torstai 23. toukokuuta 2013

16.5. Eilat - Neot Smdar - Ovda

Esko, Tom and Jände at NB before sunrise.

Holiday season was going on and all the beaches were full of people.

Early morning seawatch was more quiet than before due to northern wind. Some Common Tern flocks headed inland but no rarities among them...

KM20 produced few new birds. Tomppa found Great Reed Warbler from the same spot that hosted the Black-headed Bunting yesterday and soon after a Hobby flew by. Both were Israeli-ticks for me :)

I searched for passerines while others kept scanning the sky for Sooty Falcons. A female Namaque Dove perched on barbed wire was a co-operative individual. Namaques are much more common this year than in the last one. We saw some 30+ birds in Eilat.
Eastern Ollies were still numerous with some 30 birds in km20 and I saw also one Upcher's Warbler briefly.

Adult Barn Swallow, some 1cy birds were also around.

Spur-winged Plovers are angry birds at this time of year.

Scenery nearby Ktura.
After a breakfast it came clear that we had some misunderstooding and had to change our accomodation. So we moved to Lotan eco-kibbutz and decided to stay two more nights. Originally we were about to drive in the north to Hula-region today but we didn't want to leave without a Sooty Falcon...

We checked Ktura while moving to Lotan. Few Little Green Bee-eaters and Namaque Doves were most noteworthy observations. Also the first White-crowned Wheatear for the trip was seen.

We left our staff in Lotan and headed to KM76 which had been productive earlier in this spring. Now it was much more quiet but we managed to find few Eastern Ollies, Bee-eaters, Rufous-tailed Bush Robin, two Trumpeter Finches and some Masked Shrikes.

We had a lunch break in Neot Smadars organic cafe and checked the Neot Smadar sewage afterwards. Juvenile Rock Martins were flying around at close range as usual for this species.

The first and only Citrine Wagtail for the trip was a handsome male. 

Several R-t Bush Robins were singing around the sewage.

We spent the rest of the day around Ovda desert. One of the most interesting observations was this "Desert Chameleon". At first it was so un-naturaly blue and shiny that i dismissed it as a piece of plastic but Tomppa didn't. We took some photos and carefully approached it. The lizard stayed still and changed its color to brown and got a good camouflage. I'm still wondering why it wanted to hang around looking blue and easy to spot?
It was really hot, probably something like 40C but we still managed to find few good birds like juvenile Southern Grey Shrikes (aucheri I guess) and four adult male Hooded Wheaters.

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