Wednesday 16 October 2013

Mitzpe Ramon crater

Went on a field trip this morning to the more inaccessible parts of Mitzpe Ramon crater. After two hours of some really technical 4x4 driving and an easy walk we arrived at a permanent water source - the only spring for many kilometers.

The bird life was pretty sparse but lack of species and numbers was amply compensated for by the incredible views I had - this amazingly tame White-crowned Wheatear flew literally to my feet,

before flying off to a nearby rock for a good scratch,

And the first time I've seen one of these birds in vegetation!

Trumpeter Finches on the wall above the spring.



One of a pair of Scrub Warblers wallcreeping for insects above the water.

Blue Rock-thrush - distant views only.

An ibex checking us out.

Many thanks to Gilli, Sharon, Nina and Yael for great company and the opportunity to visit a truly magical place.

The nets at Sde Boker have been fairly quiet recently. However, we had a fifth (juv) Common Rosefinch - an exceptional year for this bird. Another Icterine Warbler was trapped, with Wryneck, Bluethroats and Little Green Bee-eater(!) adding some interest to the Redstarts, Blackcaps and other common migrants. Chiffchaffs are starting to replace Willow Warblers but generally, numbers have been on the low side for October so far - plenty of migration time left though!

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