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IBRCE not conducting Desert Tawny Owl and Nubian Nightjar tours in 2018

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Old Thursday 11th January 2018, 06:37   #1
wolfbirder
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IBRCE not conducting Desert Tawny Owl and Nubian Nightjar tours in 2018

Straight from the horses mouth....from IBRCE after an email enquiry

Though they probably are still on if you book through one of the major tour companies. If you can afford to do that (:-

Very disappointed.............I was hoping to get on one this year, last year they cost 60 US dollars I believe. Which was affordable for independent birders.

Tours to see these birds are therefore virtually impossible now, which is very sad, and will probably put off some birders from going to, or back to Israel.

Of course there is a great deal else to see. Still its disappointing.
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Old Thursday 11th January 2018, 10:55   #2
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Owl quite doable independently in the Petra area of Jordan.

Aren't there sites for Nubian Nightjar in Israel that can be done independently?
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Old Thursday 11th January 2018, 12:16   #3
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Birders did both species independently in Israel too, at the regular sites (I think the same places as paid tours go).
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Old Thursday 11th January 2018, 14:37   #4
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Does that mean those israeli birders with licences to take people to see these birds are no longer able to do that service for independent birders?

I went and saw the Owl and nightjar with Barak Granit on several occasions over the years, who i contacted directly and not through the IRBCE.

Revenue from being shown these birds, $60 per person, is put back into the conservation efforts of both species.

The Owl can be done independently by those who know the sites but if found spotlighting them without licence you could get into some trouble. The Nubian is best seen at Neot Hakkikar but as this is a kibbutz would need special access, and as is right on the Jordanian border one wouldn't be able to just wander the area with a spotlight, you would need a licenced guide. There is, from memory, one other site for the nightjar in Israel but it is kept strictly under wraps to avoid disturbance as there is only a few pairs.

I can perhaps understand stopping continual visits by birders to both species as they are sensitive and would tend to get a lot more visits in March and April than any other time of year thus reducing it to groups would be logical though it would be disappointing if this would be bird tour groups and not those groups as organised by SPNI.

I'm sure that there will tours to see the birds as part of the Birding Festival held in Eilat in March so if there then could possible go on one of those.
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Old Thursday 11th January 2018, 14:55   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Arlow View Post
I'm sure that there will tours to see the birds as part of the Birding Festival held in Eilat in March so if there then could possible go on one of those.
The 2018 Eilat Spring Migration Festival itinerary still has their "Stars of the Night" excursion down for the night of March 21st, although the page footer does say subject to final approval by the relevant authorities. I believe anybody could pay to join these trips, not just festival participants.

Hume's Tawny Owl can also be seen quite readily in Oman, without the need for guides or permits.
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Old Thursday 11th January 2018, 20:01   #6
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Thanks for so many replies, interesting.

I paid last year 180 to be shown Sooty Falcons, and then the Nightjars, but failed on the latter in September.

You can access Neot Hakkikar kibbutz, and I now know where to go, but as was mentioned its the risk of spotlighting without permission or a guide that is risky. I know there are/were a few suspected breeding pairs at Eilat, but again their location is secret and restricted.

Regards joining the Stars of the Night tour at the Eilat festival, I am not certain that is open to anyone, tends to be those on certain tours.

Regards owl sites, its all about having local knowledge really isn't it. sadly, I don't have it.

Petra in Jordan seems interesting as an alternative though.
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Old Sunday 14th January 2018, 18:40   #7
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I hope lack of regular tours prompts finding alternative places for both the nightjar and the owl.

It is not a healthy situation, and the reason of the disturbance, that every single birder goes to the same single place.
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Old Sunday 14th January 2018, 20:55   #8
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As far as I know Nubian Nightjar does also occur on the Jordanian side, just opposite Ne'ot Hakikar (area near Feifa). The only problem is that this is also very close to the border, and border authorities will not appreciate spotlighting
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Old Thursday 15th February 2018, 13:50   #9
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Just back from Israel, needed a guide but at least did enjoy cracking views of Nubian Nightjar, but no chance of seeing a humes owl or Desert Tawny Owl.
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