This weekend I had a chance to do some urban birding in Tel Aviv. Despite the various opportunities for quality birding Tel Aviv metropolitan has on offer, my main target was a species I had never had a chance to document, or even spend quality-time with: Vinous-breasted Starling. This Category C colonised Israel more or less at the same time as Common Myna, in the late 1990's or early 2000's. It had some good years in greater Tel Aviv (see e.g. this study). However, unlike its Southeast-Asian congener, after a few good years, it seems that in recent years its population is in decline, and in fact they are not that widespread anymore. This morning I had some success photographing them in the western side of Hayarkon Park. I know, plastic fantastic and all that stuff; yet, they are on the Israel (and WP) list, and fine birds they are. Thanks to local birder Anat for gen.
Urban park birding
With the famous Reading chimney in the background
Plastic X 2
Typical pre-migration Tel Aviv eBird checklists, yesterday in Jaffa, today in Reading Park, Ha-Banim Park.