Sunday, April 12, 2020

Essential travel

Strange day today. Started the day monitoring a few reservoirs, under authorisation, as part of an important national project. No special highlights, just nice weather and a few fine birds, including my first Collared Pratincoles of the year (harsh light masking the rufous underwing coverts)

Just as I was done with the final reservoir, the RBA alert went off, CODE RED. Three-banded Plover at Ma'ayan Tzvi!!! WTF!?! 

I didn't even think about Covid-19 implications or anything else, just full steam ahead. Got there quickly, thankfully roads are quite empty now... I joined the few others already on site, and quickly connected with the bird. Fantastic stuff. Great views though horrible light conditions for photography, with heat haze and harsh midday sun. Beautiful bird in immaculate plumage; those red eyes...

Mini twitch during COVID-19 times, socially distancing

I had no time for a full circuit of Ma'agan Michael, just a quick drive around the plover's fishpond that produced quite a nice list (eBird checklist here).

On the way back home, I started receiving concerned messages and phone calls, challenging my celebration of this bird during lockdown. I acknowledge the complexity of this situation, yet I cannot see myself not going to twitch this bird. Regarding the others who came for the twitch - each person made their own decision, and I cannot vouch for them. 

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