours to do some birding with Nat.
Ma'agan Michael beach was very birdy, with many terns, gulls and shorebirds. We had five Greater Sandplovers, this one being rather tame and showing well in the early morning light. Note the huge bill and yellow legs.

Greater Sandplover

There was a good selection of other shorebirds but nothing too exciting. However Turnstones are always amusing to watch.

Ruddy Turnstone

There were several hundred terns roosting on the beach. Most were the local Common Terns, but there were good numbers of Little Terns and White-winged Terns - about 50 of each.

Little Tern
I had two colour-ringed Little Terns that had been ringed as part of a project run by the NPA, both were ringed at Atlit (15 km north) earlier this month. Hopefully some Israeli terns will get sighted in South Africa this winter.

White-winged Tern (what a poor name)
After this quick look at the beach we drove around the nearby ponds. This did not produce too much, with the only birds of interest being 1 Eurasian Cuckoo and 1 Temminck's Stint.
As you can see the workshop itself was great fun too. Here we R analyzing some data ;-)

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