Sunday 27 September 2015

Little Crake

A juv Little Crake today at Besor. It was a difficult bird to get good views of - the Spotted Crake kept chasing it off.

(terrible light and the distance didn't help these 'blird' pics)

A little better.

Preening Spotted Crake.
   Not sure what's what here.

That's better.

One of a pair of Water Rails - like the crake, it saw off any intruders including the other Water Rail.

A late Rufous Bush-robin posed nicely for a few seconds before flitting off. Probably the last one I'll see until the Spring.

Several Levant Sparrowhawk individuals around - no kettles or large flocks today but many ones, twos and threes. There were not too many other raptors around today but I did get good views of this dark phase Booted Eagle - the 'landing lights' are very clear.

A pair of Hobby on the Urim fields on the way home - I'm looking forward to raptor season!

Friday 25 September 2015

Spotted Crake etc

Besor again. Spotted Crake - the water level is so low that there is no close spot from which to watch them. Last year at this time the water level was c. one meter higher which pushed the crake zone up closer to cover. This year their feeding zone is c. 90 - 100 m away.

 Water Rail exiting right at speed.

Nice juv Pallid Harrier over the reeds - one of three seen today. A poor photo that I can finally blame on the equipment I use rather than my (lack of) skill.

While sitting near the old crake pool I heard two Thrush Nightingales calling loudly, one on each side of me. Eventually one showed itself in the deep shade of a shrub - very nice view from about 2 m. Kingfishers are very abundant.

The first Whinchats have arrived - soon every bush will have one.

Spotted Flycatcher - very common at the moment and every decent spot seems contested by at least two.

A pair of Tawny Pipits put in an appearance.

The Great White Egret coming in for a fly-by.

On the way home - a fine kettle of Levant Sparrowhawks above Ein Habsesor.

(and a lingering individual around the Nir Oz sewage ponds)

Juv Marsh Harrier with a large splash of white - had me very confused for a while.

Nice crop of wheatears around the fields here. Northern,

Final surprise was a Monk Parrot - first for the area but I suspect they've been around for a while. Not too sure I'm happy to see them here . . .

Wednesday 23 September 2015

Levant Sparrowhawks

Good numbers of Levant sprawks around Nir Oz today. It seemed like nearly every tree held one and I saw at least four groups of a dozen or more each.

Other raptors this morning included the ever present Ketrels, many Black Kites, two Hobbies, a very distant juv Pallid/Montagu's and this adult Pallid Harrier being hassled by one of the local hoodies.

Monday 21 September 2015

Namaqua Doves

One of the great things about birding here is that almost every day brings something different - yesterday on the way home through the Nir Oz fields I was amazed to see a Cream-coloured Courser! Unfortunately it flew off into the fields and I couldn't relocate it. Apparently they haven't been seen around here for many years. This is a great patch tick for me.

I've been checking the sewage ponds at Revivim - today, a pair of Namaqua Doves. I've seen them here a couple of times before but never giving such good views.

Lots of common stuff around (Ringed and Little-ringed Plovers,
both stints, Black-tailed Godwits,

and Glossy Ibis,
Snipe (this is another one that is a bit confusing to me - short bill (bill length is significantly less than 2 x head length), white spots on covert tips BUT no obvious barring extending down flanks and the bird doesn't look that stocky.

Ruff, Wood and Common Sandpipers, stilts etc).

Besor Reservoir continues to dry up but yesterday a Great White Egret and half a dozen Grey Herons were new for the season.

Lots of Roller around still.

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