Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My twitching journal

I have been very busy lately, and have time only for some twitching. A group of nine Whooper Swans was found on Sunday in the N Hula Valley, first by a local farmer and then confirmed by Dotan Yosha of the Hula Birding Center. Only today I had time to pay them a visit. I have seen Whooper Swan in Israel only once before, in 2002, and it's a great rarity - only the 5th record for Israel.
Just to give you guys the correct perspective: geese are rare in Israel, but swans are even rarer. Any swan causes great excitement here, and whooper is the star of swans in Israel. And fine birds they are, regardless of whether they are common or not.
Locating them was not difficult in the young wheat field. Luckily they are big birds because we kept a safe distance from them and all I could get were these record shots:

Whooper Swans

And a larger crop:
And a huge crop:
It was a nice field with lots of birds in it. A flock of 18 Ruddy Shelducks was very flighty:

And this small group of Euro Golden Plovers was nice:

On the way back home had a quick look at the Black-winged Kites - the youngsters seem to be doing fine:

Thanks to Ron, Shlomo and Nadav for their company.

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