Ringing is going well for the last days, the last two days we caught more then our “100 average” and made it past the 1000 in March so far.
The bulk of the birds are still Chiffchaffs that really rule the ringing notebook since the 20th of February (to be replaced soon by Lesser Whitethroats), Swallows are also on the increase, with 25 ringed this evening in the reeds, 3 of them Red-Rumped Swallows(definitely my favorite).
We also had a close encounter with a Long-eared Owl, which was soon dazzled into a hand net! The first ever time I witnessed a birds being dazzled to such extent, it was just amazing!
And our Dutch model…
The large crew that came for the weekend enabled us to open some nets in the far away salvadora, one of the best bushes in the park this specific plant is blooming earlier than most others and attracts many Sylvia. And today these nets produced 3 more Ruppell's warblers, bringing our season tally so far to 24.
Now that is the Sylvia I like! Brown grey with no ID marks!
Vis mig is back in force after long winter break Short-toad Larks, Yellow and few CitrineWagtails, TreeWater and Red throated Pipits all pass in small numbers, yesterday also two Pale Rock Sparrows.
Gulls are on migration with big numbers of Black headed and Slender Bills passing over, with some “big gulls” mostly Baltic Fuscus like but also others and sometimes Pallas’s Gulls. In the salt ponds, between few dozes to several hundreds mostly SB and BH remain every evening to roost at the salt pond by the park, today about 700 gulls are roosting there.
Today at noon when the Dutch kids and the Finnish birder went birding while we had a nap, they didn’t had to stray far, and found a Pied/Cyprus Wheatear just by the park gate, it was seen by us briefly and flew into the palms. Wow!
Later they went on to find another one at k20 palms. Shachar Alterman had one more Wheatear at Neot Smadar, probably more are in the arava.
Even when spring is all around few last winter birds are still here, yesterday we retrapped the same Dead-sea Sparrows which made Roni very happy catching up with them after 3 springs at Eilat.