Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Coastal birding

Yesterday morning I left home early, with some expectations for decent 'weather' and migration. I arrived at Arsuf (just north of Tel Aviv) at dawn, to discover clear skies and no wind. Disappointing. Still, there was some movement of pipits and wagtails first thing as I stepped out of the car. I started walking through tall grass and an Oriental Skylark flew up buzzing. Nice. I birded the coastal scrub habitat for a couple of hours. 

Despite active migration being rather slow, there were still some nice birds to see. Best was a young (Daurian) Isabelline Shrike. It was very mobile - must have just arrived, so my photos are from quite a distance. Not a huge rarity but always fun to find one.

Missed an opportunity for Photo of the Year, with the shrike, Palestine Sunbird and Painted Lady; sadly the shrike turned its head away and the distance was too long:

Several Siberian Stonechats were seen among the large numbers of European Stonechats. The males were Caspian; regarding the female - hard to tell in the field.

Missed money shot

Like everywhere in and around Tel Aviv, there were so many invasive species around, dominating the avifauna there. Also large numbers of crows. This Hooded Crow had caught a young Greek Tortoise.

eBird checklist here.

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