Wednesday 10 April 2013

Subalpine Warbler

Another exciting morning with the nets at Sde Boker. This morning's gem was a very pretty Subalpine Warbler. This is a fairly rare migrant and one I've never managed to see out of the hand. Today was no exception - I walked down one of the nets, turned around and there it was - caught. I must have passed it by by a matter of centimeters before it flew up in the net. I first thought this individual must be a female (eye-ring and orbital, contrast between nape and back) but conversations with Darren Burns and Elon Gur have cast doubt on this. The current consensus is that this is a 2 cy male. After this breeding season the bird will do a full moult into adult plumage.

Other migrants among the Lesser Whitethroats and Blackcaps included Wryneck, Nightingale, Orphean Warbler and Ortolan.

On the way back home I passed by Yeroham lake. This is a rather under-watched place but turns up rarities time and time again. I didn't find any this time but did see at least four Collared Flycatchers in the pine woods along with a lot of other migrants. I'm always pleased to see Yellow Wagtails and especially so when I come across a mixed flock. This one had about 20 individuals of Feldegg
 and Beema.

As usual, the sky was thick with swifts - mostly Pallid but a few Common too. Hirundines included Barn Swallow and Sand Martin. The reeds held many Reed and Sedge Warblers and a single Squacco Heron. There's a huge amount of interesting habitat at this site and I wish I'd had time to explore it more and at a better time of day.

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