Sunday 20 October 2019

Citrine wagtails

I've been keeping an eye on Besor reservoir between twitches. The continual presence of surface water has been good for waders with lots of Common Snipe, Black and White Storks, Spoonbills, Great White, Little and Cattle Egrets, Grey Herons (not so many Purple), Pelicans, Glossy Ibis, Black-crowned Night Herons, Black-winged Stilts, Ruff, Greenshank, Spotted Redshank, Dunlin, both common Stints, Ringed Plovers Marsh, Common, Wood and Green Sandpiper. Bascially all the common species. As migration picked up Yellow Wagtail numbers increased and decreased giving way to White Wagtails and this morning I saw two of my favourite wagtail - Citrine.

No crakes visible this year but Water Rail are around - two this morning. Lots of Common Kingfishers and a few White-breasted. Raptors included Greater and Lesser Spotted Eagles, Booted Eagles, Peregrine and, of course, hundreds of Black Kites. Red-throated Pipits have arrived and a few Short-toed Larks have been passing through. So, good and steady birding with a wide range of interesting species - looking forward to seeing what the winter brings!

Friday 4 October 2019

White-throated Bee-eater

This crowd-pleaser (1st for Israel, 3rd WP) has been around since the middle of August but today I finally had a chance to see it. Itay Herling very kindly offered a birding trip and I jumped at the chance. We met at 5 a.m. near Sde Boker and headed south. The drive through the desert as the dawn slowly broke was wonderful - soft pastel hues and and strange contrasts. Arrived at K20 (the Bee-eater site) around half past seven and met Itay Shani who was guiding a group. So far they'd had no luck locating the bird. The bee-eater has been difficult to track down and, while local to the site, has been very flighty and mobile. We split up to cover ground and within 3 minutes Itay S phoned saying that he'd found it.
Eventually got some superb views. What an amazing bird!

The K20 pools usually have a lot offer and Itay H and I found a cracking Broad-billed Sandpiper. Unfortunately it flew off before I could get a photo. Consolation was a pair of Hoopoe Lark....

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...