Saturday 29 September 2018

Local updates - Honey Buzzards etc

Not as much birding done as I'd like - more or less confined to barracks but there have been some nice birds locally.

These from the past few days. First off this young Namaqua Dove - a patch tick. I see them as close as Besor (about 15 km away) but this is the first I've seen around Nir Oz.
Golden Oriole. Always great to see as they are elusive birds that don't spend much time perched out in the open. The Spring and Autumn passage always brings a few to the kibbutz.
A couple of Honey Buzzards this morning. Unusual in that I don't see many in this area. Ones and twos only.

The first Peregrine of the season went through a day or two ago but it didn't stay around for a photo op. Yellow Wagtails

and Whinchats are moving through in healthy numbers. Less so with the warblers - only the common Willows, Blackcaps and Lesser Whitethroats so far. Finally, the good passage of Red-backed Shrikes continues.

So, nothing too much out of the ordinary but some locally interesting ones.

Thursday 13 September 2018

Isabelline Shrike

At work this morning Ron Efrat told me of a female Isabelline Shrike that had just been ringed. As luck would have it I had my binoculars and camera with me so instead of a coffee break I went to look for the shrike. Found it in the olive orchard. Nice bird!


At Revivim sewage ponds on the way home there were a few waders and Yellow Wagtails around. This  one with one of those strange blotchy head patterns.
Little Stint - quite confiding.

Other stuff - last weekend Itay Herling found a Grey Plover at Reim Reservoir. Not a rare wader by any stretch but not a usual migrant away from the coast either.
There were impressive numbers of waders feeding on the mud in the reservoir. Ringed and Little Ringed Plovers, Marsh Sandpipers, Ruff, Black-winged Stilts etc. Nothing out of the ordinary. Yet.

Other birds - Black-shouldered Kite. They've gone from being very common in this area to rather uncommon. There were three pairs in the immediate vicinity of home (Nir Oz) but the ones to the south of the kibbutz didn't manage to make a nest (endless harassment by the local hoodies) and I don't know what happened to the northern ones.

Lots of European Bee-eaters around.

And Red-backed Shrikes - a good season for these.

Young Short-toed Eagle - always nice to see.

Friday 7 September 2018

Bonelli's eagle

It's been quite a while since I put anything on the blog. Summer doldrums. Desultory and infrequent trips to Besor Reservoir. Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters have been around for a month or so but have been very flighty. This morning though, Itay Herling dragged me back to Besor in search of crakes. None of those but he did spot this stunning young Bonelli's Eagle hunting along the reservoir bank. After a few minutes it circled low over us. Incredible views and the first Bonelli's I've seen here.

Several Red-backed Shrikes, a pair of Namaqua Doves, Rufous Bush Robins, European Kingfishers, a single Water Rail, two Glossy Ibis, Marsh Sandpiper, Ruff, a Gargeny, Marsh Harrier and the first Black Kites made for a thoroughly enjoyable morning's birding.

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater

A couple of Ruff

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