maandag 19 maart 2012

A belated birthday gift

I woke up as a fresh 19-year old dude this morning, thinking with a headache (no not from the beer) about what there was to come.  It was pretty cold and windy but the birds did well this morning. Lower numbers, good diversity. Again a Scops Owl in the first round, as well as our 3rd Tawny Pipit of the season in the Heligolands.

As the morning proceeded we soon got a first for the season: a precious adult male Masked Shrike. While ringing some birds, checking raptor migration two Finnish dudes (one of them was Roni ofcourse) saw an exciting wheatear adjacent to the ringing hut! It was a superb tame adult male Pied Wheatear! We had good views on the bird and eventually managed to catch it in one of our Heligoland traps!
 Pied Wheatear (Oenanthe pleschanka), adult male
Tail of Pied, clearly very few black on the terminal tailband, unlike Cyprus.
Look at the length of P10, just the same lenght as the PC's, unlike Cyprus where the P10 is clearly longer than the PC's.

What an amaaazing bird to catch!! The best bird we’ve got so far I bet… One could call this a belated birthday gift for me, but also an early birthday present for Mr. Yotam since it’s his birthday tomorrow!

In the afternoon we were busy with finishing our wader traps, we’ve now made 3, which means one more to go. Hopefully tomorrow we can start catching waders! Furthermore we checked the Northern Date palm plantations where we saw the Cyprus Wheatear and the Crested Honey Buzzard. The Cyprus Wheatear is also still at K20, where we saw it today.

Before the swallow ringing Roni, Christian and I went to the traditional site for the Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse.  We weren´t alone there, there were Dutch birders only, 11 to be precise (and one Finnish guy)!  At 18:15 excatly, a pair, came down to drink and we had wonderful views of both birds! Simply stunning!  Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse, probably one of the coolest birds I´ve ever seen in Israel!

Ringing totals: 

Balkan Wagtail 1 -
Balkan Warbler 2 -
Barn Swallow 11 - 2
Blackcap 26 - 2
Bluethroat 2 -
Chiffchaff 20 - 2 
Collared Dove 1 - 1
Common Whitethroat 10 - 1
Cretzchmar's Bunting 7 - 2
Eastern Orphean Warbler 2 - 3
Eatern Olivaceous Warbler 2 -
Graceful Prinia 2 -
House Martin 42 - 
House Sparrow 1 -
Laughing Dove 1 - 1
Lesser Whitethroat 59 - 10
Masked Shrike 1 -
Pied Wheatear 1 -
Quail - 1
Red-rumped Swallow 7 - 1
Redstart 7 - 2
Sand Martin 1 -
Savi's Warbler 2 - 1
Scops Owl 1 -
Sedge Warbler - 1
Spanish Sparrow 2 - 1
Swift 1 -
Tawny Pipit 1 -
White Wagtail 1 -
White-spectacled Bulbul 2 - 1

Total 215 – 31 = 246

 Weird white-throated Cretzchsmar's Bunting (Emberiza caesia), adult male
 Bluethroat ssp. cyanecula on the left and ssp. svecica on the right.
Masked Shrike (Lanius nubicus), adult male; first for the season!

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