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Monthly Summaries

March 2012

Shachar Alterman & Barak Granit

Below is a summary featuring the most interesting observations from this month, based on reports from the ISRABIRDNET mailing list and other sources.
Leach's Storm Petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa): 1 at Jaffa Coast, 2/March (B. Granit), the first ever observation for March of alive bird.

Brown Booby ((Sula leucogaster): 2 Juv.at Eilat's north beach, seen through the winter

 Brown Booby((Sula leucogaster) 
 Brown Booby - 23/Mar, Eilat Northern Beach 
White Fronted Goose (Anser albifrons): 1 Juv. at Sde Eliyahu, 31/March (A. Rinot)

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea): 40 at Kfar Baruch reservoir, 3/March (T. Kahn, F. Moffet), the remaining of the wintering flock

Black Shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus): 2 at Hahula Agamon - the nesting pair, 1/March (L. Koplevitch)

Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis): 1 at Neot Smadar, 9/March (S. Alterman, Y. Koren),1 at Kibutz Hatzor, 25/March (D. Sharon), several reports in other parts, including Eilat.

Saker (Falco cherrug): 1 at Hahula Agamon, 1/March (L. Koplevitch)

Baillon's Crake (Porzana pusilla): 1 at the IBRCE Park, Eilat, Last week of March.

Demoiselle Crane (Anthropoides virgo): 1 at Hahula Agamon, 24/March (L. Koplevitch), 1 at Kfar Menachem, 29/March (J. De Forto), 1 migrating north with Steppe Buzzards over Elifaz Sewage 31/March (B. Granit. Probably the same bird was reported that same morning over Eilat's north beach and seen later on at K.20)

Caspian Plover (Charadrius asiaticus): 1 female at Ramat Dalton reservoir (upper Gallilee), 22/March (S. Luria) - first record for that upper Gallilee. About 10 birds reported during the 2nd half of the month from Eilat & southern Arava, including flock of 5 at Yotvata (various observers).

White Tailed Lapwing (Vanellus leucurus): 1 at IBRCE Park, 1/March (IBRCE team)

Red Phalarope (Phalaropus fulicaria): 1 at Maagan Michael, 5/March (L. Kislev)

Mediterranean Gull (Larus melanocephalus): 1st summer bird at IBRCE salt ponds, 31/March (B.Granit, T. Khan) , later on observed at K.20.

Black Legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla): 1 wintering bird near Eilat's North Beach

Black Bellied Sandgrouse (Pterocles orientalis): 15 at Upper Hayun Vally (near Uvda), an unusual southern report, 9/March (S. Alterman, Y. Koren)

Pallid Scops Owl (Otus brucei): 1 at Yotvata's fields, 1/March - 10th (IBRCE's team et al.), 1 at Kibutz Samar, 22/March (S. Alterman), 1 at Eilat's northern hotels Area on the 14th (Lanius tours).

 Pallid Scops Owl(Otus brucei) 
 Pallid Scops Owl, 24/Mar 
Egyptian Nightjar (Caprimulgus aegyptius): a very good year. Up to 6 birds seen together throughout the month at Yotvata's field , though total number could reach few tens. 1 at Neot Hakikar hunting with resident Nubian Nightjars (Caprimulgus nubicus), 20/March -1 April (Y. Perlman et al.), only the 2nd record for this area in the last decade.

Hoopoe Lark (Alaemon Alaudipes): a poor breeding year. 1 male singing at k. 33 early this month (I. Shanny), 1 pair and 3 birds eating east of Yotvata's fields throughout the month. Only 1 female at regular breeding grounds in central Arava.

Thick Billed Lark (Ramphocoris clotbey): 6 at the Meishar, 8/March onwards (Y. Perlman, M. Goren), 30-40 at Uvda Valley throughout the month (many birders)

Temminck's Horned Lark (Eremophila bilopha): 6 at the Meishar, 8/March onwards (Y. Perlman, M. Goren), 50+ at Upper Hayun, 10/March (S. Alterman, Y. Koren), a few tens at Uvda valley throughout the month, 1 at Mitzpe Ramon's soccer field, 20/March (L. Kislev)

Lesser Short Toed Lark (Calandrella rufescens): 1 at the Meishar, 8/March (Y. Perlman, M. Goren), 1 at upper Hayun, 10/March (S. Alterman, Y. Koren), 1 at Yotvata 16/March (B. Granit)

Bimmaculated Lark (Melanocorypha bimaculata): 20-80 at Yotvata, 11/March onwards, 40+ at Uvda Valley throughout the month

Orienal Skylark (Alauda gulgula): 2 at Yotvata's fields, 31/March (B. Granit)

Olive Backed Pipit (Anthus hodgsoni): 3-6 birds at Eilot's Date Plantation, throughout the month, probably the wintering birds joined by some migrating ones.

Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus): Great Numbers (thousands daily), throughout the southern Arava of both subspecies.

'Eastern' Black Redstart Ochruros (Phoenicurus ochruros): several birds, mostly semirufus were seen mainly in southern Arava especially during month's second half.

Basalt Wheathear ((Oenathe (lugens) warriae)): 1 at Uvda Valley, 21/March (I. Berger, D. Berkovic), seen till 6/April. The 6th record for Israel.

Cyprus Pied Wheatear (Oenanthe cypriaca): An unusual Influx in the southerm Arava from 9th march onwards with some reports from the center and the north of the country. Rough estimation of 100 - several hundreds of birds in three waves: 1st and small one mainly around 2nd week, a larger one during 3rd-4th week and last and main one between 27th-31st march. Highest concentration of 7 birds at Eilot northern Date plantation on 27th, and 8 birds at Neot Smadar during 28th-31st. Smaller numbers of 2-3 seen in many places between Yahel and Eilat. 5 were ringed.

 Cyprus Pied Wheatear(Oenanthe cypriaca) 
 Basalat Wheatear, 30/Mar 
Pied Wheatear (Oenanthe pleschanka): Even more unusual Influx than former species (the 2nd ever influx in Israel of that species, 1st one at the end of April 2008), Somewhat over lapping the Cyprus Pied Wheatears. Mostly 1st winter male birds(causing many misidentifications with Cyprus Pied)with several adult males and only very few females. Numbers as in Cyprus Pied, peaking around 23rd-25th with 9 birds together at Eilot northern date plantation on 25th. Smaller numbers of 1-3 birds were seen in many places between Neot Smadar and Eilat. 2 adult males were of the pale throated form 'Vittata' (k.20 date plantation and Uvda Valley, found on 24th and 26th (Egmond, M. Guyt & Dick Foramsn et al.) and were the first time this form was seen in Israel.

Kurdish Wheatear (Oenanthe Xanthoprymna): 1 near Majdal Shams (northern Golan), 29/March (D. Walker).

Rock Thrush (Monticola saxatilis): a great year for the species, most reports from the southern Arava throughout the month, including some concentration of up to 3 birds together.

Desert Warbler (Sylvia Nana): 1 at k33, (I. Shanny), 1 at k77, 9/March (S. Alterman, Y. Koren), 1 at upper Hayun, 10/March (S. Alterman, Y. Koren).

Subalpine Warbler (Sylvia cantillans): A good wave through mid-march around Eilat and some in the Negev. Peak was at 14-15/March with 5 birds at Holland Park (L. Koplevitch), 1 at Beer Ora (I. Shanny) and 3 ringed at IBRCE.

Cyprus Warbler (Monticola saxatilis): One of the best years for this species. , Dosens of reports throughout the southern and eastern parts of the country all through 1st-3rd week of the month, , with up to 50 birds around peak locations (i.e. Wadi Mishmar, Judean Desert). Good numbers in Southern Arava as well with 4-10 birds in many places , and probably thousands all together.

Rüepell's Warbler (Sylvia rueppelli): a very good year with dozens of reports all through the country most of the month and into early-mid April, i.e. 15 at Holand Park during mid and end March.

Ménétries's Warbler (Sylvia mystacea): 1 female ringed at IBRCE, 15/March, 1 male at k19, 25/March (Y. Perlman), 1 male at Hai-Bar Yotvata, 25/March (S. Kabessa), 1 at IBRCE 28/March. Another 1-2 bird reported/ringed at southern Arava.

Siberian Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita tristis): 1 at IBRCE, 7/March (Y. Lenhard et al).

Yellow Browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus): 1 at Kefar Adumim, 10/March (J. Meirav), 1 at Eilat fieldschool, 28/March (N. Glenn).

Isabelline Shrike (Lanius isabellinus): 1 at Hula, 3/March (ringing station team).

Pale Rock Sparrow (Petronia brachydactyla): 2 at IBRCE, 9/March (Y. Lenhard et al).

Cretzschmar's Bunting (Emberiza caesia): Probably the best year in southern Arava for that species since the good years of the 1980' with thousands of birds around and concentrations of 20-100 in most places.

Cinereous Bunting (Emberiza cineracea): a great year for this species. 1 at Ofira Park, Eilat from 2/March (H. van Diek ), throughout the month reports from Lotan (2), Sirin Heights (1), Amasa Mt (5), Western Golan Slopes (10) and various other spots, peaking with 30 birds at the Gilboa by the end of the month (A. Rinot).

Mourning Wheatear
(Oenanthe lugens) Sde-boqer, Jul.04

(Luscinia svecica) Samar, Oct.05

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