Friday, March 22, 2019

Eilat day 1 - photo-bogey busted

Today (actually already yesterday - it's late!) I headed down towards Eilat with Mark and Amity to join the Eilat Bird Festival /COTF / IBOC events. We made a quick stop at Har Amasa that was simply brilliant. There were birds everywhere, and what quality. I was really looking forward to arrive on site and hear the cicada-song of Pale Rock Sparrow as soon as I open the car windows - and that's exactly what happened. One of my favourite birds. Tens of them present, singing and displaying. Bliss.

The bird with a thousand name - Pale Rock Sparrow / Pale Rockfinch / Hill Sparrow

We then birded the slopes and enjoyed every minute. On the ground and up in the air. The Persian Wheatear, still present, showed very well:

Still no success with that jump-shot exposing that tail pattern and pale underwing coverts: 

Normal Rock Sparrow

Lots of gorgeous Cretzschmar's Buntings present. The females get photographed less - that's unfair and discriminating:


Among them managed to find one Cinereous Bunting - at last grabbed a few snaps. Not the high quality I wanted, yet a photo-tick...

Photobombed by a fritillary

Jerusalem Fritillary (Melitaea telona)

eBird checklist here.

Drove all the way down to Eilat only to head straight back up to the Dead Sea region, leading a tour for the Eilat Bird Festival. It was a great tour, with top-quality species - African Swamphen, Desert Owl and Nubian Nightjar.

Now time to sleep. Good night!

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