Friday, September 12, 2014

Crowded with (flying) visitors

Perhaps lots of tourists have decided not to visit Israel this autumn but the birds clearly disagree and show it with their wings… Another great week by the southern end of Israel- great birds, all around, every day, for nearly two weeks now!
We did have some slow days but once again, species variation was incredible!

79 birds.
Just one morning after posting the blog, there were too many things to share:
We had one Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus עלוית אפורה with a unique earring- a huge ant was clinging to the wing, right by the outer joint.   
The ant was dead but kept on grabbing the wing of the Warbler. We released it after cutting the ant, since it was impossible to take it out in any other way!
Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus עלוית אפורה

For me, the best bird of that day was a wonderful Crested Lark Galerida cristata עפרוני מצוייץ.  
Crested Lark Galerida cristata עפרוני מצוייץ
Crested Lark Galerida cristata עפרוני מצוייץ
Crested Lark Galerida cristata עפרוני מצוייץ

53 birds and 76 birds the next days.

66 birds, of which one weird House Sparrow Passer domesticus דרור הבית- who has odd bill:

Surprisingly, it is in good physical condition- with some fat and over 23gr.  

67 birds.
The best was one juvenile Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus ורדית אירופית. They are not rare in this time of the year but for example last autumn we had ringed a single bird during season.

90 birds- numbers went up a little. Many Shrikes but also some flocks of House+ Spanish Sparrows Passer domesticus+ hispaniolensis דרור הבית+ספרדי.
We also enjoyed some Sand Martins Riparia riparia כוכית גדות and
House Martins Delichon urbica טסית בתים with one first Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica סנונית מערות

In one round we had an explosion of goodies:
1 juv. Male Namaqua Dove Oena capensis תורית זנבנית
1 ad. Female Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus ורדית אירופית (Second!!)

1 ad. Olive-tree Warbler Hippolais olivetorum שיחנית זית- Great bird for autumn here...

79 birds. Started early with some Barn Swallows Hirundo rustica סנונית רפתות who spent the night by the reed-bed surrounding "Anita Lake" and jumped into the nets to get some rings.
Later on, once again, growing numbers of Masked Shrikes Lanius nubicus חנקן נובי were noted (4 ringed but many more around, probably waiting to get ringed tomorrow morning) together with Spotted Flycatchers Muscicapa striata חטפית אפורה (2 ringed, more around).

Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus חנקן נובי 
One of the two Spotted Flycatchers Muscicapa striata חטפית אפורה was showing an interesting moult pattern - retaining some old Primary coverts and Secondaries pointing out the fact it is a Second calendar-year bird (Euring code 5) while most adult birds cannot be separated due to their winter moult (given Euring code 4).

Yael Lehnardt

Head Ringer & Guide, IBRCE

Not only feathers

On the 7th, right after a perfect birding afternoon, Aylon Zvik and I found a special bug, something I could tell I haven't noticed here ever before. I'm definitely not an entomologist but big bugs always attract some attention. After uploading it to a special Facebook group we were told that it is the somewhat rare Monocladum aegyptiacum יקרונית מצרית. There were two of them by the ringing station and they weren’t relocated since, despite some eager entomologists who are likely to twitch them (could you believe?! Twitching bugs!).

Monocladum aegyptiacum יקרונית מצרית

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