A fantastic couple of hours birding this morning in the best of early winter weather. Cool breeze, bright sun and so many birds. Last week the first small flocks of Skylarks arrived but today the fields contained thousands. This area of the Negev really comes to life in winter. I started at Besor Resrvoir - the Purple Swamphens have returned!
Then onto Urim - huge flocks of Skylarks, and not too flighty at the moment,
Eastern Imperial Eagle,
and a fly-by Pallid Harrier (attracted by Skylarks, no doubt).
Marsh and Hen Harriers added to the raptor count.
The Jackdaw colony area held a brace each of Water Rail and Moustached Warblers, many Bluethroats, Stonechats, Greenshank, Common Snipe and a single Jack Snipe , Spotted Crake, Sparrowhawk, Kestrels and Greater Spotted Eagle.
The Kingfishers are in good form and showing well.
Many Red-throated Pipits in the fields - lovely birds.
Re'im Reservoir was quiet apart from a very obliging Little Owl
and Spanish Sparrows. These are really common in winter here and one tends to overlook them but the males really are very smart!
Water Pipits are around too.
Closer to home a distant Merlin flew across the fields - not sure if it is the same one that hunts close to Nir Oz or a new individual.