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Hula reflooded area, December 2005
Amit Geffen

December in the Hula valley was rather quiet, as most of the autumn migrants have gradually disappeared during the first half of the month.

Still there are plenty of birds around, and here is a short summery:

Saturday the 3rd - A handsome Daurian Shrike (Lanius isabellinus) was found near the Crane hide. It had smartly avoided our mist nets.

Friday/Saturday, the 9th/10th - We had a very successful weekend as more than 30 Reed Buntings were caught. A second Daurian Shrike was seen at the northern part of the Agmon, as the first one was still hanging around the Crane hide, occasionally perching on our mist-net poles...

Monday the 12th - A day of Raptor searching; we were finally rewarded with good views of the 'Fulvescens' Greater Spotted Eagle, as well as a Peregrine, three White-tailed Eagles and the usual Greater spotted, Imperial and Booted Eagles.

Sunday the 18th - The original plan was Crane counting, but thick fog forced us out of the Agmon. Eventually we headed to the fish-ponds northeast of Gome junction. A couple of the ponds were empty, thus attracting large numbers of Waders and Gulls- a welcomed change, bearing in mind the relatively small mud-flats in the Agmon. The highlights included a couple of Ospreys and Pallas's gulls, five Little Ringed Plovers and four Citrine Wagtails. In the afternoon, we found ourselves back at the Agmon (can't do without Cranes and Mallards…), enjoying good views of a Bittern and counting Gadwalls (at least 80).

Monday the 19th - We spent the afternoon at the Hula nature reserve, where a communal roost of thousandths of Starlings, hundreds of Hooded Crows and Jackdaws, and dozens of Marsh and Hen Harriers form an amazing aerial display. Also noted- 19 Ferruginous Ducks, 10 Merlins and a couple of Pallid Harriers.

Friday the 23rd - a Dunnock was ringed at the Eucalyptus orchard; The second or third ever caught in the Agmon.

Amit Geffen

On behalf of the Hula team:

Yoav Perlman, Itay Shimshon, Uri Arad, Eran Banker, Anat Shapira, Gev Galili and Jonathan Halevy.

Teal and Common Snipe Osprey Fulvescens Spotted Eagle Booted Eagle Pallid Harrier Merlin Coot Avocet Long-eared Owl Caspian Stonechat Isabelline Shrike Reed Bunting

Little Green Bee-eater
(Merops orientalis) Yotvata, Mar.05

Barbary Falcon
(Falco pelegrinoides) Yotvata, Oct.05

Collared Pratincole
(Glareola pratincola) Eilat salt pans, Apr.06
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