April 18, Yotvata Circular fields

I was at the Yotvata circular field in the middle of a fierce sand storm. We had beautiful visibility beforehand, and all of a sudden, a large dust cloud settles on the area. High winds and biting sand ensued.

I went to the northern Yotvata field,which had just recently been harvested. Here there were several hundred Ortolans. It was quite strange to see all these birds with an occasional House Sparrow mixed in. As I was about to leave, I noticed a Prantincole. With the visibility it was not clear which species it was at first. It huddled on the ground and would not budge. At first I thought it was a Black-winged Pratincole, which is very rare. Looking closer, I noticed that the tail the primaries were the length of the tail feathers, and did not protrude further than it. There was also quite a bit of red on the bill. Only when it flew for a few meters was it obvious that the underwings were red, so there was no doubt. This was a Collared Pratincole, a bit of a disappointment.

In addition, there were about 20 Short-toed Larks around too, as well as Yellow Wagtail (Feldegg and Superciliaris). A few Red-throated Pipits rounded out the picture. There was no sign of the Crane that I had seen a day earlier.

David Schoneveld

Licensed Tour Guide and Birder

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