Thursday, June 29, 2023

Local PGP

Yesterday Carmel Ravid found a stunning summer-plumaged Pacific Golden-Plover in Hulda Reservoir. This reservoir is few minutes from home, and is sort-of my local patch: Piki and I have this Saturday morning tradition to bird the reservoir. I am also involved in the protection of the reservoir from future development planned there - tough challenge. In the meanwhile, it is a beautiful reservoir, especially during summer and autumn/fall when irrigation increases and water levels drop, exposing delicious mud to shorebirds. 

Pacific Golden-Plover is a good rarity in Israel, perhaps 4-5 records annually. There's this one individual that's been returning to winter in Tel Aviv for six years now, so it lost some of its rarity glory. However, being so close to home, and in such a stunning plumage, it would have been rude not to pay it a visit. I arrived there in the afternoon, beautiful light conditions, and the birds was there, showing wonderfully as it walked in the grass and down to the mud and water's edge. It was lovely to watch it feeding calmly, resting, preening, and interacting with other shorebirds that have already started their migration or post-breeding movement. I avoided disturbing the birds in the reservoir and kept my distance. I took this short video through my Swarovski Optik ATX85 from a long range - heat haze killed the quality a bit.

Five points if you identify correctly all the bird calls in the background. At one point aircraft from a nearby airforce base flew by, most birds took off momentarily, include the golden plover. When it landed, I used the opportunity to photograph it's graey-brown underwings.

Uncropped image showing the environment and nightbours

Hulda Reservoir - worth fighting for

eBird checklist here.

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