Monday, September 16, 2013

Borrowed time

Had a nice time at Ashdod ponds this morning. Again lots of shorebirds in one muddy pond - about 200 Little Stints and 150 Ringed Plovers. Nothing too interesting in the mud - some Curlew and Marsh Sands, Temminck's Stints and that's it. Played calls of red-necked, long-toed, baird's, semi-p, white-rumped and even pec but nothing fell out of the sky.
There was a bit more activity in the passerine front. Already on the way out of my village noticed lots of migrants in the fields and hedges - Isabelline Wheatears, Whinchats, Spotted Flycatchers and Red-backed Shrikes. In Ashdod all of these species showed in high densities for such a small site. I estimated 1000 Willow Warblers feeding on the banks between the ponds - like mosquito swarms. Lots of Yellow Wagtails, with 3-4 Citrines among them. This very cold-toned 1cy citrine was extremely showy:

Citrine Wagtail - 1cy

One of many Willow Warblers - collecting insects from False Yellowhead bushes

FF - very close

 Curlew Sandpipers - 1cy on left, adult on right

 Five species here - can you identify them all?

Pretty difficult to preen with such a long bill... Snipe

I had a close encounted with a small group of three Mountain Gazelles. They were feeding quietly - I was downwind from them, and they passed in front of my car maybe 15 m away - only the camera clicks startled them a bit.

On the way home checked the Bet Kama alfalfa field - recce before ringing there tomorrow morning (hopefully). Looks very good, packed with birds. An early Oriental Skylark was nice.

My wife is expected to give birth any day now, so I am living on borrowed time. Who knows when the bell goes off - might happen any minute. In fact my wife started feeling some volcanic activity today... So every post here might be the last for the next few weeks.

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