Friday, November 30, 2012

ISR - Rustic Bunting 11/28

Update: With no further sightings of this bird since our observation on Nov 28th, it''s been worth reflecting on just how rare this bird has become since the publication of the 'Birds of Israel' in 1996. Here , Shirihai describes it as a "very rare to rare, but regular autumn migrant at Eilat". Since that time however, only five records have been documented in Israel as follows;

Eilat, Km19, November 1998 - J.P. Smith et al

Eliphaz, March 2005- male, J.Meyrav et al.

Nafcha, Central Negev - November 2009. B. Granit, S. Alterman

Nizzana, Western Negev - November 2010. Y.Koren, U. Adad. 

Ovda Valley, Southern Negev - November 2012. N. Fowler, J. P. Smith et al. A couple more images of this bird have been added below;

Just arrived back from another highly successful spell in Southern Israel with Birdfinders. Numbers of common migrants appeared to be very low during the our entire two weeks stay so it was especially surprising to discover this Rustic Bunting in an unlikely looking patch of open desert close to the Ovda Valley. Kudos to group participant Nevil Fowler who spotted and identified this bird from the main road (Route 12) as it fed with White Wagtails. This was only my third Rustic Bunting in 22 years of visiting Israel, the others being at Km19, Eilat in November 1998, and a male found by Jonathan Meyrav at Eliphaz in March 2005.

 Rustic Bunting - Km 67 by Route 12, Ovda Valley, Eilot Region, November 28th, 2012.


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