Showing posts with label Redwing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Redwing. Show all posts

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Nizzana bird atlas

This morning I surveyed one box for our bird atlas of the Nizzana region. I spent the morning east of Ezuz and had a great time. Migrants were rather few but the breeding species were in good numbers and must be enjoying the results of the huge rainfall there - caterpillars everywhere...
Of the more exotic stuff that I did not photograph, I can mention 2 MacQueen's Bustards, many Pin-tailed and Spotted Sandgrouse, one pair of Bar-tailed Lark, and 2 pairs of Lesser Short-toed Lark. I had some good migrants too - 1 Goshawk, 1 Bimaculated Lark, 1 Redwing, 1 Eurasian Cuckoo and many other bits and pieces. Quails are worth noting with many tens in the early morning.
Spectacled Warblers were very active, and I found about 15 active territories. This female was rather kind:

Scrub Warblers are common but always very sweet and very difficult to photograph. This individual was a bit nicer:

I had several pairs of Desert wheatears:

While watching this pair, I noticed they were followed by an Asian Desert Warbler, which is a familiar interaction. But then another warbler joined in, and soon the male (I presume) started courting the apparent female - he sang his head off, performed prolonged song flights and chased after the female. I have never seen such behavior of Asian desert Warblers in Israel before. I don't think they will breed here; I rather think that they got horny watching the wheatears copulating and collecting nesting material, and decided to practice a bit before returning to their breeding grounds. They're such excellent birds nevertheless:

I had one pair of Cream-coloured Coursers. I can never stop photographing these beauties:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Little Bunting

This morning I went for the Little Bunting at Givat Oz, near Afula in the north. A huge crowd of twitchers gathered there early in the morning (we were four!), and later we were joined by another three. Raz, the local who found the bird, showed us the site and we started to search for the bird. Despite the huge dversity and abundance of other 'tzicking' species (Song Thrush, Hawfinch, Robin, Prinia), pretty soon we heard the bird and had crap and brief views of the bunting sat in an olive tree before it ducked down and we lost it. About 30 seconds of excitement (lifer for Avner) and then two hours of hanging around and waiting for the bird to reappear. After two hours we heard the bird again, and saw it for about 5 seconds before it disappeared again. It behaved like a bloody locustella! I had to give it up later in the morning as I had some work to do... Other fine birds we had during the morning were a Redwing, several Hawfinches, two Dunnocks and nice views of a smyrna killing a Banded Newt caught in a nearby stream.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Galilee - so many birds!

Spent a full week of non-birding but walking and driving around the Galilee, from east to west. There were sooooooooooooooooo many birds around. Many winter birds showing in exceptionally large numbers. It feels like we are going to have a good winter here after a few bird-less winters. One of the most dominant species around was Hawfinch, with many sites holding tens of birds. Siskins also in large numbers. Some scarcer species such as Woodlark (many singing) and Dunnock were seen in fine numbers, especially on the higher peaks.
Saw some nice stuff during the week, including three Rose-coloured Starlings on 10/11 near Eilabun, two Rock Buntings in two sites, and several Mistle Thrushes and Redwings. It was a very intensive week and I'm happy to get back home. Tomorrow hope to get some ringing done - maybe Hawfinch?