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Birding Field Reports - 2008

Early winter in the Western Negev – December 2008

SakerWinter is creeping in and I could feel the chill when getting in the car in the very early morning. Good friend Thomas Krumenacker is in Israel for a short time and we had a full day of Negev Birding and photography ahead of us.

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Late November 2008 - the first American Golden Plover for Israel?

American Golden PloverThe early winter show was stolen by an interesting plover found at Maagan Michael that was subsequently identified as an American Golden Plover – Pluvialis dominica, a potential first for Israel.        

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Late fall 2008 gallery

Sinai RosefinchWe are happy to present you with a gallery of images from the late fall. Many of the pictures were taken and contributed by Lee Gregory of the UK. Lee spent 6 weeks in Israel, working as a surveyor in northern Israel and wrapped up his stay with an excellent tour in the south.

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Fall 2008 – Southern Israel observations

Black-winged KiteWe are wrapping up a great fall season. October 2008 was a great month for birding in Israel. I am happy to post a summary of the month's birding highlights and images, mainly from southern Israel, but with a few exceptional records from up north.

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Drama in the Nizzana Wilderness – Late July 2008

Drama in the Nizzana Wilderness – Late July 2008One nice and toasty morning Amir Ben Dov head out to the Nizzana area to brave the heat and try some photography. The semi desert area around Nizzana is famous as the last stronghold of the endangered Macqueen's Bustard in the Middle East ...

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Early summer in the southern Arava- June 2008  

Lichtenstein's SandgrouseSummer is a rough time for birding the southern Arava. Day temperatures are already very high, often over 40 degrees, and the birding activity is limited to the cooler hours of dusk and dawn...

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Pectoral Sandpiper – Calidris melanotos

Pectoral Sandpiper – Calidris melanotosOn April 30th around midday, Marcus Craig found a Pectoral Sandpiper at the Yotvata sewage pools. Although probably the most common North American vagrant Wader in Europe, in Israel Pectoral Sandpiper is extremely rare and the Yotvata bird is only the 6th record for the country...

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Late April 2008 birding news

White-throated Robin - maleWith May just around the corner and Honey Buzzards everywhere in the Arava valley the last leg of spring is upon us. The cool mornings are full of the bubbling calls of European and Blue cheeked Bee-eaters and Shrikes can be seen on every bush and fence. The last week of April was a very exciting one, with some very good birds found. Here is a short summary of the significant birds, waves and highlights of late April...

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Southern Israel Birding news – mid April 2008

Greater SandploverWith the spring migration's first major wave now over, April rolled in with its selection of interesting migrants. March 2008 was one of the best we had in southern Israel for several years. Besides some rare winterers still lingering around (Oriental Honey Buzzard, Olive backed Pipits), some significant birds continued the great spell of rarities right into April.

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Southern Israel Birds Gallery – March 2008

Siberian StonechatWe are happy to present you with a beautiful collection of photos of the most interesting birds seen in southern Israel during March 2008. All of the birds in the gallery were seen on our tours and many were kindly contributed by visiting birders and friends. I chose several nice quality migrants and some of the best images of resident Sandgrouse ever taken.

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Southern Israel birding report – Late March-early April 2008

Thick-billed LarkThe second international spring migration festival in Eilat was a great success. Over 170 people took part in the festival tours, lectures and presentations. A full festival report will follow shortly. The last week of March started off with 2 rather slow days, but a nice wave of migrants and some real rarities followed later in the week.

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Caspian Plovers at Yotvata- 23 March 2008

Caspian PloversAt around 10:00 in the morning on the 23rd of March, good friends Tamir Siman-tov and Iris Magen found 5 Caspian Plovers in the Yotvata circular fields. The birds were sitting at the edge of a small puddle of water on the main path of the field...

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Southern Israel birding notes – Mid March 2008

White-tailed PloverMigration is gaining momentum and birds are getting thick in the air and on the ground. "Crazy" March is raising its head, and towards mid month we received the year's first sandstorms and hazy, hot weather wave...

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Early spring in the southern Arava - 6-8 March 2008

Kurdish WheatearThe first major find of the spring was a handsome male Persian (Kurdish) Wheatear Oenanthe xanthoprymna at the Neot Smadar sewage pools. The bird was initially seen by Thomas Krumenacker who is staying with us at Lotan for a month.

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Birding Southern Israel – Early Spring 2008

Nubian NightjarSpring is in the air and winter is giving its final push. As the valley fills with the first trickle ofspring migrants, some wintering species are getting thin on the ground. This winter was very mild in the southern Arava and although there were some days and nights with extreme cold snaps, it was very dry.

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Birding Southern Israel – January 2008

CurlewWinter in the southern Arava is characterized by  very cold nights and early mornings, but warm clear days, that add up to  ideal birding conditions. Although I had a full day of birding ahead of me, I had a lot of ground to cover and the days are short.

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