Oh, I'm so funny... I just had to use this amazing pun before our nana's (Asian Desert Warbler) leave us for some godforsaken desert in southern Russia. And thanks to Rihanna for her poetry...
Yesterday I had a long and eventful day with lots of good birds, so let's begin:
My first mission for the day was an atlas box in the remotest part of the Arava. Last year it was one of the best boxes
, and this year it did not disappoint even though the area did not receive one single drop of rain. As I got out of the car I heard the distant, beautiful song of a Hoopoe Lark, and then saw the couple. Still not in full breeding activity but certainly looking good, the male gave some short display flights. Next song I heard was of a Temminck's Lark - I had a male perched on a distant bush, with a female running around on the ground near him. Later I saw two more pairs. Fantastic birds!
I had a distant pale shrike perched on a bush. I started walking towards it, it flew further away, I kept on walking and it kept its distance from me. I had to run a kilometer back to the car to get my scope and clinch the ID - Steppe Grey Shrike! Good bird in nice summer plumage. No images I'm afraid. My pulse was just returning to normal when I heard a familiar song from high up in the sky - black tail - Dunn's Lark! I was very happy to see it; I wonder if it stays to breed even though the ecosystem is so dry. Unfortunately for all of you foreign birders coming to Israel, this site is deep inside a firing zone and impossible to reach without 4X4, so keep looking for them in easier sites...
Soon afterwards I had four Asian Desert Warblers together - such great little birds. They seem to be on the move now with more birds being seen in recent days.
I had quite many Rueppel's Warblers and one Subalp. They are getting their foreheads covered in yellow pollen from Ochradenus baccatus bushes - the ultimate sylvia bush:
Interestingly I had only females:
This male Dorcas Gazelle was rather tame:
After I was done for the morning I started heading north. On the road near En Yahav I stopped to check a dead bird on the road - it was a Pied / Cyprus Wheatear! Unfortunately too squashed to identify...
I went to Hazeva fieldschool for a short siesta. As I got back to the car, very refreshed, I saw this dark wheatear flying away - Cyprus Wheatear! This is how females look like - very dark brown rather than jet black, very dark crown and very warm underparts:
The northern Arava received some rain and has some nice desert bloom. Cistanche tubulosa is a very impressive geophyte:
I headed to Kikar Sdom to meet up with Thomas and his wife, from Germany. Driving up I noticed that the visibility was exceptionally good and the air was crystal clear, so I couldn't resist taking a photo of this beautiful landscape:
Our Nubian Nightjar tour was very successfull as always, and I was happy to call it a day and make my long way back home.
Nice capture on lark!ReplyDelete