Saturday, June 14, 2014

Final day of monitoring Course, Mt. Hermon

Yesterday was the final field day of the Wildlife monitoring Training Course. This hugely successfull course was funded by EU, and coordinated by Hans Seidel Foundation. Yours truly and Noam Weiss were the chief trainers. We had 27 trainees from all over the country, and we trained them in various survey methods for several taxa (birds, mammals, reptiles, flora and insects), and other useful skills like data analysis and GIS systems. 
The last session was on Mt. Hermon, to wrap up some of our field work last week for the breeding atlas. I missed Thursday but yesterday I left home too early (02:00) to arrive early on Mt. Hermon. We spent the full morning surveying some of the mid-altitude habitats. Lots of birds around - mostly families. Very high densities of Eastern Orphean Warblers and Woodchat Shrikes. No rarities around but some good specialties present in good numbers - mainly Western Rock Nuthatches and Sombre Tits.

Eastern Orphean Warbler - female

The scenery is always stunning on Mt. Hermon:

We did our course summary by the drinking pools. The summary was constantly interrupted by the birders shouting out birds that came in to drink - some rock, Black-headed and Cretzschmar's Buntings, one Upcher's Warbler, many Syrian Serins etc.

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