James Smith's Daily Reports, Southern Israel,
Lotan - 24 October
A hot day developed with a light eastern wind and clear skies.
I didn't venture out until early afternoon but soon found a Red-breasted
Flycatcher at the swimming pool, possibly a different bird to that
of the previous three days.
I wandered down to the organic
gardens finding Tree Pipits, Redstarts, Chiffchaffs and other
common migrants along the way. The gardens themselves held
over 20 Red-throated Pipits, several Stonechats and an
Wheatear. However, a fine male Namaqua Dove caught my attention
and allowed close views and even a few photographs. These
pretty African doves are generally rare at Lotan in the autumn.
Overhead a few raptors were passing including 2 Steppe Eagles,
2 Long-legged Buzzards and a Lesser Spotted Eagle, the latter
being a very good species for Lotan in the autumn.
male, Lotan 24 October
A Tawny Pipit flew over as I headed down to the bird reserve and
a juvenile Barbary Falcon chased doves over the dairy barn.
Once in the bird reserve warblers
became evident and I found good numbers of Chiffchaffs in
some of the acacia trees. Amongst these were two Siberian
Chiffchaffs of the race 'tristis', much greyer than
more common cousins lacking any greenish tones on the head
and mantle, with a broader buffy white supercilium. As I strolled
back towards the Kibbutz, a juvenile Merlin zipped by and
I came across a fine Siberian/Eastern Stonechat.
Lotan, 24 October
This bird was perhaps of the race maura or even armenica, as it
showed some white at the base of the tail feathers.
Finally, a feeding flock of Chiffchaffs
near the main gate of the Kibbutz held another two individuals
of the Siberian form 'tristis', and a female Namaqua
went to roost in the mesquite bushes rounding off an excellent
afternoon of birding.
female, Lotan 24 October
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