Thursday, July 18, 2013

Clown Sandgrouse

Spent the morning around Ezuz with Meidad and Yossi Eshbol (Israel's senior wildlife photographer). First we drove around in the desert which was pretty quiet apart for a family of Cream-coloured Coursers, and some Desert Wheatears and Spectacled Warblers.
We then located ourselves at a safe distance from a drinking spot of Crowned Sandgrouse near Ezuz. We are trying to promote an interesting conservation project with the local land owner - more on that to follow. Anyway we had rather few sandgrouse coming in to drink, only 12, but they're always great birds to see and hear.

Interesting that one of the females had a white, unstreaked belly, different from the normal streak-bellied females:

Nice male on the deck

After we were done at Ezuz we checked the Nizzana ponds around noon. It was already hot and heat haze affected this image of a female Dorcas Gazelle with two large cubs:

Before entering the ponds we were talking about Caracals and what a good place the Nizzana ponds are for them. Then suddenly a brown, medium-sized mammal walked out of the vegetation - both Yossi and myself almost shat in our pants but it was only a skinny Golden Jackal (out of focus, sorry):

At the ponds few migrants (tringas and ruffs mainly), one Namaqua Dove, and big numbers of Little Grebe families- good breeding success there.

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