Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Pratincole zen

Amidst the series of blogposts from my trip to Kenya in July (one more left to go), I need to remind myself that there is quality stuff to be presented from here in Israel too. This is a tough period for birding, with extreme weather. Birding is really limited to the first two hours of light. Yesterday I stopped in Kfar Ruppin for a couple of hours before heading up to the Golan heights for less fun work (regulating the operation of bird-chopping wind turbines). Two hours of early morning birding zen is exactly what I needed ahead of a difficult day.

Good things are happening in Kfar Ruppin. The kibbutz has made a strategic decision to direct their future towards sustainability, nature and tourism. I am very proud to collaborate with our partners at the kibbutz. Our pilot project there, Amud Reservoir, was looking amazing as always first thing. Mimicing natural wetland water cycles, water levels are low now, which translates into a huge, beautiful reedbed, exploding with Savi's Warblers, Acros, Little Bitterns and such (eBird checklist here). 

Kfar Ruppin fishponds are looking very good now. Two large reservoirs have low water levels, exposing precious mud to migrants. One reservoir held a great flock of Collared Pratincoles, a post-breeding concentration of the locally-breeding population. I love pratincoles. With the soundtrack of Blue-cheeked and Common Bee-eaters, this pond provided me with the zen experience I needed (and another checklist).

What other species can you spot mixed in the pratincole flock?

That corner of the reservoir attracted also quite many shorebirds, and terns. Little Tern isn't common inland. One Whiskered Tern is in here too.

Whiskered Tern

Temminck's Stints - so tiny compared to Little Stint!

All videos embedded here were taken using a Swarovski ATX85 scope and a Swarovski phone adapter.

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