Friday, 27 November 2015

Sociable Plovers and Saker

Visited the Urim fields yesterday afternoon and in 30 minutes saw the Sociable Plovers, Saker, Peregrine, two Pallid Harriers and Long-legged Buzzard. The plovers were quite distant and in flight so the views were not that great. This morning I returned and was rewarded with reasonable views.

The Saker was on its usual pylon.

Not many harriers this morning - just this single male Hen Harrier. It put on a good show though.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Urim fields

Last morning of Rod's trip - quick visit back to Urim. Cracking female Pallid Harrier!

Very large falcon on the pylons- Saker? Lanner? The short wings suggest Lanner,

but the tail pattern says Saker.

as does the breast pattern,
inclined to think Saker.

No problem identifying this Eastern Imperial Eagle.

Arava trip16-20 November - some photos

Trip report later but here are a few photos of some of the birds we saw.

Kentish Plover - k20 pools,

one of many Siberian Stonechats at Yotvata south circular field,

Eilat north beach - Great Egret and Western Reef Egret (black morph),

Western Reef Egret (juv with just a few black streaks - more visible in flight),

Sinai Rosefinchs on the cliffs at Amram's Pillars,

Sinai Rosefinch feeding,

(back to Yotvata) Richard's Pipit,

also at Yotvata - Indian Silverbill,

a bit further north at Iddan sewage ponds - Whiskered Tern,

and Crowned Sandgrouse.

  Blue Rockthrush at Yahel, blackish against the sky,

silvery under?

and a Blackstart - very pretty birds.

back up north to Iddan for more Crowned Sandgrouse,

and some Cranes flying over,

after the cranes the Crowned Sandgrouse landed and allowed some close-ups,

finally a Desert Grey Shrike singing.

Arabian Warbler - star of the Arava

My brother Rod was here for a week's birding. As always, it was great fun and, as always, we saw some great birds. King of the trip was this Arabian Warbler in the Arava.
We've seen Arabian Warbler before in the classic flight (away) with the diagnostic all-black tail as it goes from the acacia in front to  . . . where? They have a habit of disappearing. This individual was different and gave us a very rare, sustained, view of a very rare bird.  

The following day we saw this or another one and everything was back to normal - fleeting view in the canopy, followed by another fleeting view of bird-in-flight.

This was definitely bird of the trip for me - very fortunate to have had such superb views of this very special bird.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Eastern Imperial Eagle

The Eastern Imperial Eagle is back! Same bird same tree as last year.

Also, and exciting for me as it is a Nir Oz patch tick, was a Mistle Thrush this morning. These are rare winter visitors and great to see.

Other stuff from the last few days - a stunning pale morph Buzzard near Sde Boker,

quite the best dressed Northern Wheatear I've ever seen (Urim fields),

a late juv Red-backed Shrike by the Nir Oz horse paddock.

a Long-eared Owl in the tree just outside the house,

and Lapwings. I love Lapwings for their colours, calls and being harbingers of winter (cool rains, great birds).