Last week, a day after I left Israel, Irad Solnik found Israel's first Ashy Drongo in his kibbutz, Gan Shmuel, in C Israel. Brilliant find. He saw it for just about a minute (and photographed it) and then it went missing for more than a week until this morning when he relocated the bird, still in his kibbutz. Later on during the day the drongo finally gave in and was twitched by most Israeli birders.
Cool video by Amir Balaban:
After three months in the UK, this is the first bird in Israel that I need for my list. Until now the Twitching Gods were kind with me, major rarities seen in Israel since I left were already on my list (Crossbill, Lesser White-fronted Goose, Lesser Flamingo). And when it seemed that this drongo is non-twitchable, I must admit I felt some relief that at least no one else sees it...
I am a serious Israeli lister - I am third in the current IL400 club list - Rami added another one today... And probably Barak will not resist the temptation and add it in the next few days. Just for the record, Hadoram Shirihai and Ehud Dovrat are probably up there somewhere as well, but they don't keep (public) lists.
These four years in the UK might be very painful for me, in this respect. I know that I will miss between 5 and 10 species in Israel (in recent years I had an average of 1-2 Israeli ticks per year). Because I am still connected online to birding news in Israel, real-time news coming in today was tormenting. If I had more time and money I'd probably catch a plane and fly back to see it (and the next megas that will show up during the next four years). But for the time being, I will have to watch with envy how my ranking is dropping down. Life is a bitch.
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