Saturday, October 13, 2018

Bet She'an Valley birders weekend

This weekend we organised a wonderful birders meeting in the Bet She'an Valley. We were hosted by Jordan Valley Birding Center, that has recently amped its activities and is fully geared now to become an international birding hotspot. I love birding in the valley in autumn; now, with the new infrastructure, more visitors are able to join the party.
Anyway, tens of birders from all corners of the country flocked to Kfar Ruppin. We spent Thursday afternoon and Friday morning in the field, birding the alfalfa fields, fishponds and scrub. Thursday evening was dedicated to social activities and alcohol consumption. Weather was a bit funny. Though I have seen the valley on busier days, birding was still fantastic and company was great too. Personally I saw 111 species, though the potential is much higher. No big rarities were found, but we enjoyed the predictable scarcities. As expected at this time of year, between the groups we had at least 7 Oriental Skylarks and a fair number of Richard's Pipits. I didn't see any of them well. Caspian Stonechat numbers were fairly low, but it is always a delight to share a few moments of tail-fanning with these stunners:

There were some classic Bet Shean valley scenes to be seen - clouds of Yellow Wagtails and Red-throated Pipits rising from the alfalfa field when a Pallid Harrier flew across; muddy fishponds with hundreds of shorebirds and banks packed with large waterbirds; thousands of Black Kites. Pure bliss.

Pallid Harrier - I manipulated colours here to create a nice silhouette of the harrier and wagtail

More natural colours

Dead Sea Sparrows

Crop on the central bird

Classic Bet Shean Valley scenes



Birding the alfalfa

Many thanks to the organisers - Nadav, Tuvia, David and Shelly; to my co-leaders Noam, Jonathan and Yael, and to all the fellow birders who joined in. 

No comments:

Post a Comment