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>> Birding Reports

Arava valley, 03/Apr/06

Eyal Vanunu

On April 3rd, Dominic Standing (UK) and I were birding along the Arava valley.
We started our day at km 77 (road 90). Many migrant passerines were present, mostly Lesser Whitethroats, Blackcaps and good numbers of Tree Pipits (a few tens). The most interesting bird was a Hoopoe Lark, which flew above us northwards, presumably to Nahal Hayon, and quickly disappeared. Other birds around were 7 Lesser Kestrels that were hunting along the pylons, Short-toed Larks, Oriental Skylark, Tawny Pipit, Whitethroats, Ortolan Buntings, Trumpeter finches and more.

On our way south we had a short stopover at Lotan to watch the long-staying Sociable Plover, which present at least since March 21st. Red-throated Pipits, Orphean Warbler, wrynecks, Black-eared Wheatears, Olivaceous Warbler, Bonelli’s Warbler and Bluethroats were also noted. We left Lotan and stopped at a few date plantations along the way, picking up some of the common species (such as Indian Silverbill, Little-green Bee eater, Desert finches, etc.) and enjoying a light passage of raptors high over head, which included mainly Steppe Buzzards and Black Kites, but also a single Egyptian Vulture, Short-toed Eagle and a Marsh Harrier.

Yotvata area

We spent the noon hours at km 19 area. A light morph Booted Eagle was perching on the ground and eating his prey, a feral pigeon. Two Bailon's and one Little Crake were seen at the water channel, together with 3 Citrine Wagtail.
The Lesser Flamingo was still present at k20 saltpans, attracting many birdwatchers to the place. Also around 2 Ruppell's Warbler, a single Broad-billed Sandpiper and a male Rock Thrush, seen near the Birdwatching Park. At Yotvata's fields, a flock of 67 Purple Herons was flying above in the afternoon and an adult Barbary Falcon was seen as well.

The next mourning was too windy for birding in the open desert, but we managed to get very good views of Pin-tailed, Black-bellied and Spotted Sandgrouse at Revivim fields, just before a sand storm started.

White Stork Lesser Kestrel Sociable Plover Oriental Skylark Greater Short-toed Lark

Red Knot
(Calidris canus) Acre, Jan.06

White Wagtail
(Motacilla alba) Yotvata, Feb.05

Northern Wheatear
(Oenanthe oenanthe) Sde Boqer, Apr.04
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