Spent the day birding with my good feind Gert Ottens from Holland. We started off early at Hameishar. Again birding was fantastic there. This is the best place in Israel to see Asian Wild Ass, and indeed we found four beasts - a lifer for Gert. Also good numbers of Dorcas Gazelles - about 20.
As in my previous visit, most inpressive were Asian Desert Warblers - I counted 30 (!) just along a 1 km long section of the main road, including many goups of threes and fours together, chasing wheatears. Incredible.
Asian Desert Warbler
Like all other birds there, feeding on caterpillars (see the second bird in the background?)
Also several Spectacled Warblers around, including one male that started display-flight singing.
Lots of wheatears feeding on the caterpillars. I was especially happy to have this stonking male Hooded Wheatear - my first proper images:
Pity the servo AF didn't work well:
Very good lark activity too: 40 temmincks (some singing and displaying males already), 1 thick-billed, many bar-tailed, some greater and lesser short-toed plus commoner species.
Other birds included many Spotted and Crowned Sandgrouse, and some Tawny Pipits.
Now what's the Dutch Ass thing all about? So Gert is one of the founders and organizers of the famous Deception Tours. And they have this kind of gag sticking deception tours stickers in bizzare places and photographing them. That's what Gert did this morning.
On the way back home we had a look at Urim area. Both birders and birds were in siesta-mode, so we didn;t see much. Still 20 Sociable Lapwings:
And this huge adult callidus Peregrine - note the white, faintly barred underparts, relatively narrow and pointed moustache, and huge size.