A couple of weeks ago my mate Meidad found a stunning Wallcreeper inside the scenic Ein Avdat gorge - a site where it had not been seen for over 20 years. Many birders connected with it, but I had no time to make it down south till today. Before a meeting, Amir and I met up with Meidad and we gave the gorge a thorough scan. Soon after walking in we had great views of the local Bonelli's Eagle pair. This species is Critically Endangered in Israel, with less than 10 breeding pairs nationally. I hope this pair will breed successfully this year. The female is a bit young, about 4 years old - hope she masters the skills of successful breeding soon.
Several pairs of Eurasian Griffons breed in the gorge - they were busy mating and collected nesting material.
The male is a bit older:
There are few sites in Israel that are remote enough to claim 'pure' Rock Pigeons - Ein Avdat is one of them. Impossible to tell whether they are actually pure or not - I'm sure the local Bonelli's Eagles and Lanners don't care.
We searched hard but there was no sign of the bloody Wallcreeper. The sole curve-billed species present was Water Rail:
This Grey Wagtail was working the waterfall for small inverts:
Ein Avdat gorge
Luckily, any visit to Ein Avdat is a treat, even without huge birding highlights. Our eBird checklist is here.