Thursday, March 14, 2013

Eilat - Day Three - 03/14

Another hot day, especially in the early part of the afternoon. We began the day in Holland Park on the north side of Eilat finding a few sylvia warblers including about 5 Orphean and 3 Ruppell's Warblers. But it was really the local desert species that provided most excitement for our group with Sand Partridge, Blackstart and Arabian Babbler all giving excellent views. Afterwards we moved onto the salt pools at Km20 where we found 2 of the previously reported Greater Sandplovers straight away. The salt pools seemed to have received good numbers of new birds, including Marsh Sandpipers (15) and two exceptionally smart Gull-billed Terns. We also found Black-tailed Godwit and Red-necked Phalarope.

Thanks to a tip from Itai Shanni we found ourselves in Yotvata by early afternoon where we spent the hottest hours of the tour so far watching larks on the fringe of the Yotvata dunes. It didn't take us too long find the reported Bimaculated Larks (3) amongst some 150 Greater Short-toed Larks. Unfortunately for our group, I was the only person to hear a Hoopoe Lark singing.

The rest of the afternoon fizzled a little as we tried for desert species at the oft-productive Ovda Valley, only to find the place virtually deviod of birds. Even so, despite yet another day of extreme heat, we felt pleased with our results for the day.

Sand Partridge - Holland Park, Eilat.
Greater Sandplover - Km20, Eilat.

Gull-billed Terns - Km20, Eilat.

 Bimaculated and Greater Short-toed Larks - Yotvata dunes.


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