Things are very calm nowdays in the south; while in the north rarities are everywhere, prime among them: 1stFirecrest record in Israel and a 5th Whooper Swan!
Anyway ringing at IRBCE is so slow I barely open the nets, when I do I catch about 3-5 new birds in a mourning, the Heligoland traps also catch very few birds, but they are very good at catching Sparrowhaks, three more were caught since last update here a week ago brining us for a total of 5 birds in 9 days!
Waders are bit more worthy with a day and a half session producing 20 new birds, and 6 retraps, some of them from past years. Noteworthy among them were four Kentish Plovers, three of them males in beautiful summer plumage.
This one was very uncooperative, so we made a compromise: portrait …
On the evening of the 17th Hilel and I made an afternoon to evening attempt to ring some Waterfowl in K 19 swage pond. It wasn’t a smart choice to ring on Saturday as all the birds were disturbed by many motorcyclists all day long and many gave up staying in the pond flew to rest on the sand dunes in the Jordanian side. Yet we managed to catch one Coot, and one Kentish Plover. I had worse nights in the past…
The only place with decent ringing potential is the White Wagtail roost near the central bus station, after promising first try (24) I went twice more (21 last week, and 46 yesterday), the roost itself is increasing with at least 1500 yesterday as opposed to mere 800 Wagtails when I first made some scouting around back in mid November.
Yesterday Hilel came along with some company to my messed up apartment to ring some wagtails.
Today Itai and I went to Uvda to scout the area before a ringing attempt scheduled for tomorrow, unfortunately it seems as all birds were gone. We had about 6 Thick Billed Larks, 50Temminck’s Larks and 30 Bar tailed Larks scattered thinly over huge area, so we had to postponed the ringing plan until more birds will arrive.
On the way back we called one little green spot near Ketura junction, it’s a tiny spot, but we were glad to see one Great spotted Cuckoo! Perhaps the first spring migrant? A look at the “Bible” (The Birds of Israel, Shirihai 1996) showed that such “early” records might be late autumn migrants, so just maybe…
Our next stop was Grofit swage, yet just after passing the gate to Grofit we saw a jumpy small Sylvia, the second glance at the energetic bird revealed beautifulSpectacled Warbler. At the swage itself were few Desert and TrumpeterFinches and one Marsh Sandpiper and on the way out we saw the female Finsch’s Wheatear which Itai and Shay had yesterday (Shay's photos), not so common in the Arava also.