Sunday, December 18, 2022

Tel Aviv casual

Yesterday I stayed in Tel Aviv for a short break. In the early morning I had to go birding to maintain my checklist streak, what can I do. I headed over to Yarkon river mouth, that was packed with thousands of joggers, cyclists and dog walkers, all looking very sporty, making me feel a bit awkward with my outdoor outfit, bins and camera. Hey ho, that's birding isn't it? In any case, it was a short and pretty nice session. I was surprised to see two Eurasian Curlews heading north deep at sea, not common here. Then I found a young Masked Shrike, that traditionally should have been in Africa now. It is interesting that in recent years, perhaps linked with climate change, more and more Masked Shrikes are spending the winter in Israel.

A lone Red-throated Pipit was looking very dapper, walking on the wet grass. First in the shade:

Then in the sun:

Small flocks of Spanish Sparrows graced the pistachio bushes. I like Spanish Sparrows, especially the streaky-breasted females.

As everywhere in Tel Aviv, the avifauna is dominated by invasive species. As an ecologist and conservationist I don't 'like' invasive species, and would rather not have them here. However, when seeing a Monk Parakeet from up close, one must admit it is a darn good-looking bird. Here it is feeding on an invasive plant, Camphorweed:

eBird checklist here.

The sunset was quite wonderful.

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