Other news - Squacco Herons raised a family at Besor Reservoir - extremely unusual for the area and I don't know of any other breeding sites this far south.
Re Besor Reservoir - it was getting very overgrown with reeds and trees were encroaching heavily in areas. However it still held breeding Purple Swamphens, Clamourous Reed Warblers and many other species. I visited it yesterday and was horrified to find that 99% of the reed bed and 100% of the trees had been cleared. A small pool of stagnant water remains with some migratory Kingfishers, a few Little Egrets and a couple of Squacco Herons. The rest is a large dust bowl. A couple of Cetti's Warblers still argued over territory (each end of a pile of ploughed up reeds and bulldozed trees) but that was it. Not quite - an Isabelline Wheatear was enjoying the new patch of desert. I assume the Swamphens and other residents found refuge along the Besor stream (still plenty of reeds and some water there). I hope that the clearance is simply Part 1 of a regeneration scheme but we'll have to wait and see. I sincerely hope my optimism is not naive. Besor Reservoir was an incredble birding spot and over the years I spent many happy hours there seeing 160+ species.
Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters arrived and went. I didn't do a full count this year but it was great to see these gorgeous birds back again.
The Tawny Eagle stayed around for quite a while. I wernt back to see it several times and was always rewarded with incredible views.
Brown-necked Raven included because here you can actually see the brown neck (often difficult to discern).
And a Hoopoe that ran out of a hole in a sand bank, saw me and instead of flying off scuttled through the scrub and disappeared down another hole.
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