Thursday, March 27, 2014

New sp. for IBRCE * short update due to festival

The Eilat birding festival is taking most of our time in the past few days: guided tours, lectures, birding from time to time, still building a new hide... Ringing hasn't been very successful. The weather is "too good"- birds just fly over, keep on migrating. 
We did have some nice birds during last few days, lots of lovely encounters with birders from all over Europe and some nice days with good overhead migration, good variation.

First Siberian (Caspian) Stonechat Saxicola maurus variegatus/hemprichi דוחל סיבירי-כספי.

Siberian (Caspian) Stonechat Saxicola maurus variegatus/hemprichi
דוחל סיבירי-כספי

Siberian (Caspian) Stonechat Saxicola maurus variegatus/hemprichi
דוחל סיבירי-כספי

Always fun to have one of these in hand:

Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus נץ מצוי

Every evening, tens to hundreds of gulls fly from the sea and gather on the banks of the salt ponds by the IBRCE Park. Sometimes also some Terns join in. The majority now is Slender Billed Gulls Larus genei שחף צר מקור but also Black Headed Gulls Larus ridibundus שחף אגמים. "Big Gulls" are mainly Armenian Gulls Larus armenicus שחף ארמני with some tens to 150 Lesser Black Backed Gulls Lurus fuscus etc. שחף שחור.

On the 25th, Matt noticed one gull with a colour ring (PVC). After a long quiet crawl he got close enough and was able to read the black ring- J9VZ. It was ringed in northern Norway, as a pullus (chick), in 2011 and was seen by a German birder last year. Nice! gulls with PVC rings are not very common around Eilat.

Matt sneaking towards the Gulls
מאט מתגנב לעבר השחפים
The roosting Gulls by the IBRCE salt ponds
השחפים הלנים בבריכות המלח בפארק הציפורים
New species for the IBRCE! Not a nice one but a very beautiful one... A Brahminy Starling Sturnia pagodarum זרזיר ברהמיני. It is an invasive species in Israel and this one probably escaped from cage somewhere in Aqaba or Eilat and not flew all the way from Tel Aviv. It was around singing for two days and moved away.
Brahminy Starling Sturnia pagodarum זרזיר ברהמיני
Brahminy Starling Sturnia pagodarum זרזיר ברהמיני
 In the ringing we had another Scops Owl Otus scopus שעיר מצוי, with loads of ticks around its eyes. It's a reminder for the difficulties birds have to cope with along the tough migration. 

 Scops Owl Otus scopus with many ticks
שעיר מצוי מרובה קרציות

Yael Lehnardt
Head Ringer & Guide, IBRCE

Not only feathers

At the IBRCE Park, you'll be surprised, there are not only birds flying around!
We try not to interrupt them frequently but there is a place where these Kuhl's pipistrelles Pipistrellus kuhlii עטלפון לבן שוליים are roosting communally. In some years, up to 25 are seen. This time the numbers were lower than usual but it is still remarkable to see such creatures up close.

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