Wednesday, May 27, 2020

End of spring

It's been a while since my last update here, not for lack of birding - I maintain my daily birding routine, keeping up with my #checklistadaychallenge, now on a streak of 287 days... Somehow, I have been very busy in recent weeks, and weather was quite awful at times, so I took very few photos and have rather few stories to tell. However, here's an accumulation of some random stuff I encountered recently.

Breeding bird atlas work continues, less in the far south, where the desert is drying up, more in the center and north, where Batha birds like this Long-billed Pipit, unusually perched on a bush, are the main stars:

I found Upcher's Warbler breeding at a few sites - still one of Israel's most sensitive breeding birds:

Spring migration has all but ended during the second half of the month. Somehow, only JBO maintains decent numbers of migrants (see this checklist for example) when the rest of the country dries up completely. 

Barred Warbler

This vocal River Warbler was a welcome addition to my year list: 

Jonathan and I chose the hottest day of the year (so far) for a quick visit to Eilat for early morning seawatching.

49 degrees celsius, 120 fahrenheit

It was somewhat quieter than we had hoped for (eBird checklist here), but still nice to be down there. Flying Spoon (AKA Pomarine Skua AKA Pomarine Jaeger) is always a good one:

Despite the heat we managed to connect with Black Scrub-robins in Samar - their stronghold in Israel:

In recent days migration has come to a halt. I have not seen a proper migrant in my recent visits to the patch. Now it's time for summer breeding specialties, and for summer biggies. I am ready.

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