Late last night we got the bad news from the military that for security reasons the whole mountain will be closed off to the public today. That was very bad news for us as we already had a big team assembled for an early start. As we were unable to survey the mountain, we decided to check another interesting habitat, the open grassy slopes of Mt. Keta, below the small community of Nimrod. This site held a small population of Bimaculated Larks until some years ago, but they seem to have become extinct as breeding birds in Israel nowadays. Despite trying hard we found none. Nevertheless it was good up there - very good density of Cretzschmar's Buntings (10 pairs), 11-12 Black-headed Buntings, one Long-billed Pipit and lots more. Beautiful scenery too.
Hoping for a more productive day on Mt. Hermon tomorrow.
View from Mt. Keta