Monday, May 05, 2014

Instinct seem to win- May's migration is in


After few slow days around the end of April, a RBA (Rare Bird Alert) Message
aroused us from our sleepy heated condition: Dark Chanting Goshawk Melierax metabates נץ קולני אפור seen next to Yotvata. It was when still ringing and we had to be patient, hope the bird will be relocated later.

Dark Chanting Goshawk Melierax metabates נץ קולני אפור
By Melchior viallet צולם ע"י מלכיור וילט
After few more endless hours we were free to go, mid day, sunny.. We knew it was seen shortly before we did but there was no one looking for it at 12:30. After a short scan, on top of an electric pole, we noticed a "Sparrowhawk with the legs of a Stork" as Noam Wiess told us to look for. Excited and shaking we set our scopes, watched it and answered lots of phone calls (clearly all the twitchers wanted to know all about our observation). My heart fell twice when the bird flew off the electric pole since I promised to guard it properly. A few minutes before few birders came, it decided to leave. It flew high up, in a perfect thermal (clearly easy, was very hot) and disappeared high up with some Honey Buzzards Pernis apivorus איית צרעים. 

Dark Chanting Goshawk Melierax metabates נץ קולני אפור
With some more of the view around- didn't touch the trees in fact

We kept on searching for it during the next 4 hours but came up with nothing really good for our disappointed friends.... It was definitely an exciting afternoon! Second observation for Israel (last was in 1979), for few hours was thought to be first Eastern/Pale Chanting Goshawk for WP but now we know it's not. It refueled us for a while after few days with no Levant Sparrowhawk Accipiter brevipes נץ קצר אצבעות. 


Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur תור מצוי
A bird that used to be much more common in Eilat only ten and twenty years ago was ringed on the morning of April 30th- A Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur תור מצוי. Some tens are seen every spring around Eilat but it's really not comparable to what we know from previous observations, from only few years ago. I wish somebody will put an end to the terrifying kill of such birds along Lebanon (or Spain on the other hand). 

A very nice birthday tradition I follow is keeping a list of birthday birds. Every year I try to see as many species as possible during my B-day and I keep a list of all throughout the years. This year I didn't feel like trying hard but I had to visit K-20 Salt ponds to try and see few species seen only there (when not going far from Eilat).
It was a decent observation with many nice species but the best was a Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus פלמינגו with a beautiful gift on its leg- a PVC ring. A Turkish Flamingo is always nice and now we already know it was ringed in 2009.
During summer most of the migrating and wintering population is heading back to breeding quarters but about 190 are still around now, hopefully for the rest of the summer (always good to have some big pink birds nearby).  

Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus פלמינגו


Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga עיט צפרדעים
By Jesus Notario צולם ע"י חזוס נוטריו
It wasn't the best day for raptors migration but this Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga עיט צפרדעים was the best among all the beautiful Honey Buzzards Pernis apivorus איות צרעים. 

The next picture was taken on May 3rd, I promise:

Rueppell's Warbler Sylvia rueppelli סבכי שחור גרון
By Melchior viallet צולם ע"י מלכיור וילט
A Rueppell's Warbler Sylvia rueppelli סבכי שחור גרון is hard to find in Eilat in mid April, not to mention early May. It was a real shock to ring one of those by early May! Soon we realized why it is here- the right leg had just recovered from a bad break (and did not recover so well). Still, the bird had some fat and could fly well, cross countries, continents... Aren't instincts amazing? 

If we may continue with this point of view, we had another "broken" bird: Indian Silverbill Lonchura malabarica כסוף מקור הודי without its secondaries. Both wing were lacking a significant part and yet was able to fly. Hopefully we'll relocate this bird in the future.

Indian Silverbill Lonchura malabarica כסוף מקור הודי
Indian Silverbill Lonchura malabarica כסוף מקור הודי
All along the week we had Barred Warblers Sylvia nisoria סבכי ניצי every day, on the 3rd of May we felt greedy after ringing 6 different ones. It always brings weird joy to discuss ageing methods in such an interesting (from the moult aspect) species. 

what age would you say?
And if I showed you the bird?

?Try Harder- age and sex of this bird is

Yael Lehnardt

Head Ringer & Guide, IBRCE

Barred Warblers Sylvia nisoria סבכי ניצי quiz:
1. 2nd Calendar year, code 5
2. 2nd Calendar year, code 5. Female
3. 2nd Calendar year, code 5. male

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