Wow, it feels like it's been ages since I last posted a proper blog post, with images and stuff. Anyway, had a great morning north of Be'er Sheva. I began with a very early morning ringing session with Eyal, Yoram and Eilon. We tried to catch the hundreds of Corn Buntings and Spanish Sparrows leaving their roost in a tiny reedbed. Eventually we discovered that the nets were not positioned optimally and we ended with a poor catch, but at least some colour.
Corn Bunting (no colour on this one)
We closed the nets very early and I went birding in Lahav Reserve. This is one of my favorite birding sites, especially at this time of year. The scenery is beautiful, bloom is at its peak, and birding is superb.
Sun's-eye Tulip Tulipa agenensis
At last I experienced true spring atmosphere - lots of migrants and very obvious breeding activity. During the hour or so I had very good birding. There were at least three territorial male Long-billed Pipits, four Finsch's Wheatears, very good activity of Spectacled Warblers (at least 15 singing males), 40 Woodlarks including some displaying pairs, 1 singing Eurasian Cuckoo, 3 Quail, 1 singing Creztschmar's Bunting and lots more.
Spectacled Warbler - male
Spectacled Warbler - female
After about an hour of enjoyable birding I was interrupted by a phone from Eyal who continued to ring in a nearby wadi. He had caught a female Cyprus Warbler, so I decided to go for this local micro-twitch. Nice bird indeed (though males are better of course).
Cyprus Warbler - 2cy female
Note the bold wing pattern - prominent GC bar and tertial edges.