Microsoft word - israel-for-16-to-27-march-2014.docx

ISRAEL  BIRD  REPORT  for  period  16  to  27  March  2014    By  Joan  and  Paddy  Heyland,  members  of  The  Northumberland  and  Tyneside  Bird  Club.    Objectives:    To  observe  raptor  and  passerine  migration  @  Eilat  To  observe  resident  birds.  To  increase  life  and  Western  Palearctic  Tick  Lists    Birds  in  bold  are  new  birds  that  we  have  been  able  to  add  to  our  personal  WP  and  or  Lifer  list,  as  well  as  other  notables  seen.    
Bird  sites  and  areas  in  bold  italics.  
Shalom !

   Saturday  15  March    Train  to  Luton  Parkway  and  overnight  @  Hotel  Ibis    Sunday  16  March    Morning  flight  from  London  (  Luton  )  to  Tel  Aviv  (  Ben  Gurion  )  with  Easyjet.  Overnight  stay  at  the  Hotel  Sadot,  Ben  Gurion  Airport.      
Birds  seen  @  airport  and  surrounding  area:  
Spur Winged Lapwing,  Collared,  Laughing  and  Turtle  doves,  Rose  ringed  
Parakeet,  Hooded  Crow,  Common Myna  and  House  Sparrow.  
Monday  17  March  
Internal  flight     Tel  Aviv  to  Eilat  with  Arkia  airways  and  booked  into  the  Crown  
Plaza  hotel  at  North  Beach,  Eilat  .    
A  late  afternoon  stroll  along  North Beach  produced  a  handsome  Caspian  Tern  
offshore,  a  few  White Eyed Gull  and  good  numbers  of  Slender Billed Gull were
noted offshore and on the beach near the Jordanian border.    
A  pair  of  Common  Kingfishers  were  perched  on  the  banks  of  the  sewage  canal.  In  the  resort  area  there  abundant  numbers  of  House  Sparrow,  Turtle  and  Collared   Doves  with  attendant   Laughing Dove,  Feral  Pigeon,  Yellow Vented Bulbul,
Common Myna, ( Indian ) House Crow
 and  Carrion  Crow.    
A  tree  with  surrounding  bushes  and  scrub  in  the  play  park  held  House  and  
Spanish Sparrow, an Eastern Orphean Warbler  and  Willow  Warbler.  
 Back  at  the  hotel  we  were  lucky  to  be  given  a  free  upgrade  to  a  top  floor  room.  The  balcony  overlooks  the  Gulf  of  Aqaba,  with  clear  views  to  Aqaba  and  Jordan  to   the  left  and  the  Eilat  mountains  to  the  right.  Setting  up  the  ‘scope  on  the  balcony  with  cold  beers  in  hand  we  gained  distant  views  of  raptors  thermalling  over  the   mountains.  Too  far  to  distinguish  species  but  certainly  the  majority  appeared  to  
be  Steppe  Buzzard.  Confusing  the  hotel  for  a  rock  face,  Three  Rock Martins  
hawked  past  our  balcony  and  visited  us  every  day  in  the  mornings  and  evenings.  
Tuesday  18  March  
The International Eilat Birdwatching and Research Centre,( IBRCE ) Eilat.
Directions:  The  centre  lies  just  north  of  the  large  desalination  plant  along  Route  
90  (Arava  Highway).  If  travelling  by  car  drive  south  until  you  see  a  large  Brown  
sign  "  Birdwatching".  It  can  also  be  walked  from  the  resort  hotels  by  taking  the  track  that  runs  along  the  eastern  edge  of  the  large  desalination  plant.  The  ‘Centre  has  International  status  and  has  been  purposefully  constructed  to   attract  resident  birds  as  well  as  migrants.  It  also  has  a  ringing  stations  and  
educational  facility,  staffed  by  resident  wardens  and  overseas  volunteers.  
If  Graceful Prinia  is  on  your  tick  list,  this  is  certainly  the  place  to  come.  They  
were  by  fat  the  common  bird  on  the  reserve  itself.  The  reserve's  internal  pond  
was   pretty  quiet,  just  a  pair  of  Mallard,  Little  Egret  and  Great  Cormorant,  with  
good  numbers  of  squawking  Spur  Winged  Lapwing  .  Lesser Whitethroat  were  
again  in  good  numbers.  We  gained  our  first  view  of  Blackstart from  the  walkway  
and  picked  two  more  en-­‐route.  A  small  acacia  on  the  western  edge  of  the  reserve  
held  a  good  number  of  Spanish  Sparrows,  one  female  Common Rosefinch  and  
one  male  Ortolan Bunting.  Other  notable  birds  seen  on  the  reserve  were  
Palestine Sunbird, a male Bluethroat and a pair of Little Green Bee Eaters
 One  of  the  volunteer  ringers  directed  us  to  the  Raptor  observation  hide  where   Arabian  Babbler  had  been  seen  that  morning,  we  didn't  seen  any  but  did  spot  a  
male  Sand Partridge  evidently  searching  and  calling  for  a  mate,  on  a  nearby  
sandy  ridge.  
The  adjacent  saltwater  reservoir  held  large  numbers  of  Black Winged Stilt,  a  few  
Greater Flamingo,  and  four  Spotted  Redshank  together  with  Common  Redshank,  
Greenshank,  Wood  Sandpiper  and  Pied  Wagtail.  Raptors  continued  to  move  
south  over  the  Eilat  Mountains  to  the  west.    
With  closer  views  from  the  ‘Reserve,  as  ever  the  vast  majority  were  Steppe
 together  with  a  couple  of  Steppe Eagle.  
A  large  flock  of  Slender  billed  Gull  with  Lesser Black backed Gull (Baltic race)  
and  Black-­‐headed  Gull  were  sleeping  ,  loafing  and  generally  doing  nothing    in  the  
midday  heat  on  the  saltpans  adjacent  to  the  reserve.  

The Date Plantations and Cultivations between IBRCE and Eilat Resort
 Joan  and  I  decided  to  walk  back  to  the  hotel  along  the  tarmac  road,  passing    the  date  plantation  to  see  what  birds  were  around.  By  now  it  was  early  afternoon   and  getting  pretty  hot.    
The  reward  was  good  views  of  a  pair  of  Marsh Harriers  drifting  overhead.  On  
the  ground  two  Crested Lark,  a  further  two  Little Green Bee Eater  on  a  
telegraph  line  were  observed.  Coming  straight  from  the  Northumbrian  tundra,  
the  heat  started  to  get  to  us,  but  the  exercise  did  us  good  and  merited  a  good  
evening  meal  and  drinks  
Wednesday  19  March  2013.  
Km 20; Reservoir, Plantation and Cultivations and Km31.
Directions:  The  key  birding  areas  @  KM  19  and  KM  20  can  be  accessed  by  driving  
north  to  these  checkpoints  along  the  Arava  Highway,  though  beware  that  the  
sudden  turn  off  can  be  a  bit  tricky  if  other  traffic  is  following.    It  is  much  easier  to  
take  the  same  turn  to  the  IBRCE  described  from  the  road  signs  marked  the  "  Yizhak  Rabin  Border  Crossing"  and  "Birdwatching".    Turn  left  at  the  first  T  Junction.  Drive  along  a  driveable  narrow  access  road  that  runs  parallel  to  the   ‘Highway  itself.  The  stench  emanating  from  the  cattle  sheds  will  alert  you  that  you  have  arrived  at  Km  19.    A  hire  car  is  essential  to  get  around.  There  is  a  bike  route  that  circumvents  Eilat  but  we  had  real  problems  finding  a  bike  hire  shop.  When  we  did  we  realised  that   the  price  of  bike  hire  was  compatible  with  car  hire.  So  we  picked  up  a  hire  car  in  the  morning  and  drove  to  the  recommending  birding  areas  around  Km  20.    As  we  drove  slowly  along  the  access  track  towards  the  KM  19  and  20  birding  areas,  a  skylark  was  heard  singing  overhead.  Stopped  the  car  and  looked  up  at   the  bird  as  it  slowly  rose  in  the  air.  First  impression  by  its  voice  was  that  it  was  just  an  ordinary  skylark,  then  noticed  it's  distinct  buff  brown  underparts  and  slightly  different  jizz.    A  quick  reference  to  Collins  Bird  Guide  was  necessary  and   then  another  long  look  at  the  bird,  confirmed  it  as  Oriental Skylark.    
Turning  right  at  the  end  of  the  access  road  we  drove  towards  the  two  large  
reservoirs  @  KM  20.  
The  acacia  trees  bordering  the  plantation  held  up  to  four  Arabian Warbler, with
good numbers of Lesser Whitethroat. At the end of track overlooking the reservoirs,
we noticed a lot of activity in a seemingly dead tamerisk bush. Six sparrows flew in
just as we were parking. First impressions were House Sparrow, but their size,
buffness, yellowish side markings and especially their smaller bills readily identified
them as Dead Sea Sparrow. A migrating Whinchat and two Little Green Bee
was also observed in the same area.
The reservoirs themselves held good numbers of Greater Flamingo and Black
Winged Stilt, with Spotted and Common Redshank, Little Ringed Plover and
To end a memorable birding visit, we were treated to a fly past by a handsome male
Pallid Harrier, as we left the plantation heading back to the ‘Highway.
On to KM31 (aka Amrein Nature Reserve,) once noted as a key location place to see
desert species. Driving past the greenhouses etc to the desert edge and parking
carefully away from a row of active bee hives we searched the area. Unfortunately the
area is under agricultural development, even the reserve itself was been "sandscaped".
Our only reward was a large flock of Spanish Sparrow and a single Northern
Exiting the area we stopped by an area of burnt ground to look for Wheatears and just
about anything that may be about. A female Bluethroat hopped across the path into
nearby scrub. Joan then noticed a "weird looking Buzzard" sitting in one of the date
palms. A speedy consultation with Collins Bird Guide ensued, with further close
observations that confirmed it as Crested Honey Buzzard. Evidently, through later
confirmation from a ranger at the Bird Centre, a Crested Honey Buzzard has been in
resident in the area for at least the past two years.
Thursday 20 March 2014
Holland Park, Eilat Cemetery, Amram's Pillars and IBRCE.
Holland Park is located in the northern suburbs of Eilat, accessed by the Eilat by-pass
road. Recommended by previously read bird reports and local birders; it is a real gem
of a site, noted for local species and primarily as a stop site for small migrants.
The ‘park itself is contained and easily workable, containing a wide range of trees and
shrubs, with bike and 4 x 4 tracks leading off into the desert.
An early morning trip here produced an abundance of Lesser Whitethroat and Spanish
Sparrow. Good views were had of Eastern Bonelli's Warbler, three Blackstart,
Graceful Prinia, a pair of Scrub Warbler and a migrating Whinchat.
The area
south of the entrance appeared to be a particularly good area for birds

Two Arabian Babbler's
were spotted flying over the ridge and landing in a nearby
bush and a small party of Tristram's Starling made their presence known overhead.
A pair of Bonelli's Eagle were spotted flying high between the park and the base of
the Eilat mountains to the west.
Eilat Cemetery
After Holland Park we made the short trip along the bypass road to the cemetery, to
look for House Bunting. No sign of House Bunting. Just four Blackstart, several
Lesser Whitethroat and flocks of House and Spanish Sparrow were the only birds

Amram's Pillars
The Amram Pillars rock formations can be accessed and are clearly signposted from
the Arava Highway. Follow the ston/gravel covered dirt track for circa 2 KM , then
take the signposted right fork

It was getting towards late morning by the time we arrived at the Amram's Pillars
rock formations. Principal reason being recent reports of Sinai Rosefinch observed by
the car park area. Some time spent here produced nothing. Only bird of note was a
single White Crowned Black Wheatear on a rock along the access road.
The ‘Pillars are spectacular rock formations and the sheer silence of the desert is a
well worth and never to be forgotten experience.
By whim we drove back to the road fork and took the left fork to She'horet Canyon,
looking for desert species. A pair of White Crowned Wheatears appeared to
"accompany" us along the way. The area is barren desert but after a couple of Kms at
the area marked " Campground" there are several acacia and tamarisk trees and
bushes and it was here that we really hit on the following species. A male Sand
with only one thing on its mind was seen chasing the female equivalent
around an acacia bush. The White Crowned Black Wheatears perched in the shade of
a tree, which also contained Blackstart and an Arabian Warbler. A scan of the small
cliffs that surround the campsite area finally produced a superb Desert Lark.
Two Hoopoe scrabbled around looking for some sort of shade from the midday sun
and a Steppe Eagle was observed wending its way north.
On our return the female Sand Partridge had by this time stopped running and seemed
barely able to walk. The male was in even worse condition, so exhausting in fact that
we nearly ran over it. That the path of true love is never smooth apparently applies to
birds as well as humans.
Back to the hotel for a shower, food, drink, change of clothes etc and general chill out
until the evening.

IBRCE Centre Revisit
We revisited the Bird Centre at about 5pm when the temperature had cooled. Again
numerous Black Winged Stilt dominated the pools, with large numbers of Slender
Billed Gull with a small numbers of Caspian Gull and White Eyed Gull were
roosting on the various dykes separating the salt ponds at the Desalination plant.
On the pond a single Red necked Pharalope was happily skitting around in typical
Pharalope fashion. Both Spotted and Common Redshank, Little Egret, Wood and
Common Sandpiper and a single Avocet were present.
Friday 21 March
Yotvata and Lotan Kibbutz
Yotvata is located @ the Km 50 marker on the Arava Highway.
Behind the visitor centre and holiday village are large areas of cultivated fields,
demarcated with tall acacia trees, bushes and scrub.
Large numbers of Yellow Vented Bulbul, Lesser Whitethroat, House and Spanish
Sparrow were present. Four White Stork and a Steppe Buzzard flew north. WE had
been given information that Bimaculated Lark had been seen around the onion and
melon fields. Quite a bit of time was spent searching for them, until Joan spotted two
in a acacia bush by one of the onions fields. Just further south by the kibbutz farm, a
small flock of Desert Finch flew into a crop field.
Up to six Ostrich were seen at the Hai Bar reserve to the south, easily observable
from the Arava Highway. They are part of a re-introduction programme, having
become or being made extinct in Israel in the 1920s, and are gradually being released,
together with other previously extinct desert mammals such as gazelle and deer.
Leaving the Yotvata reserve an Eastern Bonelli's Warbler was observed at close
range in a small acacia tree near the Holiday Park.
Lotan Kibbutz
The Lotan Kibbutz is another noted birding spot just a few Kms north of Yotvata. The
Kibbutz is gated for security reasons but access is readily available and everyone we
met there were both very friendly and helpful. The Kibbutz itself is impressive, a
superbly designed and managed oasis in the midst of semi-arid desert. A oasis too for
We met some british birders, who were staying on the Kibbutz acting as volunteer
ringers who gave valuable information about recent sightings. If any reader is a
qualified ringer as well as birder this is definitely the place to come.

Resident birds seen around the Kibbutz gardens and cultivations included Little Green
Bee Eater, Hoopoe, Yellow Vented Bulbul, Lesser Whitethroat, House and Spanish
Sparrow, Blackstart, Arabian Warbler and Hoopoe. Migrants included Willow
Warbler, Chiffchaff and Blackcap. Raptor wise a pale form Black Kite soared
overhead. One of the ringers informed us that both a female Semi-Collared Flycatcher
Black Bush Robin had recently been trapped and ringed and were still loose
somewhere in the kibbutz gardens.
Taking great care not to intrude into people's gardens we finally caught up with the
Black Bush Robin in a bush by the swimming pool. Sadly though , no sign of the
Semi-Collared Flycatcher.

Friday 21 March contd ( Evening )
KM 19 Reservoir
Following a recommendation from a dutch birder that the reservoir @ KM 19 was the
only reliable site to see Liechtenstein's Sandgrouse in the Eilat area, we ventured
forth to await their arrival at dusk.
As before, take the turn off the Arava highway signposted " Yizhak Rabin Border
Crossing" and the brown " Birdwatching" sign. After leaving the ‘ Highway make a
left turn at the T junction and drive north along the metalled track until you see the
large cowsheds to your right. Don't worry I can't miss them. Again your nose will tell
you that you are close!
Park at the end of the rough dirt track that runs adjacent to the cow sheds, under, or
by, a large single tree. Walk through the broken fence ( please take great care not to
step on any razor wire lying on the ground ).
The ideas is to be in position by sitting down on the pebbled embankment well before
dusk, so as not to disturb the target birds.
During our wait a newly arrived large migrant flock of Yellow Wagtail ( sp. Motacilla
flava feldeggi )
just a few feet from where we and other birders were patiently sitting.
Their intention to drink from a water outlet in the northeast corner of the reservoir
(point closest to the parking area ). The reservoir itself was full of birds; large
numbers of Coot with Mallard, Teal, Wigeon and Shoveler were reminders of any
pond back the UK. However, what was first taken on ‘jizz' to be a small group of
Tufted Duck morphed into a small number of Ferruginous Duck. Seven Egyptian
sat on the embankment to our right and both Squacco Heron and Reef Egret
were present at the water's edge around the reservoir. Another birder called the
presence of A Barbary Falcon that flew over our head. We dipped on that sighting.
Don't you just hate it when that happens to you?. Other birds seen around the
reservoir were Citrine Wagtail, Common and Wood Sandpiper, Black Winged Stilt
and Sedge Warbler.
Not long after darkness fell one of the birders spotted the arrival of a pair of
Liechtenstein's Sandgrouse no more than 15 feet to the right of where we were
sitting. It was magical to watch them from such close range as they went down the
embankment to drink.
Note: From local knowledge, over time the numbers of Liechenstein's Sandgrouse
arriving to drink at the reservoir have fallen from large numbers of between 30 and
40 and sometimes more, to just half a dozen. But it is still well worth a visit here to
see this rare bird.

Saturday 22 March
Raptor Watching in Eilat Mountains, En Nephratim and Km 19 revisit
Raptor watching here is a lot easier than Gibraltar. For unlike the latter most raptors
here tend to migrate from collection stations on the Egyptian side of the northern
Sinai and follow a route north over a narrow stretch of the Eilat mountains.
Take route 12 that leads in a westerly direction out of Eilat ( signposted " Eilt
Mountains". Once into the mountains raptors will easily be seen to your left,
thermalling over the mountain ridges beyond.
We drove up to the ‘ High Mountain" view point at Mount Yoash located at circa Km
8 – 9, where a good group of birders were already on watch.
The sheer numbers coming over though the mountains and ravines will take your
breath away. Thermalling groups of plus or minus 100 birds were coming over every
10 to 15 minutes. This was just from our viewpoint because other ‘groups were also
seen lower down the overwhelming majority were Steppe Buzzard, which made it
easier to pick up other species. Small numbers of Black Stork joined the ‘ Buzzards
and occasional views of Steppe Eagle were seen. Other raptors seen were individual
Booted Eagle and Short Toed Eagle. Eastern Imperial Eagle and Griffon Vulture
had been seen earlier in the morning but we didn't see any.
Birds were clearly struggling against a prevailing strong northerly breeze coming off
the desert that did them no favours at all.
If you thought Gibraltar was good (and it usually is) just wait until you've been to
Eilat. The experience alone is worth the trip.

En Netaphim
After a couple of hours raptor watching we drove further along Route 12 to En
Netaphim. The turn is just after an army checkpoint, overlooking the Egyptian border.
As Gosney et al state, the steep track down to the Nephratim spring is no place to
drive a hire car. We walked down the track to the view point in the valley (take water
is advisable !). The "spring" itself had apparently long since dried up. Just a large
bush and discoloured ground indicating the spot.
Down in the valley just one bird could be heard calling. By happy chance it turned out
to be a Blue Rock Thrush. Nothing else was seen or heard. By now getting towards
early afternoon the heat was bouncing off the rocks and we commenced a hot and
tiring walk back on the track. A single White Crowned Black Wheatear was seen en-
route. Then having nearly reached the top where our car was parked a pair of Brown
Necked Ravens
called and displayed, so another life tick became a welcome reward
for a hot trek.
KM19 Revisit
An afternoon chill out back at the hotel was followed by an early evening trip back to
KM 19. This time we checked all around the reservoir for additional birds. Birds seen
in addition to previous birds were; Little Grebe, Green Sandpiper, Red Rumped
Swallow, Marsh Harrier, Black Kite, Cattle Egret, Spotted Redshank
and Grey
KM20 Revisit
Final call of the day was another visit down the road to the KM20 reservoirs. The
large reservoir was now dominated by over 300 Greater Flamingo and large numbers
of Black Winged Stilt. Four species of plover were present , Spur-Winged,
Common, Little Ringed and Kentish Plover, in close proximity to one another at
the southern end of the large reservoir and two Little Stint at either end of the
reservoir. Two Blue cheeked Bee Eater were observed close to where we had parked
and we had a great close up views of a superb male Barbary Falcon over the
northern end of the reservoir. Three Red necked Pharalope were present, while
Gulls dominated the roosting bar in the middle of the large reservoir, the vast majority
Slender Billed Gull, with Black Headed Gull, a few White Eyed Gull and at least one
Caspian Gull.
On the salty mudflats of the mainly dried up smaller reservoir to the south a large
party of Ruff were present, along with Common and Spotted Redshank and both
Common and Marsh Sandpiper.

Sunday 23 March
En Gedi, Dead Sea
We had decided in advance that a trip to the Dead Sea was a must. The round trip
from Eilat along Route 90 is about 350 miles but it was worth it. Once past Lotan, the
green cultivated land gives way to arid and semi-arid desert. No birds of note seen en-
route but a " comfort break" at a petrol station around the half-way mark produced a n
number of Pallid Swift and a party of Desert Finch.
We arrived at eh En Gedi Spa and parked the car. The spa building is surrounded by a
number of acacia trees and bushes, most of them full of resident and migrant birds.
Some Fan Tailed Raven landed near the car and further observationjs of the
surrounding vegetation revealed the presence of a handsome Eastern Bonelli's
Warbler, Blackstart, Robin, Common Myna and Willow Warbler. A small flock of
Tristram's Starling squaked and squabbled noisily by the main entrance.
We took the tractor train down to the Dead Sea and enjoyed the customary float in the
Dead Sea. Not only is it impossible to sink it's difficult to stand up! If you go there try
the free mudbath it does wonders for the skin!.
Back to the car after a shower and change and a flock of 24 White Stork were circling
over the Dead Sea as a number of migrant raptors slowly wended their way north over
the mountains tops.
Driving out of En Gedi on out way back a lone Isabelline Wheatear presented itself
on a rock just out of the resort area. A number of Rock Martin was also seen. Once
out of the Dead Sea area and back to sea level we took a slow drive with several stop
offs (traffic allowing) to scan the desert for more birds. It was in a area between
Tsofar and Tsukim that we finally found one of our main target species. A small flock
of six Sinai Rosefinch flew across the Highway and landed on rocks several feet
from the road. Tried hard to park the car for better views but by the time we had
managed to do that and avoid potential accidents, the Sinai Rosefinch had flown off.
These were the only sightings we had of Sinai Rosefinch we were to have all trip.
Nevertheless a wonderful find.
Monday 24 March
Revisits to Holland Park, Mount Yoash, Km 19, Birdwatching Centre and Yotvata
are ( North Circular Fields ).
Holland Park
An early morning trip and additional birds seen on this visit included a handsome
Long Legged Buzzard, and an Eastern Olivaceous Warbler.

Mount Yoash
Another raptor watch produced similar birds seen on our previous visit. A single
Short Toed Eagle being the only addition. The prevailing wind had eased, which
may have accounted for an even greater number of thermalling groups rising up from
the Sinai. There were a considerable number of birders further down the road towards
Eilat, who were getting even closer views. Information was that Imperial Eagle had
been seen earlier, but again we dipped on that bird.
Bird Centre and Km 19
On the saltpans and Bird Centre salt pond, birds included Temminck's Stint, Dunlin,
Little Ringed Plover, large numbers of Slender Billed and Black Headed Gull.
The road to KM 19 produced one Woodchat Shrike and a pair of Booted Eagle.
Following a previous day's sighting of Namaqua Dove, we ended our day's bird
watch in the Yotvata North Circular Field area. The rich planted vegetation and ready
water supply, courtesy of the adjacent Ecological Research Centre, is a proper magnet
for migrant and resident birds. A skulking Steppe Buzzard roosting in the midst of the
vegetation did little to persuade other birds to hang around, but we did catch sight of a
Spectacled Warbler, Blackstart and several Lesser Whitethroat. A pair of White
drifted over and plonked themselves in a nearby cultivated field. No sign of
Namaqua Dove.
Tuesday 25 March 2014
Holland Park revisited

We had time to kill before taking the afternoon flight back to Tel Aviv then on to
Luton, so we decided to spend the morning in Holland Park where birders had
reported sighting migrating Sub-Alpine and Rueppel's Warbler.
A good scan of the area produced species already reported, with increased numbers of
Graceful Prinia and a further three Arabian Babbler in the southernmost corner of the
park. A Barn Swallow sat on a thorn bush so completely exhausted it never moved.
Not a good place to perch because raptors various regularly patrol the park area on the
look out for exhausted migrants. Hopefully the fact that it chose a thorn bush may
save it.
No sign whatever of either Sub-Alpine or Rueppel's Warblers. Walking northward
from the entrance we chanced upon a birding tour group; its leader helpfully pointed
us in the direction of a distinct red coloured bush where Rueppel's had been sighted.
Sure enough up to four Rueppel's Warbler were present, having a real ruck with
some Lesser WhiteThroat for territorial rights. No sign of the Sub-Alpine Warbler.

Collins Bird Guide ,2nd Edition, Svensson et al
Usborne Spotter Guides " Birds of Prey",
Finding Birds in Israel, Gosney, D, 2010
DVD Finding Birds in Israel, Gosney, D
Internet Sources www.
Thanks also to the friendly staff at the Eilat Birding Centre and Birders/Ringers at
Lotan Kibbutz, to the many fellow birders of many different nationalities for their
willingness to exchange information of current and recent sightings information and
finally to those who have posted bird reports on the ‘net over the years.

Common: Abundant and easily seen or found
Fairly Common: Seen most days
Bold Type: our personal Life and or WP Ticklist.
Babbler, Arabian. At least four in Holland Park ( south end of park ). Two at IBRCE, one at En-Gedi Bee eater, Little Green. Bee eater, Blue Cheeked. Blackstart.
One @ IBRCE and one at Km31 Bulbul, Yellow Vented. Bunting, Ortolan. Buzzard, Crested Honey. One @ plantations at Km 31
Buzzard, Long legged.
One at Holland Park Buzzard, Steppe. Fairly common in single numbers on migration Large flock at Km19 reservoir Cormorant, Great. Crow, ( Indian ) House.
Duck, Ferruginous. Several at Km19 reservoir Eagle, Bonelli's two seen overhead near the Eilat mountains Fairly common ( possibly the same pair ?) Eagle, Short Toed. One seen on migration Eagle, Steppe.
Several seen on migration Falcon, Barbary. One male at KM20 reservoir Finch, Desert.
Yotvata and roadside en-route Dead Sea Flamingo, Greater. Large numbers @ KM20 and IBRCE res. Goose, Egyptian. Up to seven at KM19 reservoir Grebe, Black necked. Gull, "Baltic" (LBB) Gull, Blackheaded. Desalination plant Gull, Slender Billed. Pair area of Desalination plant Harrier, Pallid.
Single male at Km 20 Kingfisher, Common. One pair on sewage canal, North Beach Fairly common on migration and plantations Lapwing, Spur-Winged
Lark, Bimaculated.
Two at Yotvata in cultivations area Lark, Desert.
Two in desert en-route She-horet canyon ( re-introduced species ) at least six at Hai Bar res. Parakeet, Rose ringed. Partridge, Sand.
Fairly common (e.g. IBRCE and Holland Park) Pharalope, Red necked. One at IBRCE salt pond, two at KM20 res. Plover, Kentish. Plover, Little Ringed. Prinia, Graceful. Common (esp Holland Park and IBRCE ) Raven, Brown necked.
Two at En Nephratim and several in Dead Sea area Raven, Fantailed.
Several at En-Gedi spa Redshank, Common. Redshank, Spotted. Robin, Black Bush.
Rosefinch, Common. One female at IBRCE Rosefinch, Sinai.
Six in desert along Route 90 Sandgrouse, Liechtenstein's One pair at Km 19 Reservoir
KM20 (southernmost ) reservoir Sandpiper, Common. Fairly common on salt pans and or reservoirs Sandpiper, Green. Sandpiper, Marsh. Fairly common on salt pans and or reservoirs Shrike, Woodchat. One on Access road to plantations Skylark, Oriental.
Two seen over access road between Km 19 and 20 Sparrow Dead Sea.
Up to six at Km20 Sparrow, Spanish. Starling, Tristram's.
Holland Park and En-Gedi Stilt, Black-Winged. Two at Km 20 reservoir Stint, Temminck's One at salt desalination plant Fairly common in small numbers on migration Fairly common singly or in small numbers, plantations Sunbird, Palestine.
IBRCE and Holland Park Swallow, Red rumped. At least two seen at Eilat resort Desert road side en-route En Gedi Thrush, Blue Rock. One at En-Netaphim Wagtail Citrine. Small numbers at Km19 reservoir Wagtail, Yellow ( sp feldegg). Large flock at Km21 res watering hole Warbler, Arabian.
Locally fairly common ( eg Km 20 res access track) Warbler, Eastern Bonelli's. Fairly common Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous. Fairly common Warbler, Eastern Orphean. IBRCE and Holland park Warbler, Rueppell's. Warbler, Scrub.
Two in Holland Park Warbler, Spectacled. One at Yotvata North Circular field Wheatear, Isabelline. One seen in desert by roadside Wheatear, Northern. One at desert edge, Km 31 One in Holland park Wheatear, White Crowned, Black. Common.
Toda !



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