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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Israel - 4 days birding the Negev Desert in late September 2017 (1 Viewer)

Good report. I have visions of flocks of doe-eyes maidens languishing in vain by the hot tub desperate to discuss ageing characteristics of Honey buzzards and the best time to catch sandgrouse drinking.

Good report. I have visions of flocks of doe-eyes maidens languishing in vain by the hot tub desperate to discuss ageing characteristics of Honey buzzards and the best time to catch sandgrouse drinking.


Wouldn't that be cool Mike?:eek!:

I was tempted by the hot tub actually, but wanted it to my self which wasn't going to happen.
ARABIAN WARBLER - Regards access to Wadi Gidron and Shezaf NR at Hazeva, I have done a bit of a map to explain the different access points. It will only be useful if you are after this species. There are 9 key points of reference, with dotted lines marking the tracks you should take.

First of all the attached map with the main road Route 90 running down the left-hand side: -

Point 1) This is around km155 of Route 90, where the signpost is for ' Hazeva Field School'. Take the turn eastward off 90, and the gates for Hazeva Field School are then on your left after just a couple of hundred metres. This is often a meeting point for guides, and there is also accommodation if you google it.

Point 2) A signpost for 'Wadi Gidron' and 'Ras Hashita' - a little further along the same road the Field School is on. Follow the track (as shown in the photographs) between giant greenhouses, then the track bends right and you turn right off this track at the sign for 'Ras Hashita', carry on under shaded trees, and where you come out of the trees, turn right then left quickly in an 'S' shape. Look out for Namaqua Dove as you are in this area in or below small trees.

Point 3) Then drive on the single rough track for about a mile out to acacia trees - this is Wadi Gidron. I think the track splits, and from memory we took the left hand one for a bit. Beware 2 dogs that I think guard a solitary small factory out in the acacia bushes.

Point 4) Rejoining the road that Hazeva Field School lies on, continue eastward towards the Jordanian border until you see a signpost to the right-hand side for 'Shezaf Nature Reserve'.

Point 5) Follow the track through greenhouses, past a rubbish dump, and mini power stations, until you get out into the desert and ahead of you lie two water tanks on a hill. But just before, turn left where there is a small sign for 'En Yahav', and continue on the single track.

Point 6) If you go straight ahead at the 'En Yahav' sign you can drive up the hill to the 'Shezaf Look-out', not that there is much there.

Point 7) Following the sign for 'En Yahav' you come to a slight brow of a hill, then an obvious tract of acacia lies a few hundred metres ahead. Park there where you come across an old oil drum at a sandy crossroads. This is part of Shezaf NR where I had Arabian Warbler.

Point 8) Close to Km152 on the east side of Route 90 there is an alternative access point to Shezaf NR. See the attached photograph, you can just make out an open gate in the fence 100 metres set back from the main 90 road, and then a straight track. This is the access point used by most birders travelling up from Eilat.

Point 9) Drive straight until you come to an obvious place to park and a dried up wadi with acacia. This is about 400 metres from the area at Point 7 where I had Arabian Warbler. I think the stretch of track between Point 7 and 9 is particularly sandy and perhaps not worth trying to link to. Many people have found Arabian Warbler around Point 9.

So there are 2 distinctly different access points to Shezaf NR. It seems that the better track that starts at Point 4 and culminates in Point 7 is the one most Israeli birders use, whilst the famous old one used by UK birders is the one starting at Point 8 and finishing at Point 9.

Hope this helps future birders, Playback seems to be crucial in locating Arabian Warblers. There are Arabian Babblers, Namaqua Dove, Desert Lark, Southern Grey Shrikes, and apparently (!!) Desert Finch in these areas.


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Nice report Nick lad. You're really getting out and about these days. Israel is on my wish list so I'll keep your reports for reference!!
Hi Elaine, its just my annual 4-5 day trip I undertake.

Israel is truly great for birds, even if its virtually impossible to get to see some of its best avian secrets these days.
Hi Nick, I take it you mean because of security issues?

Hi Bubbs, no mate I meant Desert Tawny Owl. Unless you go at the exact time of the Birdrace and book on one of the tours.

This trip I paid guides to go to see Sooty Falcons and also to try for Nubian Nightjars, but I was told there was no chance really of going to see Desert Tawny Owls even if you paid.:-C

Perhaps I was wrong to say you can't, because you can during that week in March.
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