Saturday, October 1, 2011

October fest

This morning I checked the alfalfa field of Bet Kama, near my house. At first I spent some time with a small group of Red-footed Falcons hunting over a nearby dry field. They were not very cooperative, so I started walking through the field.

Red-footed Falcon - 1cy
The alfalfa field was quite good with lots of Yellow Wags, Red-throated Pipits and Short-toed Larks. After a while I flushed a largish pipit. It flew up and gave this diagnostic 'pseu' call that I know so well from Central Asia, and instantly I knew I had found a Blyth's Pipit. I tried for about an hour to get better views of it but I kept losing it in the overgrown field. In total I managed to locate it three or four times; each time I saw it quite well in flight but only once it landed in a dry field where I had brief frontal views. It kept calling very nicely each time I flushed it. I managed to see a few good ID features, including short and pointed bill, strong malar stripe and fine breast streaks (hence not tawny), short tail and medium size and structure, not so massive like richard's.
If accepted this is the fourth Israeli record, and an Israeli tick for me. Unfortunately it was not relocated later on by a few birders who tried for it, but I will give it another try tomorrow morning.
While searching for the pipit I found also an Oriental Skylark, and up to 10 Zitting Cisticolas, that are good local birds.

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