Wednesday 27 August 2014

Blue Cheeked Bee-eaters

What with one thing and another I haven't had much opportunity to do much birding recently. Migration is upon us now and despite the heat and other issues I had to visit Besor Reservoir to see what was going on. Yesterday and today I managed some fantastic views of a flock of Blue Cheeked Bee-eaters.

This is one of the many. Really not sure how many there were but 10+ is a reasonable estimate.

The exciting thing is that I don't know of any records of this species in the NW Negev. I'd be delighted to know if any exist.....

Other migrants coming through this immediate area are Purple, Night and Grey Herons, Little Egrets, Little Ringed Plovers, Dunlin, Green and Common Sandpipers, Little Stints, Black-winged Stilts, Glossy Ibis, Kingfishers galore, Sand Martin, Swallow, Yellow Wagtails, Lesser Grey and Red Backed Shrikes and the start of the Buzzards. Residents are still around.

I'm using a new camera to record some of the birds I see. I'm now using a Canon SX50 and despite the unpleasant electronic viewfinder I'm very happy with the results so far. Most of the photos below are handheld at a previously unimaginable 50x optical zoom (equivalent 1200mm).

On Route 222 I found this very confiding juvenile Hobby (50x zoom)

200x (50x optical, 2x digital)

Juvenile Red Backed Shrike,

Juvenile Lesser Grey Shrike,

and in the nets at Sde Boker, a Savi's Warbler,

and adult male Red backed Shrike

Migration is full on and it's great to be out in the field again.

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