Thursday, April 11, 2019

Fieldwork therapy

My busy spring continues. More fieldwork thankfully steers me away from thoughts about the future of my country and enables me to enjoy the magic of migration. A few days ago, with Mark still around, I collected data again in our Batha mapping project, north of Jerusalem. Pale Rock Sparrows, Calandra Larks, lots of common migrants in beautiful habitat - I certainly am lucky that this is my job.

Somewhat small-billed Calandra Lark

Mourning Wheatear

Tree Pipit on a rock - abundant migrant in all habitats, nevertheless sexy

Judean Iris - almost as good as a bird

Before dropping Mark and Amity off at the airport we made a 'small diversion' via Kfar Ruppin. I had a meeting there and I wanted M&A to experience the fabulous Bet Shean Valley. After the meeting we had 38 minutes of joy in the fishponds - huge streams of migrants overhead - storks, pelicans, eagles; the fishponds were full of good stuff. 83 species in 38 minutes - pure bliss (eBird checklist here). Light conditions were horrible and I was tired, so I left my camera in the bag - surely Mark will blog about it soon.
Yesterday I spent a morning mapping birds in the Poleg region, north of Tel Aviv, with INPA's Ohad and Tzlil. This is an interesting and relatively under-watched part of the country, despite being right in the center. No amazing rarities were seen, just a abundance of breeding species and migrants in surprisingly good habitats. I was busy counting so had little photo opps. eBird checklists here and here.

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