Wednesday, 30 December 2009


This splendid DARK-EYED JUNCO was discovered in Karlstad (NORWAY) in recent days and has attracted large numbers of admirers. Christian Tiller obtained this outstanding image (see

First PACIFIC DIVER for Iberia

David Alvarez photographed this juvenile PACIFIC DIVER in Santona Harbour, SPAIN, on 7 December, constituting the first record of this Nearctic species in Iberia

Wednesday, 16 December 2009


This male MOUSSIER'S REDSTART found on Linosa Island was the 6th recorded in Italy.
There are now four records for the pelagic Islands (Linosa and Lampedusa-Sicily) - 3 males and 1 female - as well as a male recorded near Reggio Calabria-Calabria
and another on an island off the Lazio archipelago (the northernmost island)

It is most likely that this species is a regular winter visitor to the Pelagie Islands which are the southernmost European islands, and on Pantelleria Island (60 km off Cap Bon-Tunisia)


Tuesday, 15 December 2009


Three AFRICAN PIED CROWS were frequenting the masts adjacent to the Esso fuel station 360 kms south of Laayoune on Saturday 12 December, with up to 25 CRICKET WARBLERS just NW of Aousswerd (in the Western Sahara) and at least 8 adult AFRICAN KELP GULLS still at Knifiss Lahoon (per Chris Batty, Andy Clifton, Peter Gluth, Stuart Piner and Andy Holden).

These Pied Crows are undoubtedly genuine immigrants and follow recent records of ship-assisted vagrants in Spain and Portugal


To promote Egypt for birding tourism and help build national capacity in birdwatching:

I want to inform the birding community that the "Birding Egypt' team has moved from Traveline and has started a new tourism company Thebes Tours International. This is the only Egyptian tourist agency specialised in birding tourism. Sally Khayatt makes arrangements for tours and Abdulla Ali, the company representative, knows the sites and target species and accompanies birders. I, Mindy Baha El Din is working as a consultant assisting and advising them on birding tourism ie. species, sites, itineraries, marketing, quality control, capacity building, etc...

Thebes Tours can make all local arrangements for birding tours to Egypt for groups and individuals. They can organise day trips for birding in the Cairo area or arrange tours around the country. They can make all arrangements for your visit: hotels, meals, transportation, flights, guides, sightseeing, etc..They cater both to the budget birder as well as to the more well to do. They can design birds and history tours and twitching tours of Egypt or more general nature tours. Thebes can also make arrangements to combine a tour to Egypt with visits to other countries e.g Jordan, Syria, Israel, Libya and Sudan.

Thebes Tours is working on locating and gaining access to sites for Egyptian specialities such as Three-banded Plover, Red-billed Tropic bird, Veaurruax's Eagle, Pharaoh's Eagle Owl, Egyptian Nightjar, Painted Snipe, African Skimmer, Lichenstein's Sandgrouse and more. We are developing a network of local guides and tourism providers for birding tourism. Recently, we resumed boat rides on Lake Nasser which had been prohibited.

Thebes Tours is specialising in birding eco-tourism in the southern Red Sea. We are using a local ground agent that can arrange boats and safari trips to desert sites that were previously inaccessible, such as Wadi Gamal, Wadi Lahmi, Sheikh Shasli and Bir Abraq. We are also exploring organising tours to Wadi Allaqi which was the last place that Ostrich was seen in Egypt. Unfortunately, Gabel Elba is still not open to foreign visitors, but if and when it does be sure we will be the first company to organise birding tours there.

If you want to see birds in Egypt, especially the specialities, Thebes Tours International is the best Egyptian tourist company to assist you. We are ground agents for the top names in birding tourism!

For more information or to arrange your next birding tour to Egypt contact!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

ISRAEL - The Hula

today at the Hula Reserve

1 SOCIABLE PLOVER in a field north of the Agmon
1 female Namaqua Dove - this species is usually more common during spring and Autumn at the Hula
1 very late (the latest i ever had) European Turtle Dove.
12 Stock Doves - very few so far this year.

Also wintering; 4 EASTERN IMPERIALand 10 GREATER SPOTTED EAGLES, at least 3 different Peregrines, 1 female Hen Harrier, few Eastern Stonechats...

Saturday, 5 December 2009

BELTED KINGFISHER still in Mediterranean Spain

The BELTED KINGFISHER has been seen again today at 15:00h at the same place of the last days in Murcia and two different PIED-BILLED GREBES in Galicia.

More information at

Ferran López

Wednesday, 2 December 2009


Ran Schols obtained these brilliant images of the 5th or 6th EURASIAN CRAG MARTIN Ptyonoprogne rupestris for Holland in Maastricht. The bird was present for two days and was last reported on 1 December.

DEMOISELLE CRANE still present today in northern ISRAEL

The DEMOISELLE CRANE was still present today with over 5,000 wintering Common Cranes in the Hula Valley, from the Crane Observation Tower at the Reserve, accessed off of the main road 8 kms south of Qiryat Shemona.

There are also excellent numbers of raptors wintering here, including both EASTERN IMPERIAL and GREATER SPOTTED EAGLES and of course, the resident WHITE-TAILED SEA EAGLES. There are also up to 100 MARBLED DUCKS on the neighbouring fish pans.


Yesterday (1/12/09) Francis Argyle & Asaf Mayrose trapped a PADDYFIELD WARBLER late in the evening. The bird was released this morning. This is the7th record for Israel (per Yoav Perlman)

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Massive roost gathering of GREY HYPOCOLIUS

My company sent me to Riyadh for 24 hours on 1st December. I arrived at my hotel - The Intercontinental in Downtown Riyadh - and after checking in at 7.20am I went out to the gardens to look for BLACK BUSH ROBIN which would be a first for me. I was amazed to find the fruit trees, bushes and gardens at the main entrance absolutely full of GREY HYPOCOLIUS, also a life bird for me. They evidentally had roosted there and were leaving, heading basically NW in flocks of twenty or thirty. I saw at least 15 such flocks depart and there were a few individuals around all day in the Golf Course grounds and some hotel bushes. I estimate there were AT LEAST 300 birds present at 07.30.

Sadly I wasn't around to check if they came back at night but i would be surprised if they didn't. I left before dawn today (2nd Dec) so I couldn't see them then either. Incidentally I found at least six of the BLACK BUSH ROBINS in the grounds plus all three bulbuls, a Sparrowhawk (female) a Desert Lesser Whitethroat, two Common Whitethroats and several chiffchaffs (Graham Langley)