lauantai 25. toukokuuta 2013

18.5. Sooty Falcon!

Esko, I and Tomppa after tick.
On 18th we checked out from Kibbutz Lotan and headed to Dead Sea. Yoav Perlman had kindly provided us information about Sooty Falcon territory a bit north from Dead Sea. Scenery was spectacular and it was a pleasure to be birding in such a place. At first we found only some Common Buzzards, Black Kites and Brown-necked Ravens. After changing place couple of times I looked a pair of Raven species perched relatively close on a cliff. It was the first time in my birding career that I had to think about identifying Ravens :) However, this pair ticked all the boxes of "common" Raven - Israeli-tick.
And it didn't take too long before we located our main target. A pair of beautiful Sooty Falcons were displaying far away, probably in Jordania. We watched them for some 15 minutes and luckily they were getting closer all the time and showed their dark grayish blue plumage, still darker wingtips and underwing coverts. Then they suddenly plunged and disappeared...
Next moments were full of joy, hand shaking and yelling!

This Desert Lark seemed to be kind of depressed.

After a celebration coffee and cake we went to see Fan-tailed Ravens in some village in the west coast of Dead Sea. At least four F-t Ravens gave great views and little raptor migration were going on above us (Buzzards, Short-toed Eagles, Black Storks). I got my first proper pics of Tristram's Starlings and a handsome Egyptian Vulture was soaring above the village. I'm not sure what happened but only in the late evening when we were already in hotel in Netanya, Mediterranean coast, Jände noticed we had forgotten to try for House Bunting! Well it happens, i guess :)

male Tristram's Starling

younger adult Egyptian Vulture

On the road back from the F-t Raven village there was a Ibex-fight going on in the road side.

Adult Glossy Ibis
Juvenile Glossy Ibis
From the Dead Sea we drove straight to Netanya, a city located some 50km's north of Tel-Aviv. We had booked a hotel from there and checked in at afternoon. After a lunch break we went birding to Ma'agan Micha'els fish ponds. The ponds were full of herons and Glossy Ibises and our time went mostly by photographing them.

Young Spur-winged Plover

Little Grebes just after Sunset at Ya'ar pond, Hadera.
Before sunset we tried to look for a Painted Snipe trio that was observed at least twice in a pond and small flooded field in the village of Hadera. We didn't have success with Snipes but it was still nice to listen displaying Stone Curlew. There was also few Little Bitterns, tens of Cattle Egrets, Glossy Ibises, Little Grebes and Moorhens in the pond. We gave the snipes further two attempts at Sunday morning and evening but had no luck. Probably they have moved forward?

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