Wednesday 18 September 2013

Besor Reservoir III

Cool autumn breezes this morning, a most welcome change. The Black Kites are back in force at the rubbish dump on the way to the Besor Reservoir with hundreds in the trees and fields - another sign of cooler weather to come. Arrived at the crake pool but it was very quiet indeed with only a couple of Sedge Warblers and a Water Rail there to keep the Cetti's Warblers company. On my way around the edge of the reservoir I found a family of five Barn Owls - great to see. Willow Warblers were all over the place, jumping out of bushes and flitting around the trees. Also lots of Red-backed, Masked and Lesser-grey Shrikes about. The first, for me, Tree Pipits of the season are now around.

Pick of the bunch today was this Purple Swamp-hen. This should be a very rare sighting in Israel and cause for a lot of commotion. However, a decade or so ago a few were released at this site and a small population appears to be holding on . . .
 . . . as evidenced by this juvenile.

Easy enough to spot when they are swimming or clambering around the reeds but they also seem to spend a lot of time skulking. Very easy to overlook - just a slight movement of the reeds and a glimpse of a vermilion beak.

Other interesting birds today were singles of Osprey and a very swift overflying Hobby - way too fast to photograph. This Black Stork was a lot easier . . . . 

Checked the local fields on the way home and was surprised by this Pied Flycatcher - rare at this location and time of year. Definitely a good sighting.

With thanks to Yoav Perlman for information on the history of Purple Swamp-hen at Besor Resrvoir.

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