The past week has been very frustrating for me. Israel is experiencing an amazing run of Asian vagrants, including two national firsts. I have been somewhat involved indirectly with those, but have not seen them. Just to clarify, I claim no credit for these records; all the fame and glory go to the finders.
In the evening of October 31st belated news broke of a Black-faced Bunting that had been ringed in the morning at Hefer Valley Ringing Station:
MEGA: Black-faced Bunting ringed this morning by Francis Argyle at Heffer Valley Ringing Station. First for Israel. Photo by Francis Argyle pic.twitter.com/eeUSlVQn4F— Yoav Perlman (@yoavperlman) October 31, 2021
As soon as photos of a strange bunting went online I thought to myself 'what on earth is this bunting?'. Yosef Kiat was the first to blow the whistle. Frustration #1 - had the bird been identified immediately, perhaps I had a chance to see it?
Next morning (November 1st) I was there first thing. Incredibly, there were just three birders searching - Barak, Avi and me. Imagine this scenario in UK... The weather was horrendous, and we failed to relocate the bunting, not for the lack of trying (eBird checklist here). Frustration #2.
Next day (November 2nd) I had work to do at the JBO, enjoyed a Yellow-browed there and added Woodcock to my yearlist nearby at Gazelle Valley.
Frustratingly, my birding session at Gazelle Valley was interrupted by belated news, again, that the Black-faced Bunting had been seen again (but identified only retrospectively from photos online) few hours after we had left the previous day, about half a kilometer away from where we searched. Arrrgh! Frustration #4. I sped back to Agamon Hefer, again to meet Barak and a few others. Nothing. No sign. This pretty Caspian Stonechat improved our mood by just a bit.
MEGA MEGA: CHESTNUT BUNTING ringed at IBRCE Eilat by Noam Weiss!!!! First for Israel!!— Yoav Perlman (@yoavperlman) November 3, 2021
Photo by @Itai_Shanni @BirdLifeIsrael @SPNI @TarsigerTeam @BirdGuides @RareBirdAlertUK @dutchbirding @westpalbirds pic.twitter.com/bm3M0L8sgb