Yesterday (August 26th, 2023) I went to Ma'agan Michael to twitch the Booted Warbler that had been found there by Igal Siman Tov. It's only the 5th record for Israel, and the first twitchable, great find! It took some searching until I eventually saw it; it didn't preform as well as it did on previous days so no photos. Still, I saw it well enough to count for an IL bimbo, with supercilium and all.
However, this wasn't the most outstanding observation of that morning. While walking around with Amir Balaban in search of the skulking warbler, a quartet of Whimbrels flew by. Whimbrel is quite scarce in Israel, so without hesitation both of us rattled away with our cameras as they passed close, almost overhead. They flew by very fast, and both of us didn't get a chance to check them with our bins. Back home in the evening I downloaded the images to my computer, and noticed that one bird was unusual, the rear bird of the quartet. With the story of the once-though-extinct-now-super-rare Steppe Whimbrel in my mind, I always check Whimbrel underwings here, and this one certainly caught my eye (alas not in the field). It has essentially white underwing coverts, and limited spotting on the axillaries. It's pectoral band is nicely developed, contrasting with the white belly.
This morning I was in Ma'agan Michael, connecting with Booted Warbler, IL tick for me. While searching for it, Amir Balaban and I had this Whimbrel quartet fly by. I snapped some shots of them. Could the rear one be alboxillaris? Not sure it's quite white and clean enough@_OSME pic.twitter.com/6YSTnemdU2— Yoav Perlman (@yoavperlman) August 26, 2023