donderdag 8 maart 2012

Boobies on the North Beach

It is Purim now, which means holidays for the Israelis now. The Eilat ringing team has been strengthened now by some other ringers since yesterday. Re’a Shaish, Yael Lehnardt and Ron Efrat. This morning we had, as usual, an early start again. The nets were open at 5.30. Around 5.30 a Barbary Falcon passed by and it would pass by two more times this morning, showing really well. The ringing was a bit slow throughout the morning, but the quality was good. Roni and I did an early trap round resulting in a new species in hand for Roni (and for me ofcourse!): a pretty 2cy male Cyprus Warbler! The mistnets delivered us Chiffchaffs, a Quail and a Rueppel’s Warbler. We closed around 12:00. A bit later Roni did another Heligoland trap round and came back with our 2nd Cyprus Warbler of the day. It was a 2cy female. A tricky bird for those who are not familiar with all the Sylvia’s. I’m not sure if I would even be able to ID it in the field!
 Cyprus Warbler, 2cy male
Cyprus Warbler, 2cy female: can you ID it?

In the morning two Pale Rock Sparrows passed by. The birds were quickly ID’d by Re’a. What I saw and hear from the birds was a Tawny pipit like call, with a little trill in it. Furthermore large sparrows (lark-sized) with a short tail and a slow flight.

Raptor migration was visible again with some 70+ Steppe Eagles, about 30 Steppe Buzzards, 5 Booted Eagles, 3 Short-toed Eagles, 1 Black Kite and we also had an Egyptian Vulture being the first for us here in Eilat.

In the afternoon we went to the Northern Date Palm Plantations to look for the claimed Olive-backed Pipits. All we could find were two Tree Pipits. On the plantation we saw Redstart samamisicus, Black-eared Wheatear and a really stunning adult male Cyprus Warbler. And above that we found the long-staying Crested-Honey Buzzard! We flushed it from a palm tree and it flew into the palm plantation. Some of us had a good view on the bird, but I didn’t. It went pretty fast so it was difficult to good views of the bird. The details I saw were a large, almost eagle like buzzard, with long wings and a long tail. Furthermore I could observe a very dark, almost blackish plumage. Others saw the contrasting tail with the tail bands, contrast in the secondaries and a full hand. We will certainly go back there to get better views on the bird.

Die-hard birding with Roni, Re'a and Christian in the Palm Plantations

Afterwards we visited the North Beach again. We quickly relocated the Brown Booby, a life bird for me. Moreover, we found the Kittiwike, that has been staying at the North Beach for the entire winter already. Apart from the White-eyed Gulls, two Sandwich Terns passed by. In the little creek on the North Beach we saw the Western Reef Heron and a Pied Kingfisher.
Western Reef Heron, the famous bird, staying at North Beach for over a couple of years already.

Around 17.30 we came back to the ringing station again to get ready for a bit of swallow ringing. Beforehand I did one last check of the Heligoland traps and I came back with a couple of cool species: a Quail and a really cute Little-Green Bee-eater!
Little Green Bee-eater

The swallow catch consisted of two Red-rumped Swallows, 10 Barn Swallows and a Sand Martin of the subspecies eilata.
Red-rumped Swallow

The ringing totals for the 8th of March:

Chiffchaff 45 - 10
Eastern Orphean Warbler - 1
Lesser Whitethroat
21 - 2
Sardinian Warbler 
1 - 2
Wryneck 1 -
Cyprus Warbler 2 - 
Common Whitethroat 1- 2
White-spectacled Bulbul 1 - 4
Savi's Warbler 1 -
Reed Warbler - 3
Cretzchmar's Bunting - 1
Bluethroat 1 - 3
Spanish Sparrow 
5 -1
Rueppel's Warbler   
1 -
Quail 2 -
House Sparrow - 1
Stonechat - 1
Laughing Dove 1 -
Little Green Bee-eater 1 -
Collared Dove 1 -
Barn Swallow 8 - 2
Red-rumped Swallow 2 -
Sand Martin 1 -

 Total 97 - 35 = 132
23 species

1 opmerking:

  1. Nice! I hope you took lots of photos of the Sand Martins' throats :)