Birding Update beginning November 2011

After a prolonged absence from writing an update on the website due to guiding elsewhere in the country, I have found the time to write again. I went on a 4-hour birding trip with two of my kids to see what was going on at the Eilat Sewage works and at the Km 20 salt ponds.

At the sewage works there were over 100 Cormorants sunning themselves at the side of the large pond, along with over 40 Grey Herons. Mixed in were approximately 30 Little Egrets and a few Great Egrets. One Purple Heron stood out among the flock. At first it was a bit hard to distinguish it from the other Herons, but once we had a good look, it was unmistakable. There were also four to five Spoonbills present as well as five White Storks. Talking about storks, I saw several flocks of White Storks and Pelicans migrating over northern Israel, around the area between Tiberias and Nazareth. They amounted to about 500 individuals. The Pelicans were fewer, with one small flock of 20. Paddling around in the water we saw over 50 Coots. Overhead we saw one Imperial Eagle, one Booted Eagle and two juvenile Steppe Eagles. Just as we were about to leave a Pied Kingfisher showed up.

At the Km 20 salt ponds the number of Flamingoes has increased in relation to the summer, with over 200 wading around. The numbers had dwindled after the spring, but with the influx of more juvenile ones, the colony has grown. It was apparent that there had been numerous visits of people that day because the birds were concentrated in the center of the ponds far away from the sides and potential danger. The usual Little Ringed Plovers, Little Stints and Black-winged Stilts were feeding along the edges. We did see over 10 Ruffs feeding alongside, as well as five Avocets. In the center of the pond we saw a large number of Shelducks, well over a hundred individuals.

We decided to look for the Dorcas Gazelle that lives north of the ponds, but we not lucky this time. They had obviously been disturbed by people driving around, although we did see fresh footprints and droppings.

It was then time to head back to Lotan. The weather was beautiful with temperatures of around 27 degrees Celsius and a breeze from the north.
David Schoneveld
Licensed Tour Guide and Bird Guide
Kibbutz Lotan

This entry was posted in Birding Field Reports 2011, News and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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