The perfect foil to the garden Scops Owls from last week was this amazing Pallid Scops Owl - a bird that has been on my 'most wanted' list for a very long time. This individual has been wintering in an acacia wadi in the Eilat mountains.
Shachar Shalev (finder) was kind enough to help me search the area but we had no luck the first evening. I returned the following day with Limor and we eventually found it buried in a mistletoe. It spent a lot of time being very cryptic (check the image center)
Good habitat for Pallid Scops Owls.
Shachar, Limor and I spent some of the morning at Yotava looking for the ellusive Little Bunting and Buff-bellied Pipit. No luck with that (just masses of Red-throated Pipits)
but we had a rare (for the time of year) Yellow Wagtail and a Richard's Pipit on the southern circular field,
record shot (into the morning sun) but nicely illustrating the loooong legs.
Large passage of Pallid Swifts already.
This one caught the morning sun perfectly!
The first House Martins are also moving through.
Many Rock Martins swooping around the dunes - difficult to get any half-way decent photos of these birds . . . .
And finally, a Long Legged Buzzard with band,
and an adult White-crowned Wheatear.
In a break from usual style - images with as many identifying features as possible - here are some some of the locals with fewer . . . .
White-crowned Wheatear (1st year bird with just hint of adult white feathers coming through on the forehead,
Isabelline Wheatear clicking its heels,
Desert Wheatear (with a grin?).
As a footnote: Eilat in January is surprisingly productive - aside from the Little Bunting and Buff-bellied Pipit, there's a Brown Booby off the North Beach and a Black-throated Diver around. Well worth a visit!