Friday 15 May 2015

Local updates

Business as usual.

A young Great Spotted Cuckoo begging food from a Hooded Crow on the football pitch this morning. Despite a long and very vocal appeal the crow was unmoved and refused to give up whatever it was holding in its crop. Time for this cuckoo to start fending for itself.

Besor Reservoir was quite good this morning - lots of common birds around today that weren't apparent last weekend - House Martin, Rufous Bush-robin, Grey Heron (Purple outnumber Grey c. 5:1 this year) etc. And of course, this cracking Feruginous Duck. These ducks are wary and swim off into the reeds at the slightest pretext but this drake sat preening in perfect light (albeit 100 m away).

Apropos of ducks, there have been a few Garganey around. This pair is from the beginning of the month - really well turned out birds!

One or two Honey Buzzards still coming through, This one had me going for a bit - 6 fingers or 5 plus a stub? I'm a huge fan of the Canon SX50 HS but for flight shots a DSLR is so much better (and that is what I wish I'd brought with me too).

Saturday 9 May 2015

Global Big Day

For the Global Big Day I checked my two patches - Nir Oz and Besor Reservoir. Started off in the wee hours with Scops Owl, Barn Owl and Stone Curlew calling followed by the dawn chorus of Blackbirds, Olivaceous Warblers, Sunbirds and various members of the pigeon family. At first light Syrian Woodpeckers started drumming and a young Great Spotted Cuckoo began pestering its Hooded Crow 'parents' for food. I met up with Aviv and Neta and we drove to Besor Reservoir  picking up Black-winged Kite on the way. 

The Besor Reservoir was fairly productive but with some notable exceptions from yesterday (no swifts, Rufous Bush Robin, Feruginous Duck, Garganey, Black-winged Stilt, Redstart or Lesser Whitethroat!!!) but also a notable patch tick (Little Bittern). Cetti's, Clamarous Reed, Reed and Sedge Warblers were in abundance, as were Little and Cattle Egrets along with Squacco and Night Herons. Purple Heron numbers dropped to two. 

The Little Owl was on its favourite bank

and the Rollers were doing their usual best to keep out of (decent) view - always flying or against the light.

A single Spotted Flycatcher,

a couple of Masked Shrikes, Blackcaps and Willow Warblers increased the passerine list. Swallows and Sand Martins were the only hirundines. Bird of the day came in the form of aLittle Bittern that flew a short distance over the reeds before dropping out of sight. Very pleased to have seen that here. A couple of Honey Buzzards, a Long-legged Buzzard, Buzzards, 

Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel completed a rather disappointing raptor list. A Purple Swamp-hen made a typically brief appearance before disappearing back into the reeds. As we headed back to the car a flock of a couple of hundred Pelicans took off from the not-worth-checking upper reservoir. 

A final stop at Reim Reservior yielded Little Stint and Common Sandpiper and the Pelican flock from Besor bringing the total to 60 species seen by ~09.30. As mentioned above, there are some glaring and strange omissions in the species list (how is possible not to see Lesser Whitethroat?) but Little Bittern and Black-winged Kite made up for it.

Little Grebe
Purple  Heron
Squacco Heron
Night Heron
Little Bittern
Little Egret
Cattle Egret
Egyptian Goose
Marsh Harrier
Black-winged Kite
Long-legged Buzzard
Honey Buzzard
Purple Swamp-hen
White Stork
Little Stint
Common Sandpiper
Spur-winged Plover
Rock Dove
Collared Dove
Turtle Dove
Laughing Dove
Great Spotted Cuckoo
Barn Owl,
Little Owl
Scops Owl
White-throated Kingfisher
Rose-ringed Parakeet
Syrian Woodpecker
Crested Lark
Sand Martin
Barn Swallow
Sardinian Warbler
Sedge Warbler
Cetti's Warbler
Reed Warbler
Clamorous Reed Warbler
Olivaceous Warbler
Willow Warbler
Spotted Flycatcher
Great Tit
Masked Shrike
Palestine Sunbird
Hooded Crow
Brown-necked Raven
House Sparrow

Wednesday 6 May 2015

Black-winged Kite

Awesome patch find by Netta Atsili yesterday - a Black-winged Kite just outside the kibbutz! It was still there this morning for a record shot.

And on the way back from work, with much better light.
Love those red eyes.

What a bird!

From the worst blurred/out of focus shot ever this bird looks like the vociferus spp. - the Eastern spp that breeds in the Hula. The dark secondaries are a good indicator for this spp. but I'd like to get better flight views to confirm this.

Such a great raptor and an amazing find. Well done Netta!

NW India - 9th to 22nd February 2020 (Kosi River, Corbett NP, Haripur Dam, Pangot, Sattal, Chopta, Walterre)

If you look through the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent (Grimmett, Inskipp and Inskipp, 2011) you cannot help noticing the huge range of s...