Birding field reports – Southern Israel

Birding Update Mid-January, 2012

Desert Wheatear

It has been unusually cold in the Arava desert the past two weeks, and we even had a few sprinklings of rain, nothing really measureable but yet quite refreshing.

The White-fronted Goose that I did not see at the Yotvata circular fields has moved to the Yotvata sewage. Michael and Brenda had seen it a few days ago. It will have been in the area for two months now.

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Birding Update January 2, 2012

First of all, happy new year to everyone!

After a long time away from writing updates for the website, I have come back to doing it. Although the spring is the premium migration season, the other seasons do not disappoint either. It may be a bit harder to find the birds, but at the right places, and with a little bit of luck, birding is still very good.

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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.

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Large Raptor Migration over Lotan, 9 April 2011

April 10, 2011

After a few days where there was little new migration going on, we woke up to a day where from the outset it seemed that there was a lot more going on. There were many more Lesser Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs in the trees on the Kibbutz. There apparently had been some significant migration after [...]

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Birding Report beginning of April 2011

April 8, 2011

After being away for a while from the southern part of Israel, I had the opportunity to go out with two couples to bird for two days. We headed down to the Eilat mountains to look for migrating raptors. We arrived there at about 9 a.m. and saw some light migration going on. There were [...]

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Birding update 20 March 2011

March 21, 2011

Spring migration is underway already in full force, just in the past two days it seems to have bypassed Lotan. Here is it quite quiet. In our Lotan Wetlands all four types of Wagtails can be seen: White Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail (feldegg), Grey Wagtail and Citrine Wagtail. All can be seen hopping next to each [...]

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Birding update 16 March 2011

MARCH 17, 2011

Today, I went out with Thomas Krumenacker and Frank Moffatt to bird around Lotan, and in a radius of about 5 kilometers. We started out around the Lotan wetland, where there were over 60 White Wagtails, about 40 Water Pipits and about 15 Red-throated Pipits. The Green Sandpipers that have been around were still there. [...]

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Birding Update March 13, 2011

It has been quite a week of birding here in the Lotan area. Some of the highlights first: A Cyprus Wheatear was sighted on one of the compost piles at the Yotvata circular fields (thank you Thomas Krumenacker), in addition, there was a Citrine Wagtail at the Constructed Wetlands in Lotan.

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Cinereous Vulture

Cinereous Vulture on Lotan, February 2011

A few weeks ago I had seen an especially large raptor that landed on one of the light posts on the perimeter fence of the kibbutz. I did not have my binoculars with me, so I could not make an identification…

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Imperial Eagle

Imperial Eagle right outside Lotan (Feb 27, 2011)

I was birding around the kibbutz relatively late during the day yesterday, seeing some of the wintering species that are here, also seeing a few tree pipits that came in. Suddenly I glimpsed a shadow above me, and noticed a large eagle soaring overhead…

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Dead Sea Sparrow

Birding update winter 2011

The winter here at Lotan has been quiet in terms of the birds that were here and in terms of rainfall. We have had several days with cloudy skies and heavy clouds, but they did not produce any large amounts of rainfall. So far this winter we have had about 5 mm of rainfall. That is not enough to make the surrounding wadis (riverbeds) green.

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White Storks

Storks, storks and more storks

After having guided a German group around the country for six days, I came back home to Kibbutz Lotan, and took a day to look around to see what kinds of birds were around.

While up north in the Jordan valley near Beit Shean and Kfar Ruppin, I saw thousands of White Storks, Black Storks and Black Kites near the fish ponds and garbage dumps.

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Arabian Babbler

Birding update, beginning of October, 2010

As already stated previously, we have had an especially hot summer, but more than that, a summer with higher humidity for longer periods of time than ever before. I went out birding with a couple at the beginning of the month, and saw immediately that it was very quiet. The usual hotspots here in the Arava valley were very quiet, and finding the birds was quite a bit harder than usual. The usual year-round birds on Lotan were present, but we did see the three Arabian Babblers that have made their home here….

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Masked shrikeEnd of August 2010 birding updateThe migration season is definitely underway, but still slowly. We have had a very hot summer, but although we did not break any records this year, we did have temperatures that topped 45 degrees Celsius, and, different from previous summers, with a relatively high humidity. This pushed the heat index well above the 50 degree mark. Temperatures have started to cool down some. Today, for example, we will have a high of “only”41 degrees.To the report
Rufus Bush RobinBirding Report Summer 2010After the end of the spring mirgration, things started to quiet down here on Lotan. In late May and and then in June, we had an influx of Rufous Bush Robinsthat have been staying here for the entire summer. There are at least a dozen here that you can see everywhere.To the report
Dunn's LarkBirding Report April 2010As stated before, spring migration has been very different from previous years. I have had the opportunity to speak to several birders who have been here in the past week to get updates as to what has been going on.

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Lichtenstein's SandgrouseSpring Migration in IsraelA short summary of a birding trip with Pieter, Jan and Rommert. (Late March 2010).

By Roef Mulder

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Black KiteShort overhead migration report, March 31, 2010Overhead migration above Lotan in the last few days has been impressive. In general there are days where there is a lot going on, and others where searching the skies yields very little.

Late March 2010

Birding this year in the Arava is very unusual compared to previous years. The amount of rainfall that we had, more than we had in the past 20 years, has made finding birds more diffuse. The hotspots around Lotan are km 76 (Qa e-Sa’eddin) and Ovda Valley. Both are very green, and very muddy, because of the rains.

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Crested LarkEarly March 2010After an unusual winter here in the Arava desert where there was much more rain than had fallen in the past five years, I went out to have a look around within twelve kilometers from home. I was with another birder and we started out going north to Km 76. Because of the rains, the plain was one green carpet. It was raining again in the morning. We saw the usual wintering and early migratory species around here: Crested Lark, White Wagtail and Stonechat. In addition, there were a large number of Chiffchaff and Northern Wheatear, primarily females. Among them were three Isabelline Wheatears, that stood up especially straight. It started to rain harder, so we decided to head further south.

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