Sunday, 1 April 2018

Israel, 18-26 March 2018

A birding tour of this wonderful country. My first since 1987! Non-twitchy and away from the frenzy of the Champions of the Highway 2018 race, we did it our way!

I need to start with a few thank yous:
  • Firstly to my ever-sanguine companions Jon Ewbank and Simon Blaxill. Thank you for your good cheer (even when the birds dried up) and for your encouragement when I was curled up on the backseat of the car feeling moribund! 
  • Secondly, to David Glasnerl and Sheli Marks who have recently taken over responsibilities at Kfar Ruppin Birdwatching Centre. As well as providing a brilliant impromptu dinner on our arrival and superb freshly-cooked breakfasts each morning, they were on hand to help with everything we needed. I thoroughly recommend a stay at the centre (dglasner@krp.org.ilmakorhahasida@gmail.com, 050-5656147).
  • Thirdly to the community of Ezzuz (aka Assus), most notably Celia Poulton Friede for use of her productive watering hole and photography hide. In addition to some great shots of sandgrouse, we enjoyed homemade cheese and crackers on the veranda taking in the view of the rolling desert landscape (cfriede5@gmail.com).
  • Finally, to Steve Arlow whose thorough reports documenting his birding visits to Israel provide detailed directions to many sites of interest (http://www.birdersplayground.co.uk); and Yoav Perlman who put us on the right track with larks at Uvda (http://www.yoavperlman.com)!
The following images are in chronological order of the trip.

Above Black Stork (Kfar Ruppin, 19 March 2018)

Above Pygmy Cormorant (Kfar Ruppin, 19 March 2018)

Above Clamorous Reed Warbler (Kfar Ruppin, 19 March 2018)

Above Graceful Prinia (Kfar Ruppin, 19 March 2018)

Above Red-spotted Bluethroat (Kfar Ruppin, 19 March 2018)

Above Spur-winged Lapwing (Kfar Ruppin, 19 March 2018)

Above Red-spotted Bluethroat (Kfar Ruppin, 19 March 2018)

Above Second calendar year Greater Spotted Eagle (Kfar Ruppin, 19 March 2018)

Above Black Stork (Kfar Ruppin, 19 March 2018)

Above Black Kite, White Pelican, Black Stork and Common Crane (Kfar Ruppin, 19 March 2018)

Above Black Kite, White Pelican, Black Stork and Common Crane (Kfar Ruppin, 19 March 2018)

Above Black Kite, White Pelican and Common Crane (Kfar Ruppin, 19 March 2018)

Above Heron, possibly Western Reef x Little Egret hybrid (Kfar Ruppin, 19 March 2018)

Above Heron, possibly Western Reef x Little Egret hybrid (Kfar Ruppin, 19 March 2018)

Above White Pelican (Kfar Ruppin, 19 March 2018)

Above Heron, possibly Western Reef x Little Egret hybrid (Kfar Ruppin, 19 March 2018)

Above Heron, possibly Western Reef x Little Egret hybrid (Kfar Ruppin, 19 March 2018)

Above Heron, possibly Western Reef x Little Egret hybrid (Kfar Ruppin, 19 March 2018)

Above Heron, possibly Western Reef x Little Egret hybrid (Kfar Ruppin, 19 March 2018)

Above Heron, possibly Western Reef x Little Egret hybrid (Kfar Ruppin, 19 March 2018)

Above Lesser Spotted Eagle (Kfar Ruppin, 19 March 2018)

Above First summer Pallas's Gull (Kfar Ruppin, 19 March 2018)

Above Dead Sea Sparrow (Kfar Ruppin, 19 March 2018)

Above Dead Sea Sparrow (Kfar Ruppin, 19 March 2018)

Above White Pelican (Kfar Ruppin, 19 March 2018)

Above Red-spotted Bluethroat (Kfar Ruppin, 19 March 2018)

Above Greenfich (Kfar Ruppin, 19 March 2018)

Above Alpine Swift (Kfar Ruppin, 19 March 2018)

Above Syrian Woodpecker (Kfar Ruppin, 20 March 2018)

Above A few of the estimated 10,000 plus Black Kite amassed on the pivots and in the fields
(Kfar Ruppin, 20 March 2018)

Above Black Kite - a prize for the most accurate count! (Kfar Ruppin, 20 March 2018)

Above Second calendar year Caspian Gull (Kfar Ruppin, 20 March 2018)

Above Peregrine (Kfar Ruppin, 20 March 2018)

Above Nubian Ibex (Mizpe Dragot, 20 March 2018)

Above Little Green Bee-eater (Mizpe Dragot, 20 March 2018)

Above Tristram's Grackle (Ein Gedi, 20 March 2018)

Above Sand Partridge (Hazeva, 20 March 2018)

Above Blackstart (En Netafim, 21 March 2018)

Above Blackstart (En Netafim, 21 March 2018)

Above Hen Harrier (En Netafim, 21 March 2018)

Above Semi-collared Flycatcher (En Netafim, 21 March 2018)

Above White-crowned Black Wheatear (En Netafim, 21 March 2018)

Above Desert Lark (En Netafim, 21 March 2018)

Above Red-throated Pipit (Eilat North Beach, 21 March 2018)

Above Northern Wheatear (Eilat North Beach, 21 March 2018)

Above Black-headed Yellow Wagtail (Eilat North Beach, 21 March 2018)

Above Golden Eagle (Amram's Pillars, 22 March 2018)

Above White-crowned Black Wheatear (Amram's Pillars, 22 March 2018)

Above Little Green Bee-eater (Yotvata, 22 March 2018)

Above Egyptian Vulture (Yotvata, 22 March 2018)

Above Western Siberian Stonechat (Yotvata, 22 March 2018)

Above Eastern Mourning Wheatear (Uvda Valley, 23 March 2018)

Above Crowned Sandgrouse (Uvda Valley, 23 March 2018)

Above North Caspian taxon Stonechat (Uvda Valley, 23 March 2018)

Above North Caspian taxon Stonechat (Uvda Valley, 23 March 2018)

Above North Caspian taxon Stonechat (Uvda Valley, 23 March 2018)

Above Bar-tailed Lark (Uvda Valley, 23 March 2018)

Above Bar-tailed Lark (Uvda Valley, 23 March 2018)

Above Semi-collared Flycatcher (Shizafon Cafe, 23 March 2018)

Above Semi-collared Flycatcher (Shizafon Cafe, 23 March 2018)

Above Lesser Flammingo (KM20 Salt Pools, 23 March 2018)

Above Ruff (KM20 Salt Pools, 23 March 2018)

Above 'Superciliaris' Yellow Wagtail (KM20 Salt Pools, 23 March 2018)

Above Red-spotted Bluethroat (Shizafon Cafe, 24 March 2018)

Above Red-spotted Bluethroat (Shizafon Cafe, 24 March 2018)

Above Turtle Dove (See Boker, 24 March 2018)

Above Desert Finch (See Boker, 24 March 2018)

Above Trumpeter Finch (Celia's Watering Hole, Azzuz, 25 March 2018)


Above Greenfinch (Celia's Watering Hole, Azzuz, 25 March 2018)

Above Crowned Sandgrouse (Celia's Watering Hole, Azzuz, 25 March 2018)

Above Crowned Sandgrouse (Celia's Watering Hole, Azzuz, 25 March 2018)

Above Crowned Sandgrouse (Celia's Watering Hole, Azzuz, 25 March 2018)

Above Spanish Sparrow (Celia's Watering Hole, Azzuz, 25 March 2018)

Above Spectacled Bulbul (Celia's Watering Hole, Azzuz, 25 March 2018)

Above Striolated Bunting (Celia's Watering Hole, Azzuz, 25 March 2018)

Above Trumpeter Finch (Celia's Watering Hole, Azzuz, 25 March 2018)

Above Chukar (Celia's Watering Hole, Azzuz, 25 March 2018)

Above Eastern Bonelli's Warbler (Azzuz, 25 March 2018)

Above Common Redstart (Azzuz, 25 March 2018)

Above Corn Bunting (Celia's Watering Hole, Azzuz, 25 March 2018)