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>> Monthly Summaries

January 2004

Eyal Shochat

Below is a summary featuring the most interesting observations from this month, based on reports from the ISRABIRDNET mailing list and other sources.

The Best birds seen during January were mostly found in Northern Israel, All were seen by many birders by now.
A male Goosander was found by Moti Dolev by the eastern shore of the lake of Galilee on 17/1 (Second Israeli record with the first one in 1925). The bird was found during the annual waterfowl count of the NRA.
Other birds found during the count were 374 White-headed Ducks at the Kishon reservoirs (Zev Labinger).
Most of the rarities were found in the Golan heights: four Smews at Revaya reservoir (Asaf Mayrose et al), two Radde's Accentors at Gamla reported by Vincent de Boer, some 12 Pine Buntings among about 100 Yellowhammers winter at Alonei Habashan (Barak Granit, Dubi Shapira), and 15 Little Bustards winter at their regular site at Natur.
A Great Bustard (5th Israeli record), was found by Vincent de Boer on 30/1 east of Katzrin.
 Great Bustard (Otus tarda) 
Great Bustard
 Golan heights, 31-JAN 

The Black-shouldred Kite and two female Scaups found by Vincent de Boer in November at Kefar Rupin were still present. Other birds around Kefar Rupin included 1-2 Oriental Skylarks and 2-5 Sociable Ploves.
 Greater Scaup (Aythia marilla) 
Greater Scaup
 Kfar Ruppin, 13-DEC-03 

In Biria, (upper Galilee near Zefat) there were 21 Yellowhammers and 2 Pine Buntings on 3/1 (Barak Granit).
In the Hula nature reserve 274 Harries were counted in the traditional roost on 11/1, with 204 Marsh (highest ever count), 68 Hen and 2 Pallid. 8 Merlins were also present (Barak Granit, Zev Labinger).
In central Israel storms brought a nice dose of seabirds to Jaffa Port, though not necessarily many tubenoses. On 23/1 there were 28 Gannets (highest count for the species in one day), 70 Arctis Skuas (Second highest count of the species in the Mediterranean coast) and one Sooty Sherwater, with several Yelkouan on the next day (Tomer Landsberger, Barak Granit et al.). On 23/1 there was also one 1st winter Lesser crested Tern (Igal Milchtaich).
In southern Israel several good bird were found wintering during January:
James Smith reported during January the followings: Yellow-browed Warbler –1 wintering at Ye’elim (Yotvata), Hume's Warbler – 1 at kibbutz Lotan, Daurian Shrike – 1 adult at km 19 and Steppe Grey Shrike –1 1st winter at Samar. By the 22nd, the Two Brown Boobies seen in early January at Eilat’s northern beach were gone. On 10/1 one White-tailed Plover was present at km 20 saltpans (Rami Mizrachi).

Barn Swallow
(Hirundo rustica) Ma'agan Michael, Jun.04

(Luscinia svecica) Samar, Oct.05

Greater Sand Plover
(Charadrius leschenaultii) Eilat, Mar.05
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