Sunday, March 15, 2020

Bogey bird down

Amidst the Corona craziness, this morning I managed to get myself to Arsuf. My target was a Blyth's Pipit that had been found a few days ago by Eyal Shochat - possibly a returning bird. I couldn't go until this morning, which made me quite restless over the weekend. I had a bitter history with this species in Israel, having been out of the country for all twitchable ones, and being unable to nail two birds I am sure I found myself (while leading a tour in 2010, and in my magic field in 2011). Till this morning. I met up with Rony early, and we stared working a lovely grassy field buzzing with birds, not dissimilar to a Mongolian steppe:

After few minutes of walking through wet grass we flushed the bird, it gave a nice call (I was unprepared with my sound recording gear) and showed well in flight:

Showing diagnostic pattern on T5, with limited white, wedge-shaped:

It joined its two Richard's friends, and the trio offered good comparative views of size and structure. Also, check the pattern of T5 on this Richard's - all white:

We were joined by a few more birders, and we spent some time with the birds and eventually were treated to good views of the Blyth's perched out in the open:

There were seven pipit species present - not bad; with an Olive-backed a few days ago and Long-billed at a few sites, it has been a good pipit week.
There were lots of birds and some good ones around (eBird checklist here) - three Sibe Stonechats, Oriental Skylark, Rueppell's Warbler etc.

Glad to put this one to rest - now I'm worried about birding and twitching in this Corona crisis. Stay safe.

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