Friday, March 21, 2014

Black Bush Robin(?)

Was not seen yet at the IBRCE.
There is one in Hai-Bar Yotvata, one at Lotan as well, but none here.
Despite the recent publications about such observation by our team, we are still looking for one here...


adult Steppe Buzzard Buteo vulpinus עקב מזרחי
By Bas Kok צולם ע"י באס קוק

After a few good days at IBRCE it all went a bit quiet. Not only were there few new arrivals on the ground but many lingering birds had also moved on. Only 64 birds were caught during the morning, many of which were re-traps from previous days. 
Bas releasing Steppe Buzzard Buteo vulpinus באס משחרר עקב מזרחי
Things livened up a little when Ron and Roni went out for a short field trip during the afternoon and came back with an adult Steppe Buzzard Buteo vulpinus עקב מזרחי, the first to be ringed here this season.
Overhead the skies were empty, no raptors and few swallows. A Tawny Pipit Anthus capestris פפיון צהוב flew north in the morning along with a handful of Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus פפיון אדום-גרון.

An evening outing to K19 was very successful with a Baillon’s Crake Porzana pussila ברודית גמדית in the reeds and 8 Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse Pterocles lichtensteinii קטה הודית coming in to drink. A lot of birders visit Eilat in the spring and we encourage anybody visiting this well-known sandgrouse site to respect these birds, not get too close and keep noise to a minimum to avoid disturbance. A better birding experience for everyone!
[Matt is a bit disappointed today, we ran out of chocolate, that's all guys!]

The southerly winds continued and migration remained slow. Only 45 birds found the nets and of these over 50% were re-traps.
In the afternoon we continued to paint the wood for the new hide before taking a break from the site by doing some birding in the Yotvata area. 
Black Bush Robin Cercotrichas podobe חמריה שחורה
By Roni Vaisanen צולם ע"י רוני וייסנן

Not at the IBRCE לא בפארק הציפורים
On the way we stopped off at Hai-Bar Yotvata to see the Black Bush Robin Cercotrichas podobe חמריה שחורה found yesterday. I can confirm that, despite news to the contrary, there has not (yet) been a Black Bush Robin here at IBRCE this spring. We will do our best to find one for the upcoming Eilat bird festival... Starting sunday..

Grey Wagtail  Motacilla cinerea נחליאלי זנבתן
By Roni Vaisanen צולם ע"י רוני וייסנן
There was the usual selection of species in the Yotvata fields, larks, pipits and wagtails. In the nearby sewage ponds both Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola נחליאלי לימוני and a Grey Wagtail  Motacilla cinerea נחליאלי זנבתן were present and back at the fields we had good views of Pharaoh Eagle Owl Bubo ascalaphus אוח מדברי shortly after dusk.

Ringing was much the same again today with around 47 birds caught, mostly of the usual species such as Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca סבכי טוחנים , Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla סבכי שחור-כיפה  and Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis דרור ספרדי.

Swallows in the dust
סנוניות באבק
In the evening a successful swallow roost netted around 75 birds, mostly Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica סנונית רפתות. The catch-of-the-day however, went to the Long-eared Owl Asio otus ינשוף עצים caught in one of the helgoland traps after dark.
Overhead migration included around 150 Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus שחף שחור  in the morning and a few raptors but still much less than is expected at this time of year. A Pallas’s Gull Larus ichthyaetus שחף עיטי was on the salt ponds in the evening.   

Common Quail Coturnix coturnix שליו 
Today was a much better morning and a generally more eventful day. Although it was never busy, there had clearly been an arrival of migrants overnight and the first couple of net rounds were quite productive. There was an increase in the number of Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler Phylloscopus orientalis עלווית לבנת-בטן caught and Wryneck Jynx torwuilla סבראש and Common Quail Coturnix coturnix שליו  were also among the 92 birds in the nets. The latter species has been frustrating us for weeks as they are seen daily and regularly seem to narrowly avoid capture. Today’s bird was the first ringed this season. Another 40 swallows were caught during the evening. 

The sad news from the morning concerns the untimely death of the stations trusty car. With repair already ruled out as an option (too expensive) this has clear implications for our title challenge in the upcoming bird race.

Overhead an adult Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus שחף שחור-ראש flew north in the morning and a stream of swallows, mostly Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica סנונית מערות, passing through for most of the day numbered several thousand. A small surge of migrants in the evening included 2 adult male Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus זרון שדות, 1 Osprey Pandion haliaetus שלך, 5 Black Kite Milvus migrans דיה שחורה and 7 Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica שחפית עבת-מקור all flying north. 2 European Bee-eater Mrops apiaster שרקרק מצוי were quite early and quite unexpected.

Also today, 2 Slender-billed Gull Larus genei שחף צר-מקור joined us for the night. They had managed to get themselves stuck in a net at the salt ponds at K20 until they were rescued by Yael (she is still carring some ugly scraches on her face due to the unpleasent struggle to get them out) and brought back to the station. Here, the salt was cleaned from their plumage and they were allowed to rest and recover. You will have to check back to the blog in a couple of days to find out how they got on...

Slender-billed Gull Larus genei שחף צר-מקור

Slender-billed Gull Larus genei שחף צר-מקור
Matt Slaymaker
Volunteer-ringer, IBRCE

Yael Lehnardt
Head Ringer & Guide, IBRCE

A little more of the local atmosphere

When birding around, we get to see nice species which we don't know how to tell all about in the blog of the IBRCE. So we'll let you enjoy the next pictures:
The regular one,
Northern Beach, Eilat
By Roni Vaisanen צולם ע"י רוני וייסנן
First for season
Ofira Park, Eilat
By Roni Vaisanen צולם ע"י רוני וייסנן


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