Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Happy spring

Best way to avoid Coronavirus and to stay mentally healthy is birding, isn't it? That's exactly what I did this morning, only in my case it's also work. I worked/birded in Tel Krayot/Mt. Amasa area. It was a fine morning, together with good friends Barak, Roni, Oded, Avi and Ron.
We started off early at the archaeological site of Tel Krayot (eBird checklist here). Most prominent were Blue rock-Thrushes - they were everywhere. They breed here, I even found a nest with eggs. Sadly, birds at this site are quite skittish - too much disturbance from herders I guess, so please accept these photos as habitat shots...

Nearby, Nahal Tov was pretty good. Highlight was this stonking male Rufous-tailed Rock-Thrush, showing its better side in this photo:

Numbers of Cretzschmar's Bunting are still a bit low, and we found no hoped-for Cinereous Bunting. However, can't complain about Cretzschmar's Bunting...

In this sound recording, a male gives some typical sharp calls and a short song sequence, then when a another bunting flew over he gave these soft bubbly contact calls:

There was some raptor migration up in the air, three Eurasian Crag-Martins flew by, and a single Syrian Serin did the same.

Beautiful flowers everywhere, including many Sharon Tulip:

On the way out, I stopped to admire impressive carpets of Lion's Leaf (Leontice leontopetalum) and Persian Lilly (Fritillaria persica):

Persian Lilly

Bamba posing

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