This morning I went birding at Wadi Kos which is in southern Jerusalem, near the neighbourhood of Gilo. Avner Rinot found there last week two Pine Buntings among a nice flock of Yellowhammers. Arrived there in the morning and was joined by Ron Haran. Together we worked our way down the wadi birding the slopes covered with almond and olive trees. Took us some time to get onto the bunting flock but eventually we found a flock of 15. They were very very shy and mobile, like they usually are here in Israel. Took me a while to scan through them but eventually managed to get only brief views of a female Pine Bunting - no image.
Other than lots of common finches and thrushes, one Fieldfare was the only other bird of note.
So common that Ihave never bothered photographing them before - Hooded Crows:
This was quite a sentimental morning for me. I grew up in Jerusalem, very close to where we were birding this morning. I used to bird this area as a kid almost daily. In winter we had a regular flock of about 100 Yellowhammers and 25-30 Pine Buntings in that area, but since the huge developement in that area, buntings went missing from this area for some years. So it was really good to be back in the area, bird in the habitat I know so well from childhood.