As part of my breeding atlas project of the Batha habitat in the N Negev, I checked Mt. Khiran reserve this morning, E of Meitar. Sadly, even though it's protected as a nature reserve, habitat is strongly degraded there by overgrazing. But still I managed to see some quality birds. Most prominent were Spectacled Warblers - I had five families with fledglings.
Spectacled Warbler - adult male
Spectacled Warbler - recently-fledged juvenile
Almost Tristram's Warbler but not quite...
I found no Long-billed Pipits, but I did have a singing and displaying Tawny Pipit. I will need to check for more signs of breeding later on in the season. In addition I found a nest of Black-eared Wheatears, and had two singing male Hill Sparrows - one was with a female on a nest. First breeding record for the greater Be'er Sheva region. Another good bird I had was a pair of Desert Larks.
Quite a cool recording from this morning - Hill Sparrow and Spectacled Warbler: