Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Blocker at risk!

In the last 48 hours I did too much birding and had no sleep at all. So this is how it went: yesterday afternoon met up with Ian & Margaret from UK. We birded first at Lot Reservoir which was again very procuctive. Good breeding activity of Dead Sea Sparrows, three singing Clamorous Reed Warblers, Ferruginous Duck etc. Very birdy there. 

Dead Sea Sparrow

This is how it sounded like - Eastern olivaceous Warbler, Dead Sea Sparrows, Black-winged Stilt, Black-headed Wagtail, Moorhen:

After dusk we had good nightjar activity with several singing males and good views of birds on the deck and in flight. 

Got back home just before midnight, and discovered that I had a guard duty in my village. F@#k! I was dead tired but managed not to fall asleep somehow. Finished that at 3 am, and headed off to Ashdod. I met up with Arad very early - we planned to set nets up for shorebirds and crakes. Our heroic effort was fruitless and we caught our first passerines only at dawn. When there was enough light we noticed tons of crakes running under our nets, of all three species, including a stunning Baillon's Crake, but none got caught.

Baillon's Crake, adult

Only later on a Water Rail got caught. But after a disappointing start it turned out to be a very good morning - good catch and great variety. Good numbers of Lesser Whites, Blackcaps and Reed Warblers, and other species included Masked Shrike, Savi's Warbler, Willow Warbler, Redstart, and many more.

Water Rail

Cretzschmar's Bunting - female

Balkan Warbler

Alien or not - Common Mynas are lookers! Check that eye!

Other species seen but not caught were Jack Snipe, Little Bitterns, and many Tree Pipits.
Many thanks to Arad, Miriam and Roie for their help.

In the evening news arrived of a Grey-headed Gull reported at Eilat! This is one of my serious blockers - I saw one in 1989. So I am not sure whether I want it to be relocated tomorrow or not... No, just kidding, good luck to Eilat birders tomorrow, unfortunately I can't make it down there before Sunday.


  1. Hi Yoav,

    So what happened to the report of Grey-headed Gull? It never seemed to make it to the Israbirdnet unless I missed something.

    A follow-up would be appreciated.


    PS. It was good to see you in's been a while.

  2. Hi James, likewise.
    This gull was reported by a single observer, no documentation. Never to be seen again. Probably we will never know what it was.