Monday, January 2, 2017

Desert Nights

Oh, how I missed these. Spent a night and two days with my family at Ein Gedi by the Dead Sea. Daytime birding was rather quiet, as expected for this time of year, but it was good to get reunited with 'my' familiar desert birds and mammals. The birding highlight of the weekend was a couple of hours of night birding in the northern Dead Sea region with my brother and Rami (thanks!). A small resident population of Egyptian Nightjars was found breeding there last summer by a team that included Amir Ben Dov and Ady Gancz. We went to check if we could find any on a chilly mid-winter night. They did. Very quickly we found three nightjars on the deck. They offered brilliant views. Quality!

We left them in peace and moved on to nearby date plantations to see if Pallid Scops Owls overwinter there too. They do... We had only brief views of one, but heard about three singing and calling. Great stuff. It is quite amazing how we can still learn new things about our breeding birds in Israel.

Here are few unimpressive wildlife images I got:

Barbary Falcon - perched on the tall communication mast in the kibbutz (huge crop)

Grey Wagtail

White-crowned Wheatear - 2cy

Disgraceful Nubian Ibex

Rock Hyrax

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