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Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus), Beit-shean Valley 29/Dec/07

A Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus) was reported on the 30th of December by Klaus Bjerre (his excellent site : Bird photography by Klaus Bjerre , below is the summary of his remarkable find and a breathtaking set of images.
I'd like to thank Klaus for allowing us to use his images and the details of the observation.

All pictures are taken with my new Canon EOS 1 D Mrk III with a Canon EF 500 4.0 L IS. Flight pictures are taken with a 1,4 extender.
Here is some observation information.
On our way back to Kfar Ruppin on December 29th I noticed a hovering raptor just to the left of the car. As you know there are many kestrels in Israel especially in winter.
At first I just thought it's a Kestrel but after a split second I recognized the short tail and the shorter wings. I stopped the car immediately and run out.
The light was very poor now 16.28 but I managed to take just a few pictures for documentation.
When we arrived at Kfar Ruppin we informed David Glazner about our observation and we decided to go out together next morning at 7 o’clock.
We where driving around in the same area next morning for an hour or so but we didn’t find the bird.
My wife and I were leaving the kibbutz at about 10 o’clock and we were driving around for another 5-10 min to look for the bird again.
After 5 min I saw the bird to the left of the road in the same area as we saw the bird on the 29th. I had the camera ready and I managed to take some 100 pictures, both flights pictures and the birds sitting in the trees.
After this fantastic observation we returned to David in Kfar Ruppin to tell him the good news and to show him the pictures.
After a 15 min we where on the way again and my wife saw the bird sitting close to the road eating its prey.
Another 2-300 pictures were taken and I was very happy :).
All the best,

Last seen on: 29/Dec/07
Black-winged Kite Black-winged Kite Black-winged Kite Black-winged Kite Black-winged Kite

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