As I wrote in my previous blog, on Thursday a serious weather system hit Israel - the first storm of the winter. After a few quiet migration days, it was evident that this weather change knocked many migrants down. Yesterday and today farthest I could go was my local patch - there was a noticeable wave of Chiffchaff and Bluethroat. I birded hard to find something decent, or at least add new species to the site. The plan worked OK twice: While playing Yellow-browed Warbler music yesterday, suddenly a textbook Siberian Chiffchaff popped up in front of me - lovely grey all over with contrasting yellowish tertial and secondary fringes, and a neat, faint wingbar. By the time I got the camera up it was off and I could not relocate it. Today I walked past a park adjacent to 'my' stream - always when I walk past the big trees I listen out for a 'Tseeu-weet'. This time - bingo! Heard a very active Hum'es Leaf Warbler calling from a large tree - maybe 15 or 20 calls that enabled me to confirm the ID. It was a bit distant, and I had to walk around to a gap in the fence. By the time I got closer it became silent, aaargh! I searched the tree where I thought I heard it from - I saw a small, short-tailed Phyllosc flying away, but nothing more than that. I spent a while there, played music and did whatever I could to relocate it, without success. Frustrating, yet exciting to add another classic patch tick. It was actually a pretty decent morning - check my full eBird checklist here.
Cooperative Phyllosc - Common Chiffchaff
Most bizarre bird of the morning was a Peters's Twinspot - clearly escaped. It was very mobile so no photo but I got this sound recording, it's in the checklist.