Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The British coverage- Simon's update!

22nd February
            A nice warm morning saw good numbers of birds trapped around the station although migrants were thin on the ground with single Whitethroat Sylvia communis  סבכי קוצים and Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca סבכי טוחנים, two Song Thrushes Turdus philomelos קיכלי רונן and a couple of Chiffchaffs Phylloscopus collybita עלווית חורף of note. Visible migration was also slow with reports of sand-storms in the Sahara undoubtedly holding things up; there was however a good selection of bird to be seen with two Tristram's Starlings Onychognathus tristramii  

טריסטרמיתthe highlight for the visiting ringers as well as a smart, bright male Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola נחליאלי לימוני by the pond, a group of 19 Green Sandpipers Tringa ochropus ביצנית שחורת כנף overhead and an immature Imperial Eagle Aquila heliacal עיט שמש of note.

---While Simon and Denes were ringing, on the public side of the IBRCE Park we had a very special event- a birding festival for the local residents of Eilat and Arava. Thanks to a great cooperation with the SPNI we managed to expose over 650 people to the ideas behind ringing and birding and spent 4 incredibly fun hours showing them how birding can be fun and attractive for the whole family! Great thanks to all the amazing people who helped us. (Y.L)---

by Yoav Balaban צילום יואב בלבן

by Yoav Balaban צילום יואב בלבן
by Yoav Balaban צילום יואב בלבן
A walk around Holland Park in the late afternoon produced the local species in good numbers including several Arabian Babbler Turdoides squamiceps זנבן groups with one group nest building and several more coming together to form an incredibly noisy but good natured gang of 17 birds, good numbers of Sand Partridges Ammoperdix heyi קורא with many males fighting and squabbling with each other and a beautiful pair of Little Green Bee-eaters Merops orientalis שרקרק גמדי hawking along the edge of the park; a presumably wintering Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochrurus חכלילית סלעים was also of note.
Walking back past the salt-ponds at dusk saw a good build-up of Gulls including 15 Slender-billed Gulls Chroicocephalus genei שחף צר מקור with c400 Black-headed Gulls Chroicocephalus ridibundus שחף אגמים and c30 Lesser Black-backed Gulls Larus fuscus שחף גדול which included several Baltic Gulls Larus fuscus fuscus שחף שחור.

23rd February
A trickle of migrants passed through the ringing station in the morning with the first Olivaceous Warbler Iduna pallida שיחנית קטנה of the spring trapped along with 4 Lesser Whitethroats Sylvia curruca סבכי טוחנים and single Whitethroat Sylvia communis סבכי קוצים, Blackcap Sylva atricapilla סבכי שחור כיפה, Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus קנית קטנה and Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus קנית פסים.  

Denes representing a "waiting ringer"
"דנז מדגים "מטבע בהמתנה
Here come our men- Simon, Denes and Shahar
הנה הגברים שלנו- סימון, דנז ושחר

A stunning adult summer Pallas's Gull Larus ichthyaetus שחף עיטי overhead was definitely the highlight of the morning's sightings while 6 Common Swifts Apus apus סיס חומות and a Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus עקב עיטי were also of note.

A late afternoon trip out to the area surrounding Arvona Well produced excellent views of an Asian Desert Warbler Sylvia nana סבכי מדבר scuttling through the scattered bushes, an adorable singing male Scrub Warbler Scotocerca inquieta מדברון a couple of Isabelline Wheatears Oenanthe isabellina סלעית ערבות and lingering Blackbird Turdus merula שחרור and Robin Erithacus rubecula אדום חזה.

watching the Asian Desert Warbler Sylvia nana סבכי מדבר

24th February
A small influx of 15 new Chiffchaffs Phylloscopus collybita עלווית חורף were caught through the morning along with two Lesser Whitethroats Sylvia curruca סבכי טוחנים and a Whitethroat Sylvia communis סבכי קוצים while the Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola נחליאלי לימוני and a Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides אנפית סוף were around the pond. Migration is still fairly slow although a few hirundines which appeared through the afternoon including c100 Swallows Hirundo rustica סנונית רפתות and a few House Delichon urbica טסית and Sand Martins Riparia riparia כוכית גדות gave us hope that this may change pretty soon!

Simon Davies,
Volunteer-ringer, IBRCE.

Not with feathers but still nice

Egyptian Fruit Bat Rousettus aegyptiacus עטלף פירות
by Dénes Laczik

 On one of the evenings we made an attempt to catch some Scops Owls Otus scopus שעיר מצוי. It didn't come up well.. Instead of ringing an Owl we faced 8 Egyptian Fruit Bats Rousettus aegyptiacus עטלף פירות trapped in our net. All were released quicker than expected, serious relief.

A little more of the local atmosphere

When birding around the Arava valley one can't ignore the incredible sunsets. Picture taken at K19

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