sunnuntai 11. marraskuuta 2012

11.11. HulaHula

We landed on Tel-Aviv with Jan Nordblad, Frans Silvenius and Timo Pettay at afternoon in 10th Nov. This was my second trip to Israel, all the others have done many more. Our plan was to do a day in Negev then five days around Hula Valley and the last one in Ma'agan Micha'el.
The weather was most extra-ordinary; heavy rain and afterwards a thick fog. That wasn't anything we would have expected in Israel and we decided to skip the planned start from Negev and drive straight to Hula instead.
We picked our pre-booked rental car, 4WD Rover from Sixt. Somehow it took almost three hours to get the car even though there was only four customers in line before us. Anyhow we managed to find our accomodation from Safed (Hula region) in time though we need to hire a taxi to drive ahead of us for the last kilometers :) Only birds seen were a flyby Barn Owl from car and House Sparrows in the airport.
11th Nov Sunday was the first day out and birding. We started from Gome fish farm before sunrise. Fishpools hosted nice variety of species; single Marbled and Ferrugineous Duck, three species of Kingfishers (like all the similar habitats around), a Whiskered Tern, 10 Marsh Sandpipers and a Jack Snipe amongst few hundred more common waders. From the poolside we found Bluethroats, Cetti's Warblers, four species of Wagtails, a single Tawny Pipit, two Caspian Stonechats and a flock of 50 Greater Short-toed Larks etc. Black Storks, Egrets and Herons were of course everywhere. Thousands of Cranes flying from Hula reserve to feed in the nearby fields created a nice atmosphere.
After a coffee break we continued to "old Hula center" in the Southern end of the remaining wetlands. The gate opens at 9.00 am from Sunday to Thursday and around 6.00 am at Fri and Sat (local weekend). After a rainy morning we got some sunshine and when temperature rose all the soaring birds got flighty. An amazing flock of some 2100 White Pelicans rose to the hights as we watched them astonished. What a wonderful sight!
Some hundreds of Black Kites went to sky as well and we found one 1cy Pallid Harrier, some Greater Spotted, Eastern Imperial, White-tailed and Booted Eagles amongst them.
A preening Wryneck in the top of a dry stick that arose from water was a funny sighting :) A single Moustached Warbler came to feed in the waterfront and few Clamorous Reed Warblers went to sing in the afternoon sunshine. We left the area 17.00 pm when gates were closing and managed to see a flyby Stone Curlew from car in fading light. Great end for the wonderfull first day of our trip!

Lauantaina tipahdettin Tel-Aviviin Jänden, Fränen ja Petäjän seurassa, keli tyypillinen; ankaraa lorotusta ja myöhemmin hernerokkasumu. Majoitusta Safed:n kylässä Hulan liki ei meinannut löytyä sit millään. Näkyvyys 15 metriä ja sitä rataa, otettiin lopulta taksi ajamaan edellä ja petiin päästiin puolilta öin. Matkalla näky sentäs tornipöllö.
Tänään (11.11.) Nanaisan vuosipäivä sujui varsin leppoisissa merkeissä. Ukkoskuurojen välissä nähtiin aamulla Gomen altailla mm. kaksi variegatus-(sepel)taskua, jänkäkurppa ja marmorisorsa. WP-pointsaajan esikoisnoviisiraja 500 katkesi siinä sivussa.
Aamupäivästä iltaan kului Hulan suojelualueella. Aurinko pilkahti tovin verran ja sai Gomian yli 2000-päisen pelikaaniarmadan muuttotuulella, myöhemmin vielä tonnin verran lisää samaa sorttia. Ruovikoista löydettiin mm. osmankäämikerttunen. Kevyempinä papyruskerttusia, pari keisarikotkaa, maurus-sepeltasku ja sen sellaista.
Pinnoja lorotti armottomaan tahtiin, eliksiä jokusia ja Israelinpointseja kymmeniä. Huomen aamulla Golanin kukkuloille, toivon mukaan Damaskoksessa jo rauha eikä jouduta harhalaukausten tielle...

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