The last couple of days of the festival were very hectic, and I had no time to write about them. Anyway, on Saturday I went with my group up to the Golan Heights, to check some orchards and hillsides for good stuff. Despite the freezing conditions, we had a great time. Saw nothing special but had lots of seedeaters in mixed flocks - Goldfinch, Linnet, Chaffinch, Corn Bunting and Serin. Also impressive were large numbers of Woodlarks.
Corn Buntings and LinnetOn the way down from the Golan we had a quick lokk at a rubbish dump above the valley, where we finally conected with a juv. Eastern Impreial Eagle. A juv. Bonellis' Eagle was also present.
On the final morning of the festival, Nadav and myself headed up with my group to Biriya orchards in the Upper Galilee. Again, lots of seedeaters, with impressive numbers of Bramblings (about 150), and in addition some quality stuff - tristis-type Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Hawfinches, 4 Yellowhammers, Siskin and a Redwing. These additions brought the festival total to a neat 202 species!
The Festival was a great success. It was our first northern festival, but our team has lots of experience from the Eilat festivals, and I think that in the bottom line our guests, participating in all the different activities (birding package, photography workshop, journalists, scientific conference) had a great time. We received some very positive feedback from our guests, and we are looking forward to see them in Israel again. Many thanks to the organizing team for their efforts: Dan, Jonathan and Nadav.