Thursday 9 October 2014

Sooty Falcons and the Dead Sea.

A great morning's birding today. Any visit to Arad is an opportunity for some good birding and instead of heading off to Har Amasa as usual I decided to head towards the Dead Sea and check in with the Sooty Falcons in Wadi Tamar. I arrived early (Long-legged Buzzards on the way down to the wadi), just as these juveniles were hopping around and stretching their wings. Beautiful.

On the way to Neve Zohar I passed some pools packed with birds. Spoonbills (pictured), Great and Little Egrets, Black Storks, Grey Herons, Water Rail and Lesser Black-backed Gulls (exciting for me as I don't get to see many gulls) and an unidentified marsh tern. It would be good to spend more time there but the site is not accessible for closer viewing.

On to the pools/reeds at Neve Zohar. Loads of common waders - Snipe,

 Little Stints,

Temminck's Stint. 

Red-backed Shrikes still around in good numbers,

Little Green Bee-eaters (of course)

and Dead Sea Sparrows. These lovely little birds are really difficult to get good pics of. Small, wary and elusive, they like to sit in the vegetation and while they call regularly it's not easy to see them. The one below was taken at 50x and this image is as cropped as possible to still be ok-ish.

 A nice flock of Ferruginous Duck on the big pool with a Tufted Duck and Mallard.

Back in Arad, this flock of Cranes used the thermals to circle up.

So, nothing really special today but great views of some great birds, special mention to Dead Sea Sparrows!

2 comments: said...

Great pics.I have discovered your blog.I will follow you to learn and see about eastern birds...wicho country you do birding?
Saludos camperos!

Dominic said...

Many thanks! I live in Israel - a superb destination for any WP birder. Do visit if you get the chance.

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