Very nice day today - don't worry I feel well. Went ringing at my CES site at Ashdod this morning. An early start produced a superb male European Nightjar. At first light Shlomo and myself saw a snipe coming in to land in 'my' swamp. I went to look for it and as I suspected flushed a Great Snipe - saw the tail pattern, wing pattern and general size and structure well. Unfortunately it dodged my net and disappeared. This is a good bird in Israel, with 5-10 annualy, and my first record for Ashdod. However I am sure that they are heavily overlooked in marshy habitats. Another was seen by Meidad today at Nizzana.
Later on things picked up nicely and we had lots of fun - good numbers but not too busy (170 birds in total), lots of quality and colour. Hightlights included four (!) River Warblers - this seems to be an outstanding spring for this scarce species. One of them was immaculate and really green and well-patterned - as beautiful as a locustella can get.
European Nightjar - male
The catch constituted mainly of Blackcaps but there were lots of other warblers: many Reed and Garden Warblers, 7 Barred Warblers, 5 Great Reeds, Olive-tree Warbler, Ortolan, 4 Red-backed Shrikes etc. etc.
Red-backed Shrike - male
Many thanks to Arad, Liad, Shlomo and Miriam for their help.
When I got back home with the kids in the afternoon I noticed good raptor passage pretty low over my house. Ran in and got my camera out. In 10 minutes had about 200 Lesser Spotted Eagles, 100 Steppe Buzzards, 30 Honey Buzzards and fewer Steppe Eagles, Black Kites etc. My kids were impressed too.
Lesser Spotted Eagle