Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Israel, March 17th - 24th, 2008. Part I.

Hi folks,

Here's a few pictorial highlights from our recent spring tour to Israel with Birdfinders. This year's trip was possibly our most successful in recent years with an outstanding selection of excellent West Palearctic specialties. These included Striated Heron, Western Reef Heron, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Oriental Honey Buzzard, Barbary Falcon, Purple Swamp-hen, Sand Partridge, Maqueen’s Bustard, Caspian and Greater Sand Plovers, Cream-colored Courser, White-eyed Gull, Spotted and Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse, Namaqua Dove, Hume’s Owl, Nubian Nightjar, Pied Kingfisher, Little Green Bee-eater, Syrian Woodpecker, Bar-tailed, Bimaculated and Thick-billed Larks, Rock Martin, Long-billed and Olive-backed Pipits, Citrine Wagtail, Blackstart, Scrub Warbler, Arabian and Menetries’s Warblers, Semi-collared Flycatcher, Arabian Babbler, Palestine Sunbird, Brown-necked and Fan-tailed Ravens, Tristram’s Starling, Dead Sea Sparrow, Indian Silverbill and Desert Finch.

Southern Arava looking east towards the Edom Mountains of Jordan. March 22nd.

The Birdfinders group at Ein Netaphim. March 23rd.

Oriental Honey Buzzard - 1st-cycle bird and one of the highlights of the trip. The bird had evidently wintered in Eilat, roosting in the date palms just north of the Eilat Birdwatching Center. March 23rd.

Oriental Honey Buzzard - Another 'digibin' shot of the same bird. March 23rd.

Semi-collared Flycatcher - Nice male in the same date plantation as the above mentioned Oriental Honey Buzzard. March 23rd.

Arabian Warbler - Hazeva, March 22nd.

Caspian Plovers - with Spur-winged Plover. Part of a flock of five Caspian Plovers at Yotvata's 'mega' fields. March 23rd.

Caspian Plovers - with White Wagtail at Yotvata's 'mega' fields. March 23rd.

Cream-coloured Courser - Nizzana, March 21st. Always one of the main highlights of a trip to the Western Negev.

The Zin Valley, Central Negev. Spectacular scenery as well as great birding.

More photos to come in Israel part II

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