Friday, April 25, 2014

Levants fallout

April 20th
Surprisingly, despite the heavy wave of heat we enjoyed a slight wave of migration as well. It was not the high number of ringed birds but the interesting variation: 
First Thrush Nightingale Luscinia luscinia זמיר מנומר (some also heard around),
many Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus קנית קטנה, 
Common Redstarts Phoenicurus phoenicurus חכלילית עצים, 
Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa Striata חטפית אפורה. 

Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa Striata חטפית אפורה
Namaqua Dove Oena capensis תורית זנבנית
In addition to the migrants, we had some nice local birds, one every day for four days in a raw! Namaqua Dove Oena capensis תורית זנבנית. Sometimes it's not about the rarities but about the nice/interesting/hard to get/local/combo! all together!! :)

April 21st
Like a Swiss clock, every year, the Levant Sparrowhawks Accipiter brevipes נץ קצר אצבעות arrive on the very same dates. It is normal to see some random early ones (like the one that was seen during the Bird Festival in March) but from 20-21 to 25-26 there is always a good steady stream of Sparrowhawks overhead. On the 21st it started but didn't end till few days later!

Migrating female Levant Sparrowhawks Accipiter brevipes
נץ קצר אצבעות נקבה בנדידה
צולם ע"י רוני וייסנן By Roni Vaisanen
Male Levant Sparrowhawk Accipiter brevipes
זכר נץ קצר אצבעות
By Marten Svensson צולם ע"י מורטן סוונסון
Female Levant Sparrowhawk Accipiter brevipes 
נקבת נץ קצר אצבעות
By Marten Svensson צולם ע"י מורטן סוונסון

 The ones who came in crazy delay are the Blue cheeked bee eaters Merops persicus שרקרק ירוק. Maybe they should ask the Levants when to leave Africa since they came in exact one month too late. They are regularly seen on the last week of March, just before first European Bee eaters Merops apiaster שרקרק מצוי but not this year. On the 21st we saw a flock of 7 during most of the day, few more were seen on the next days.

Another colourful species we saw around is the Roller Coracias garrulus כחל. Two were seen along the morning flying around and perhaps same two were observed at K20 in the afternoon.  

Roller Coracias garrulus כחל
צולם ע"י רוני וייסנן By Roni Vaisanen

Other migrants at K20 included flocks of Sand Martins Riparia riparia כוכית גדות fighting the strong winds and Yellow Wagtails Motacila flava נחליאלי צהוב among them.

April 22
Another good day of Sparrowhawk migration. During the morning over 550 passed in low flight over the IBRCE Park, we noted about twice this amount in the afternoon over the city. We just couldn't blink! 
In addition we had 450 Honey Buzzards Pernis apivorous איית צרעים
and 150 Steppe Buzzards Buteo buteo vulpinus עקב מזרחי

Levant Sparrowhawks Accipiter brevipes
upper one is an adult while the lower is a 2CY=code 5
נץ קצר אצבעות- עליון בוגר תחתון צעיר ובלוי

Levant Sparrowhawks Accipiter brevipes
Right one is an adult while the left is a 2CY=code 5
נץ קצר אצבעות- ימני בוגר שמאלי צעיר ודהוי
April 23rd
It was a cool morning! In one round we ringed 
Levant Sparrowhawk Accipiter brevipes נץ קצר אצבעות
Scops Owl Otus scopus שעיר מצוי (late! time to be already in breeding grounds)
And a Hoopoe Upupa epops דוכיפת (our national bird)

During the day we had "only" 850 Levant Sparrowhawk Accipiter brevipes נץ קצר אצבעות with Honey Buzzards Pernis apivorous איית צרעים and Steppe Buzzards Buteo buteo vulpinus. 

We shouldn't forget mentioning the strong migration of White Winged Black Terns Chlidonia leucopterus מרומית לבנת כנף during this week. Mostly seen by the Northern Beach of Eilat (few thousands so far) but also at K20 Salt ponds and over the IBRCE Park. On the 23rd we noted 180 of them flying over.

April 24th
During the morning we had great fun with about 30 visitors- the Monitoring course of the SPNI, sponsored by the EU. Great essential move if you ask me in person. 
We did our best to indulge them with the best IBRCE had to offer and they sure did enjoy it! I wish you many more great experiences. 
In the afternoon we went to watch some birds by the northern beach of Eilat. A great site when looking for a perfect place to enjoy birding right before sunset and the 20 min after.
We enjoyed all usual goodies (as detailed in last post) and added a "needed" species for Roni's list- an Israeli rarity: Red breasted Merganser Mergus serrator מרגון בינוני. It is most likely the same bird that was seen several times during winter and spring, including one observation at same place last week.  

Left to right: Marten Svensson and Christopher Magnusson
מימין לשמאל: כריסטופר מגנוסון ומורטן סוונסון

Yael Lehnardt

Head Ringer & Guide, IBRCE

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