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>> Birding Reports

Hula reflooded area, OCT-NOV/05
Amit Geffen

There is no doubt that the Hula valley is one of the best birdwatching areas in Israel. Here is a short summery and a picture gallery from mid October to late November; most of the reports are from Agmon ha'Hula ( also known as the Hula re-flooded area ).

In October, bird numbers are huge, with impressive arrivals of thouthends of Common Cranes (Grus grus) and White Pelicans (Pelicanus onocrotalus) daily.

The wintering eagles started to show up in good numbers, including two ‘fulvescens’ Greater Spotted Eagles (Aquila clanga).

Ringing was busy this month, with large numbers of Reed Warblers (Acrocephalus scirpaceus), Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica) and Bluethroats (Luscinia svecica) being ringed. Other birds trapped in large numbers were Great Reed (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) and Moustached Warblers (Acrocephalus melanopogon),and Chiffchaffs (Phylloscopus collybita).

October highlights included a first-winter Daurian Shrike (Lanius speculigerus) on the 23rd, three 'Caspian' Stonechats (Saxicola maura), a Little Crake (Porzana parva) on 25th, and our second foreign-ringed Moustached Warbler of the season, on 8th.


November was even better- large flocks of Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) have arraived, including three Rose Coloured Starlings (Sturnus roseus). The water level in the lake was rather low, and the mudflats attracted up to 35 Ruddy Shelducks (Tadorna ferruginea) and lots of Waders.

Ringingwise, more Caspian Stonechats were caught, alongside Reed Buntings (Emberiza schoeniclus) (up to 9 per morning!), Penduline Tits (Remiz pendulinus) and Water Pipits (Anthus spinoletta Coutelli). Unusually for the hula, in the last week of November we caught a couple of Wrens(Troglodytes troglodytes), being the second and third records for the Agmon.

Still, the best bird of the month was a juv. Saker (Falco cherrug) , a bird with falconers straps on its leg. It was caught in a heroic chase, ringed and released.

Indeed, there is nothing like the hula !

stay tuned as winter is only beginning and more reports will come soon.


Amit Geffen,

On behaf of the Hula ringing team-

Yoav Perlman, Nadav Israeli, Itay Shimshon, Gev Galili, Jonathan Halevy;

And the wandering birdwatchers-

Barak Granit, Eran Banker, Ely galili, Yael & Yotam Lenardt, Yuval dax And Anat Shapira ( Sorry if I have forgot someone ).

White Pelican Ruddy Shelduck Whie-tailed Eagle Spotted Eagle Marsh Harrier Saker Water Rail Little Crake Common Cranes Curlew Water Pipit Wren Penduline Tit Isabelline Shrike Rose-coloured Starlings Reed Bunting

Dunn's Lark
(Eremalauda dunnii) Km 76, Mar.07

Little Owl
(Athena noctua) Ashalim, Feb.06

White-winged Black Tern
(Chlidonias leucopterus) Ma'agan Michael, Mar.04
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