Great birding today in the Bet She'an Valley. Started off at Neve Eitan fishponds that were absolutely packed with birds - thousands of kites, pelicans, storks, herons, gulls etc etc. Birded there for several hours and we all had a good time. Jonathan found this 1cy Daurian Shrike - we all had great scope views but the bird would not let us photograph it properly.
Lots of other good birds - Dead Sea Sparrows, Whiskered Terns, several Greater Spotted Eagles, a few Purple Herons, Little Bittern and lots more. Read a Finnish ring on a fuscus gull - good record.
Later on checked some alfalfa fields near Kfar Ruppin. We found two Oriental Skylarks among the many skylarks and pipits. Good flight views. Mick was pleased. In a nearby pond we had a few tens of smart Desert Finches coming in to drink, enjoyed by everyone.
At Hamadiya we had a Pallid Harrier, a couple of Little Green Bee-eaters (more or less as far north as they reach) and this female stonechat. I can see no reason why it's not a caspian. No white visible on the rectrices, but I am sure that under those uppertail coverts hides some white, seen only in the hand.
Added Mountain Gazelle to our ever-growing mammal list.