vrijdag 9 maart 2012

Crests for the win!

After having poor views on the Crested Honey Buzzard yesterday, today we tried again, and we were really lucky! Just after we – Christian, Roni, Yael, Ron and I – arrived at the Northern Date Palm plantations this afternoon, we relocated the Crested Honey Buzzard very soon. We found it flying through the palm trees and it flew out to the open between the two palm plantations. We had wonderful views of this adult female circling above the plantation. With my camera I was able to take some good shots, amazing!
 Crested Honey Buzzard, adult female
Crested Honey Buzzard, adult female, upperparts

This was not the only ‘crested’ bird we had. During the ringing this morning Ron came back from a Heligoland trap round with Israel’s national bird: Hoopoe! A fantastic bird in the hand!
 Hoopoe (Upupa epops)

More excellent birds this morning were Ehrenberg’s RedstartBluethroat svecica , another female Cyprus Warbler and the first Eastern Olivaceous Warbler for Christian and me.

 Eastern Olivaceous Warbler (Hippolais pallida)
Ehrenberg's Redstart (Phoenicus phoenicus samamisicus)
Bluethroat (Luscina svecica)

As for the past few days the Steppe Eagles were migrating, with 43 counted today. Steppe Buzzards passed by in similar numbers. Some Greater-short toed Larks flew by this morning, calling clearly.
In the afternoon, as written above, we went birding. First to the palm plantations and afterwards we visited K19 and K20/K21 salt pans. At K10 we saw a stunning male Citrine Wagtail. What a bird! Along the edge of the K19 pool the wintering Greater-spotted Eagle was sitting around. After a few minutes it took off and showed well, allowing me to take some flight shots. At K20 we saw the common stuff like Little Stint, Kentish Plovers, Ruffs, Redshanks and so on.
Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga), 3cy
Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citriola)

From the K20 salt pans we drove to the North Beach, not seeing very much, but the Brown Booby was still in place, on the same spot as yesterday.

This evening we ringed some swallows. Again not many, but a Red-rumped Swallow was nice between the Barn Swallow.

Yotam processing a Red-rumped Swallow
The ringing crew at the moment! From left to right: Ron, Re'a, Yotam, Yael, Roni and Christian.

Ringing totals for the 9th of March:

Balkan Warbler 3 -
Barn Swallow 19 -
Bluethroat 1 – 2
Chiffchaff 50 – 14
Collared Dove 1 -
Cretzchmar’s Bunting 1 – 1
Cyprus Warbler 1 -1
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler 1 -
Eastern Orphean Warbler – 5
Hoopoe 1 -
House Martin 7 -
House Sparrow 1 – 2
Laughing Dove 2 -
Lesser Whitethroat 21 – 5
Penduline Tit – 1
Red-rumped Swallow 2 -
Redstart 1 -
Reed Warbler 3 -
Rueppel’s Warbler 1 -
Sand Martin 2 -
Sardinian Warbler 6 -
Sedge Warbler 2 - 
Spanish Sparrow 21 – 2
White-spectacled Bulbul – 8
Woodchat Shrike 1 -

Total 148 – 41
25 species

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