Friday 13 September 2019

Broad-billed Roller

This was an unashamed but very satisfying twitch. Gabriel Levitsky found this bird yesterday in Karmiya and it was obviously going to be a major attraction (1st for Israel, 4th for WP). It was also less than 50 km from Nir Oz. I was without transport today but Itay Herling saved the bacon and picked me up at the kibbutz gate at 06:00 sharp. Arrived in due course and spent a good two hours of fruitless searching. We'd more or less given up and were heading back to the car when we spotted the bird perched high in a tree by the car park - the same tree as it was first found in yesterday. What a cracking bird! A superb lifer for me - I'd been hoping to see this species in Namibia last year but without success - finally catching up with one was a great joy.

Karmiya is a beautifully landscaped kibbutz - full of huge trees and green spaces. Other good birds of the morning were Ortolan, Hobby (3), Back-shouldered Kites, a couple of Honey Buzzards and many Golden Orioles. Also saw several European Rollers on the way home - as Itay said 'It's not often you see two species of Roller in Israel!'

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