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May 2004 - first half

Eyal Shochat

On 4/5 there were 4 Sooty Shearwaters at Eilat Beach (Y. Kiat). Raptors On 1/5 one Eleonora’s Falcon was seen flying north at Maagan Michael (N. Sapir et al.). Another bird was seen over Eilat mountains on 6/5,and a third one at Nizana on 12/5 (Y. Perelman). Among tens of thousands of Honey Buzzards migration over Eilat there were 9 Crested Honey Buzzards with 3 on 30/4, 2 on 4/5 and 4 on 6/5. On 30/4 there was an adult Verreaux's Eagle in Eilat mountains (all records by J. Meyrav).

Waders at Maagan Michael / Maayan Zvi fish ponds included two Bar-tailed Godwits, one on 1/5 and one on 8/5 (E. Vanunu et al.). Broad-billed Sandpiper migration included 4 at Maagan Michael on 1/5 and 3 on 8/5 (E. Vanunu et al.) and 10 at km 20 saltpans north of Eilat (Y. Kiat). There were two Red-necked Phalaropes on 4/5 (J. Meyrav) and one on 8/5 (Y. Dax), at Km 20, and one at Maagan Michael on 8/5 (E. Vanunu). Yet, the best wader for early May was a Great Snipe found at the Rose Garden, Jerusalem (N. Weiss) on 7/5 and twitched by many birders.

 Great Snipe (Gallinago media) 
Great Snipe
 Jerusalem rose garden, 07-MAY 

In recent years there is an increase in Namaqua Dove sightings out of their regular range. On 2/5 a male was seen at Kazerin, Golan Heights. On the same day there was a female Common Rosefinch at Nahal Ayun (A. Ben Dov), and another female a day earlier at Ezuz near Nizana (Y. Perelman). On 7/5 a Rose-coloured Starling was seen in a flock of Tristram’s Grackles in Nahal Rahaf, Judean Desert (S. Fridman), 8 more were seen in Hula on 14/5 (E. Vanunu). The early May waves of Olive Tree Warblers and Barred Warblers are quite extraordinary this year. Both species were reported from several locations in central Israel and southern Negev/Arava, with 69 Barred Warblers and 56 Olive Tree Warblers ringed at Jerusalem by 13/5 (G. Perelman et al.). Other birds ringed at the Jerusalem Bird Observatory were Icterine Warbler on 4/5 and five River Warblers by 11/5. Three other River Warblers were reported from Sede-Boker on 13/5 (Y. Perelman).

May 2004 - second half

Starting from the End: G. Ottens reported an African Darter at Kibutz Geinosar Beach (Lake Kineret which is the See of Galilee), 31/5. This is the first record since 1957, when the wintering population gone extinct due to the draining of Lake Antioch, Turkey.

In Gamla (Golan heights), a Black Vulture was present throughout 24/5. All together 3 different individuals were seen during May (V. de Boer).

Around the lake of Galilee there were 625 Pygmy Cormorants on 20/5, including two breeding colonies. Otherwise 7 Little Bitterns and 50 Whiskered Terns (A. Mayrose et al.).

Around northern Jordan River there were two families of Coots with chicks on 23/5 (U. Paz), and a pair of White Wagtails on 29/5 (L. Kislev). E. Bartov had 12 Rose-coloured Starlings at his backyard in Sede Izhak (Emek Hefer) between 19-21/5.

 Rose-coloured Starling (Sturnus roseus) 
Rose-coloured Starling
 Hefer valley, 20-MAY 

There was one Broad-billed Sandpiper at Ma'agan Michael on 19/5/04 (D. Roitemberg) and two on 29/5 (Y. Perelman).

In Jerusalem, the sixth River Warbler for the season was caught on 18/5, with seven Barred Warblers on the same day (G. Perelman et al.). On 29/5 a female Common Rosefinch was ringed.

The first colony of House Martin (eight nests) for the Greater Tel Aviv area was found in Yahud in mid May (Netanel Yarkoni). So far this species was found breeding only in eastern and southern Israel. A female Namaqua Dove near Lehavim on 20/5 was the third ever to Beer-Sheva area, and the second in less than a month (E. Vanunu).

In Eilat there were one Borad-billed Sandpiper and 11 Sooty Shearwaters on 22/5 (N. Sapir).

Striated Heron
(Butorides striatus) Eilat, Apr.05

(Alectoris chukar) Sde Boqer, Apr.04

Pied Wheatear
(Oenanthe pleschanka) Shizzafon, Nov.06
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