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Israel December 2018 (1 Viewer)

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Its my 4th visit - I hope to see: -

Desert Tawny Owl - little chance really and no response from Barak Granit, though the email address I have for him may be an old one. Will try myself at Wadi Tse'elim (Ze-elim)

Pallid Scops Owl - only have a chance with info like you have given me.

Egyptian Nightjar - again pretty difficult though hoping a few are singing around IBRCE or Yotvata

Oriental Honey Buzzard - 4 birds around IBRCE but again not easy. Hope some of them linger until I go.

Thick-Billed Lark - seems little chance to be honest. But will try around Ovda.

Sociable Plover - may still be some at Urim if I can get there.

Bimaculated Lark - outside chance there may be a few at Yotvata in February.

Desert Finch - always elude me, but again hopefully at Yotvata.

Persian Wheatear - don't think I will bother with the bird at Mount Amasa without any good directions.

Long-Billed Pipit - still need these, not sure will have time to go to look for them.

Pharoah Eagle Owl - I have briefly seen one, but a small outside chance of a bird at Yotvata.

Fan-Tailed Raven - should be easy at Ein Gedi if I look in right places this time.

Oriental Skylark - not convinced I could separate these from Skylarks.

Also like to see harriers, wheatears, eagles anything to be honest.

I do like birding in Israel - hopefully that lot of targets will keep me going for a few more years of visits yet Jan :)-

So far, over 3 x four-day visits I've connected with Black Scrub Robin, Nubian Nightjar, Hoopoe Lark, Temminck's Lark, Bar-Tailed Lark, Desert Lark, Syrian Serin, Namaqua Dove, Hooded Wheatear, Red-rumped Wheatear, Finsch's Wheatear, Basalt Wheatear, Mourning Wheatear, Desert Wheatear, White-Crowned Wheatear, Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse, Spotted Sandgrouse, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Crowned Sandgrouse, McQueen's Bustard, Sand Partridge, Asian Desert Warbler, Arabian Warbler, Ruppell's Warbler, Scrub Warbler, Graceful Warbler, Sinai Rosefinch, Striolated Bunting, Sooty Falcon, Lanner Falcon, Black-shouldered Kite, Steppe Eagle, Greater Spotted Eagle, Brown-Necked Raven, Western Reef Egret, Striated Heron, White-Eyed Gull, Pallas's Gull, Greater Sand Plover, Brown Booby, Pied Kingfisher, White-breasted Kingfisher, Arabian Babbler - a glorious haul for me.
 
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opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
Its my 4th visit - I hope to see: -

Desert Tawny Owl - little chance really and no response from Barak Granit, though the email address I have for him may be an old one. Will try myself at Wadi Tse'elim (Ze-elim)

Pallid Scops Owl - only have a chance with info like you have given me.

Egyptian Nightjar - again pretty difficult though hoping a few are singing around IBRCE or Yotvata

Oriental Honey Buzzard - 4 birds around IBRCE but again not easy. Hope some of them linger until I go.

Thick-Billed Lark - seems little chance to be honest. But will try around Ovda.

Sociable Plover - may still be some at Urim if I can get there.

Bimaculated Lark - outside chance there may be a few at Yotvata in February.

Desert Finch - always elude me, but again hopefully at Yotvata.

Persian Wheatear - don't think I will bother with the bird at Mount Amasa without any good directions.

Long-Billed Pipit - still need these, not sure will have time to go to look for them.

Pharoah Eagle Owl - I have briefly seen one, but a small outside chance of a bird at Yotvata.

Fan-Tailed Raven - should be easy at Ein Gedi if I look in right places this time.

Oriental Skylark - not convinced I could separate these from Skylarks.

Also like to see harriers, wheatears, eagles anything to be honest.

I do like birding in Israel - hopefully that lot of targets will keep me going for a few more years of visits yet Jan :)-

So far, over 3 x four-day visits I've connected with Black Scrub Robin, Nubian Nightjar, Hoopoe Lark, Temminck's Lark, Bar-Tailed Lark, Desert Lark, Syrian Serin, Namaqua Dove, Hooded Wheatear, Red-rumped Wheatear, Finsch's Wheatear, Basalt Wheatear, Mourning Wheatear, Desert Wheatear, Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse, Spotted Sandgrouse, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Crowned Sandgrouse, McQueen's Bustard, Sand Partridge, Asian Desert Warbler, Arabian Warbler, Ruppell's Warbler, Sooty Falcon, Lanner Falcon, Black-shouldered Kite, Steppe Eagle, Greater Spotted Eagle, Brown-Necked Raven, Western Reef Egret, Striated Heron, White-Eyed Gull, Pallas's Gull, Greater Sand Plover, Brown Booby, Pied Kingfisher, White-breasted Kingfisher - a glorious haul for me.

Nice list actually. And I agree that Israel is just quite pleasant enough to visit anyway.

If I may suggest sites, for the Pharaoh Eagle Owl, we actually saw them in 2016 on a site from Shirihai's "southern sites" - the last Wadi before you arrive to Iddan by the main road. For Desert Finches, we had luck around Sde Boker after some time of randomly driving between fields north of the kibbutz. Fan-tailed Ravens were indeed easy on our very first Israel trip in Ein Gedi, just walking up and down the southern wadi.

edit: we discussed with my wife whether the Eagle Owl site should be publicized and we agreed that since it is in the book, it should be fine - also there is not much risk of disturbance, unless you decide foolishly to approach the birds, which could cause major disturbance due to the ensuing explosion in the minefield :)
 
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wolfbirder

Well-known member
Nice list actually. And I agree that Israel is just quite pleasant enough to visit anyway.

If I may suggest sites, for the Pharaoh Eagle Owl, we actually saw them in 2016 on a site from Shirihai's "southern sites" - the last Wadi before you arrive to Iddan by the main road. For Desert Finches, we had luck around Sde Boker after some time of randomly driving between fields north of the kibbutz. Fan-tailed Ravens were indeed easy on our very first Israel trip in Ein Gedi, just walking up and down the southern wadi.

Appreciate the help Jan, much appreciated mate:t:
 

Paul Chapman

Well-known member
I'm booked to go for 4 nights on 9th Feb.

Nick

Trying to get a few more trips in this year, so, I should be there 14th to 20th February so a full five days on the ground and any experiences that you can post before our arrival would be gratefully received.

All the best
 

Paul Chapman

Well-known member
Instead of giving a boring diary of us driving there and back across the Holy Land, I will provide accounts for the individual target species in order of appearance in the trip

Jan

Many thanks. My trip will be my third so in February, I'm down to the following potential ticks:-

African Swamphen
Oriental Honey Buzzard
Pharoah Eagle Owl
'Bassalt' Wheatear
Cyprus Warbler
Vinous-breasted Starling
Sinai Rosefinch

Noted on four of these and thanks for the gen on the Eagle Owl. I have that book so I will look it up.

Any gen on the Wheatear or the Rosefinch?

Plenty of other targets that will keep my friends and I happy.

All the best
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
We saw a friendly group of Sinai Rosefinches on the way to Ammram's Pillars. They essentially came to bother us for something, maybe they are really from Egypt :) This species is also very easy in Jordan (Wadi Rum) where we saw them first and thus we never looked for them too much in Israel - this observation happened mostly because we wanted to finally see the actual Pillars.
 

Paul Chapman

Well-known member
We saw a friendly group of Sinai Rosefinches on the way to Ammram's Pillars. They essentially came to bother us for something, maybe they are really from Egypt :) This species is also very easy in Jordan (Wadi Rum) where we saw them first and thus we never looked for them too much in Israel - this observation happened mostly because we wanted to finally see the actual Pillars.

Many thanks. They are my main target really so here is hoping.

All the best
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Noted Paul.

The wheatear has been seen at Ovda recently, so it seems to be the returning bird. Usually on the left hand side of the road in the scrubby bushes as you drive in. Pretty vague I'm afraid but it was easy to find.

Sinai Rosefinches at Amram's Pillars being reported probably best morning or 4pm-ish.

Will post anything to you or PM you on here Paul - I'm there 9th-13th Feb.
 

Paul Chapman

Well-known member
What interests me most is whether someone will manage to see the Vinous-breasted Starlings :)

I'm surprised my companions are willing to give them a crack. I dipped in 2013 after having tried for the now extinct (?) Nanday Parakeet. I think staying in Tel Aviv to sleep off the flight is the thing that will give me a shot to dip again.........

https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S51295917

https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S51545590

My interest in established adventives is shown by the fact that despite a WP list of more than 750 there are species in France & Holland that I have not travelled for (yet)........

All the best
 
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Steve Arlow

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Yotvata fiends last year was good for the Eagle Owl being seen regularly in the spring, I saw it on both visits at the end of April at about 9:30pm, roughly an hour after it was really dark. Not sure many have looked yet this year.

The Rosefinch in February should be easy enough at Amrams Pillars but it is possible that they will be at Wadi En Salvadori north of Ein Gedi, the spring in the Wadi is a regular site.

Reading Yoav’s recent blogpost it seems the Basalt Wheatear in Ovda Valley is hot it miss but appears to be located anywhere from the main road turn off right down to the Black Hills. South of Black Hills have been some Temmincks Larks.

Similarly the OHBs in Eilat have been tricky but the palm planratonjust to the north of the IBRCE seems to be the favoured one. Staking this out would seem the best option but it could take some time to see them.
 

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wolfbirder

Well-known member
My main targets this year will be the OHB's (if any are still there) so will put a day in if necessary. Noam seems to see them every time he goes, and observation.org reports in Dec/Jan have routinely seen them close to the plantation by the border crossing, and by a horseshoe-shaped mound on googlemaps. The location is around co-ordinates
29.579270, 34.97654. But also seen flying around this area, often around late morning to mid-day. Close to IBRCE.

I will also spend half a day at Yotvata in the day, as well as an evening. Hoping for Desert Finch and larks, and later on Egyptian Nightjar and possibly outside chance of the Eagle Owl.

If the rosefinches are at the same spot as last year they should be easy at a specific spot a few hundred metres before the end of the track leading to Amrams Pillars, as they come down to seed put out by photographers morning and then about 3.30-4pm-ish. But of course things vary from year to year, but I will report back.

Hope to find a Palllid Scops Owl in Eilat kindly highlighted by Jan (Opisska), but again I accept it might well have moved on or not be at favoured location.

Will probably also check out Ovda for larks and wheatears, and last night up to Dead Sea for a stab in the dark at Desert Tawny Owl.
 

Steve Arlow

Well-known member
United Kingdom
As I understand it the Persian Wheatear is still around at Mt. Amasa which is along R80 north west of Arad. I'm hoping to see the bird in March, last year it lingered into April. Site is also good for Finsch's Wheatears.

Look for the bird around 31.344683, 35.115296. I tend to park at 31.344843, 35.121249 and walk along the obvious path up the wadi on opposite side of road.

On the side you park there are some ruins and on the far side, below the hill, is a regular site for Little Owl, Rock Sparrow and Blue Rock Thrush. Look for the wadi and obvious 'cave'.
 

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wolfbirder

Well-known member
Might get a stab at this Steve on my last day, so these coordinates are great.

I had no idea prior to this information where exactly it was being reported.
 

Steve Arlow

Well-known member
United Kingdom
The bird may wander a bit but this info has been provided to me as to where it has been recently, well this general area and up the hill so you may need to scour this hillside and top a bit.

Mt. Amasa is a personal favourite site though I have tended to visit in March and late April but seems good for wintering wheatears and chats.

Good luck
 
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