The eagles are back. Winter is a great time to be in the NW Negev - the Urim fields are only a few km away and they hold loads of interesting birds in winter. Raptors are the key draw but there are Red-throated Pipits and Skylarks by the flock with other interesting stuff intermingling.
I didn't have to spend long looking for eagles - this juvenile Eastern Imperial Eagle was sitting not too distant from the road.
Hooded Crow for scale.
Only a distant Peregrine on the pylons but November is when things start to pick up, raptor-wise, and I'm looking forward to spending some quality time here.
Red-throated Pipits by the dozen and many lark flocks.
I was a bit short of time so had to press on but I intend to study the passerine flocks in much greater detail - hopefully turning up Calandra Lark and an interesting pipit or two.
Driving across the ford near Tze'elim I saw this Great Egret calmly standing in the reeds about 10 m away.
Slammed on the brakes to sit and watch this immature Greater Spotted Eagle, once again really close, only 50 m from the car. You won't get a better view of this bird unless it's in the hand.
Hooded Crow for scale - they seem to enjoy sitting around with eagles.
(different colours on the two photos above - different setting on the camera)
The recent rains have raised the water level at the Besor Reservoir with a consequent increase in duck numbers (mostly Mallard). Two Purple Swamphens added a splash of colour to the Coots and Moorhens. Still many European and White-breasted Kingfishers around.
The rain started in earnest so I headed back to the car, seeing this latish Yellow Wagtail on the way.