Saturday, 25 November 2017


Today we saw one of the finest sights that winter birding has to offer here - the Dotterel flock near Hatzerim. Shachar Shalev left the (mega) wheatears for a while and came up from Eilat. With some directions from Olga Chagina we headed into the wilds between Nahal Besor and Hatzerim. We arrived at the plain that the Dotterels like and almost immediately we spotted some 20+. The longer we looked the more we saw. In total there were probably 100 or more. Quite an amazing sight - scores of these gorgeous plovers feeding or resting on what looks like a barren plain.

A few Golden Plover were mixed in with them and Skylarks were also finding plenty to eat. On the way back we stopped off at the Urim fields but apart from two stunning juv Eastern Imperial Eagles and a Peregrine the area was quite quiet raptor-wise. The Huge numbers of Skylarks though, and probably happy with the lack of predators. We did see Hen and Marsh Harrier but only singles. We found a stubble field packed with Lapwings and a  few Golden Plover but the Sociable Plovers remained elusive. Here, the fields hold another juv Eastern Imperial Eagle and a couple of Merlin, one of which looks very pale but flew off before we could get decent view. While not as birdy as last year the winter fields here are still very rewarding and it was a real pleasure to bird them with Shachar.

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