Monday, February 27, 2023


I haven't posted here for a while, so this is a good opportunity to dump here some photos I took in recent weeks. I didn't post for lack of birding, just couldn't motivate myself to post after each single event described here. With this accumulation I think there's enough material for a decent blogpost.

On February 12th I headed over to Kfar Ruppin for a meeting. En route I received a message that my meeting starts an hour late. I was at the junction turning off towards Hazore'a fishponds, where a Three-banded Plover had been found by Ran Nathan the previous day. It would have been rude not to pay it a visit.

As can be heard by the soundtrack of the video, Hazorea fishponds and in general Jizreel Valley hold high densities of Black Francolin. Heading out, I was fortunate to bump into two males doing their territorial stuff, paying little attention to me or to a passing Egyptian Mongoose. Exquisite birds. The stand-off between them was very amusing, with funny calls and leaps in the air.

On Friday 24th news broke of Israel's second Black-faced Bunting at Maayan Zvi. I headed over there quickly, failing to relocate it for several hours. Late in the afternoon I heard it only. That wasn't satisfying, so next morning I headed back and finally got views of it soon after first light. Nice bimbo! No photos sadly, so I will try again if it stays a bit longer (it wasn't seen today). Israel's fourth Masked Wagtail, a stunning male, was nearby and showed very well.

Yesterday I went ringing with Yosef et al. near Kalya in the northern Dead Sea region. It's peak migration for Cyprus Warbler, indeed we had five birds. They favour desert wadis with Taily-Weed bushes.

Cyprus Warbler, 2cy female

Cyprus Warbler, 3cy+ male

This morning I did fieldwork with Meidad in Hameishar Plains. It's very dry there now after very little winter rainfall, so in most point counts bird density was low. Some sections were birdier and we had a fun morning altogether.
Egyptian Henbane, I think, huge bush

Dorcas Gazelle - one of many

Nice numbers of Onager too

Desert species were busy breeding already, including the wonderful Temminck's Larks

Great Gray Shrike, but which?

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