Anyway, this morning I was ringing at the JBO. Pretty useless, only birds of note being several Hawfinches flying around but none got caught. About halfway through the morning my phone rings (again...), this time it's Ron Haran: "I've got a Black-throated Accentor in the hand at Netiv Halamed He, can you come over?". F@&@!!! I was busy with two school groups and couldn't see how I can get myself down there in reasonable time to see the bird before it's released. I gave the poor schoolkids the shortest ringing demonstration ever and sped off. Luckily no car crashes or police interactions due to my speed...
When I got there I released a sigh of relief, the bird was still in the bag, safe and cool. Took a few images, and let the bird go. It disappeared into an almond orchard. I actually managed to glimpse it in a tree an hour later together with Shachar but nothing more than a glimpse. But what a terrific bird it is! So beautiful and so special. It was aged as a 1cy by the shape and amount of wear on its alula and rectrices.
First of all, congratulations to Ron and Yotam for yet another great find! This site has real magic to it!
This is the 2nd record for Israel. the first was in 1982 in Jerusalem, just a year before I started birding. So this is serious blocker out of the way! Of course it was an Israeli and WP tick for me.
After the adrenalin left my veins, I had time to contemplate my destiny as a twitcher. What's the point in seeing a rare bird in a bag? What does it matter to myself or to anyone whether I saw the bird or not? Was it worth almost getting myself and others killed on the road while speeding to see the bird? OF COURSE!!! YES!!! I am a bloody twitcher and proud of it!