Saturday, 4 December 2010

Massive wintering flock of DOTTEREL in ISRAEL

Eyal Shochat joined me today to the wintering raptor survey at the NW Negev. We had a great day

*Dotterel* - No less than *490 *birds were counted today. 20 birds were seen near their "usual spot" (south-western corner of Hatzerim air field) but the cherry on the cream was a flock of 470 birds which were feeding on a dry field, located some 5 km south of the power line, east of Urim-Zeelim Road. This is the largest flock ever recorded in Israel. The birds were there at the late morning, but also a good number of them (280) remained there in the pre-roosting time, many of which remained to roost.

Apart from that:White Pelican - 2 flocks in migration today (~200 and 80) at noon and evening.

Common Swift - 13 - moving north! earliest ever?

*Sociable Plover* 2 - 1 near the Dotterels and another one on Ofakim outskirts. We didn't find the 7 birds which were seen recently near thepower line.

Cream-coloured Courser - 3 birds together at Urim east

*Calandra Lark *- at least 500 birds were seen yesterday (and some today) at the Power line (western side)

Richard's Pipit 1 at HIrbet Hasif (west of Hatzerim)

Tawny Pipit - quite a few in the area (about 10)

Spectacled warbler - 1 near Ofakim (at Urim fields)

Isabelline Wheatear - more than usual, all over.

Finsch's Wheatear - 6-7

From the Raptors section:

Short-toed Eagle - 1 yesterday, looks like active south migration.

Imperial Eagle 10

Pallid Harrier 3 (2 males)

Hen Harrier - only 4Saker 1 juv

Lanner - 1 adultPeregrine 12 (good)

Long-legged Buzzard 13

Buzzard - 12

*Merlin* - (5) a female of the *Pallidus* ssp was seen well, west of Hatzerim. The bird is white underneath (appears from a distant as a Black-shouldered Kite or Pallid Harrier male) with narrow and not distinct rusty-reddish streaks, and very pale grey above. The bird is very distinct. It is quite large as well (in relative).The status of this ssp in Israel is unclear.

Barak Granit

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