I spent a couple of nights in Eilat, taking part in an international course organised by Noam Weiss, director of our Eilat Birding Center. The course, funded by the Ministry for Regional Cooperation, with the City of Eilat, was themed around the management of community-based bird observatories, with participants from 15 countries - Balkan, Caucasus, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern - what a wonderful mix of great people. Some were old friends, others new. Those were days of international work, international people and international birds.
Last week this happened:
The bird, second for Israel, was taken into care in the Hai Bar Yotvata Reserve, and was rehabilitated by Israel Nature and Parks Authority staff there. I was anxious all week - will it recover? When will it be released? Knowing that the course is approaching, I kept all my fingers crossed. Eventually, my timing was perfect - the decision was made by INPA to release it back to the wild on Monday, the first morning of our course, at the Eilat Birding Center. Noam asked me whether I want to ring the bird. At first I offered the ringing team to go for it, then I thought to myself, why not. What an amazing bird to ring. It felt very fit and ready for release.