Thursday, November 5, 2020

Look east

It's that time of year we all wait for. In western Europe it starts in late September, and peaks in October. Here in Israel, it takes the vagrants from the east a little longer to filter down and make it over here. Numbers and diversity of eastern vagrants we get here compared to western Europe are much lower, so we need to make do with what little we get. On Sunday I got a little reward for working Tzor'a, searching in vain for an Oriental Turtle Dove that didn't show. Driving along a cut alfalfa field, oooh what this bird that flew up from the edge? Little Bunting! It showed briefly, then disappeared for a while, then showed again for half a minute, in front of a crown of five, before heading south high. In the next days, two birds were seen there, maybe this one and another, maybe two new birds. Lovely bird in any case.

On Tuesday, before a meeting in Kfar Ruppin conveniently scheduled for late morning, early morning was spent birding the bird-rich valley. Nothing special or new was found, but I enjoyed the huge amounts of big birds, spiced up with November regulars for Kfar Ruppin: Isabelline Shrike, Oriental Skylark and Richard's Pipit. Many Caspian Stonechat around - love 'em.

This morning a Pied Wheatear south of Be'er Sheva required my attention, a good looking 1cy female in a horrible water treatment plant, in horrible weather. Thanks to Eyal for finding and sharing info.

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