Friday 10 February 2017

Re'im Reservoir - eagles and geese

Went back to Re'im to get a pic or two of the Greater White-fronted Geese.

The single young Eastern Imperial Eagle that has been around for most of the winter flew off the reservoir bank

followed by two others. Fantastic to see three eagles together. The two below seemed to form a couple while the third kept its distance from them.

Too close to frame as it flew overhead.

Cranes arrived for a drink.

Some of the Shelduck mentioned in the previous post.

Spring is on its way, judging by the plumages of this Spanish Sparrow and Stonechat - exceptionally well turned out.

Another common but gorgeous bird - the Chukar.

On the way back I looked in at the Urim Reservoir. Masses of Mallard, Shoveller, Teal, two Wigeon, several Pintail and a couple of Pochard, Gadwall and Shelduck made a nice selection of wildfowl.

Penduline Tits

Checked out the reeds near the Jackdaw colony on the Besor stream this morning. Amazed to see a pair of Penduline Tits - I've found these to be really elusive, forever keeping just out of sight, keeping behind reeds and generally giving only the most fleeting of views.

I thought this view was going to be it.

But no, this one put on a splendid performance.

Ironically it was the normally visible Clamorous Reed Warblers that skulked and hid.

Otherwise it was a quiet morning - very little at Besor Reservoir apart from a couple of Ferruginous Duck and the two Greater White-fronted Geese at Re'im Reservoir along with a dozen or so Shelduck.

Saturday 4 February 2017

Little Swifts

The Ovda valley is alive with larks at the moment - Temminck's, Bar-tailed, Lesser Short-toed, Thick-billed as well Basalt Wheatear, Cream Coloured Coursers etc so why did Itay Herling and I forego this spectacle and head north to the Golan?

To try and find Red-fronted Serin is the answer. The day started well enough with Wrens and Chiffchaffs in a frosted wood near Ein Ziwan and then brief views of a Radde's Accentor at the Volcanic Park (Mt Avital). Things started to go downhill from there and we failed to find any Rf Serins despite an uncanny feeling that they were somewhere near. Plenty of Serins, Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Linnets, Lapwings and even wild boar.

The area was birdy enough but lacking the prize. On to Alonei Habashan to look for Yellowhammers and possibly Pine Bunting but it was a write-off. Great Tits, Blackbirds and Jays and that was it. We'd spent a fair bit of time seeing not much so we headed off for Mt Susita for Long-billed Pipit. The hillsides were completely pipit free but consolation prizes were a female Finsch's Wheatear, a small flock of Little Swift (very challenging to photograph),

this stunning Blue Rock Thrush,

and a surprise Whitethroat.
The breeding population of Whitethroat arrive in January/February while the migratory ones arrive much later.

Plenty of Crag Martins around. I wanted to capture the diagnostic dark underwing coverts and windows in the tail feathers.
Almost bingo - shame about the focus.

The Golan is a great place to bird in any/every season. This time we rolled snake eyes but next time . . . .

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...