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>> Monthly Summaries

March 2004 - first half

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.
Northern Israel
In Gamla - Golan Heights, one of the 2-3 Black Vultures that spent the winter was still present. On 8/3 a young Bearded Vulture stopped by for 5 minutes (V. de Boer).

Central Israel
A male Cyprus Pied Wheatear was seen on 7/3 in Emek Ha'ela (between Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem) (N. Weiss).

Southern Israel
In late February J. Smith and S. Lerman found a new colony of Lesser Kestrels Near Beer Sheva. By 9/3 ten pairs were present (Rony Livne).
Y. Perelman et al. ringed a male Subalpine Warbler nearby on the same day. Two other birds of this species were seen on 13/3 in the southern Arava (Y. Perelman, J. Meyrav). At Revivim, one Oriental Skylark was present on 12/3 (Y Perelman).
The possible Persica Mourning Wheatear, found by J. Smith and S. Lerman, was still around near Mizpe Ramon in early March with 40 Syrian Serins nearby (Y. Perelman et al.). On 13/3 there were three Cyprus Pied Wheatears in the southern Negev/Arava at Paran, Ketora (Y. Perelman), and Lotan (J. Meyrav).
In the Northern beach, Eilat, the young Brown Booby continued through early March, joined by a Crested Tern on 4/3 (J. Alto et al.). On 6/3 seventeen Red-breasted Mergansers flew in and landed in the saltpans at km 20 (T. Landsberger et al.).
At km 33 there were 2 Thick-billed Larks on 8/3 (J. Meyrav). A bit farther north near km 77 along the Arava road there were 15 Bimaculated Larks and one Pale Rock Sparrow among many other common passerines on 7/3 (D. Gelbart). Six days later Y. Perelman saw at this spot one Oriental Skylark and eight Bimaculated Larks.

March 2004 - second half

Northern Israel
The Black-shouldered Kite continues at Kfar-Rupin fields (20/3). Near Gamla the Bearded Vulture was seen again on 21/3. Also at Gamla, a single Dunn's Lark was present between 27-29/3 (all records by V. de Boer).

Southern Israel
A first-summer Pied Wheatear was found at Mitzpe-Ramon on 18/3 (A. Tsairi). This bird was at the same spot where the possible Persica Mourning Wheatear was found in late February, but was not seen on the following day. Further south at HaMeshar there were one Desert Warbler and one Bimaculated Lark at the same day (A. Tsairi). An African Collared Dove was reported at Sapir on 18/3 (J.P. Smith, S. Lerman). Several birders reported Pale Rock Sparrows from the Arava and Nizana, with a daily maximum of 12 birds near Hatzeva on 18/3 (J.P. Smith, S. Lerman). a male Menetries's Warbler was seen at k-77 along the Arava road, sharing a bush with a Desert Warbler. At k-20, north of Eilat there was at the same day an adult male Cyprus Pied Wheatear (B. Granit, D. Shapiro) On 29/3 there was a Red Phalarope near the International Birding Center at Eilat (Y. Meyrav et al.). The bird was seen again at k-20 saltpans on 31/3. Thick-billed Lark: 2-4 birds were observed in Biq'at Uvda between 27-29/3 (M. Jonker et al), together with 8 Bimaculated Larks. On 30/3 One was present at Yoseftal Hospital, Eilat (P. French et al.). Small numbers of Temminck's Horned Larks were seen in different locations in the southern Negev (J.P. Smith). 30/3 at the southern saltpans, at least two Buff-bellied Pipits (J. Aalto). During last days of March good numbers of Skuas off north Beach, Eilat, including 12 Artic, 3 Pomarine and 22 Long-tailed 31/3 (Marnix Jonker et al.).

Greater Short-toed Lark
(Calandrella brachydactyla) Eilat, Apr.06

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

Black-winged Pratincole
(Glareola nordmanni) Kfar-Ruppin turf fields, Oct.06
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