I went birding with two birders from France and Belgium, Benoit and Michelle, and went to the usual sites to see what was around. We went on an overcast day, unusual around here. the temperatures stayed around the 22 degree mark, so it was very comfortable.
At Uvda valley, we saw hundreds of White Wagtails and Red-Throated Pipits, Desert Wheatear, Stonechat, Bluethroat and Trumpeter Finch. I did hear at least one Spotted Sandgrouse calling, but never managed to locate it.
Desert Wheatear at Uvda Valley
We went down to North Beach, and saw the usual Western Reef Heron, a cracking specimen of a Desert Wheatear, and the usual Herons and Egrets. No Pied Kingfisher this time. While searching the buoys out to sea, we did see one Striated Heron, and, over in Jordanian territory, two White-eyed Gulls.
Going on to the Eilat sewage works, there were hundreds of Great Cormorants around, Grey Heron, Little Egret, one juvenile Pelican, around seven Black Storks, one White Stork, one Great Crested Grebe, Coots, Shelducks and Pintails. We also had a few Slender-billed Gulls around.
At the Kilometer 20 salt ponds, we went to see the black Greater Flamingo that has been here for a while. The Ruddy Shelducks had already moved on, but we did have one Pelican here too. The usual suspects, Ringed and Little Ringed Plover were here, as well as the Black-winged Stilt. Also quite a few Slender-billed Gulls. We did not go to see whether the Caspian Gulls were around, as we had a tight schedule to keep.
Glossy Ibises at Samar Sewage
On to the Samar sewage ponds, there was nothing really special around. Two Glossy Ibises were scared up as we drove in, and settled at the other end of the sewage pond. White Wagtails, Red-throated Pipits, Crested Larks, Common Redstarts, Blackstarts and one Bluethroat were there too, which is normal for this time of the year.
we ended the day at the Yotvata circular fields. The northern field had been plowed under, so there was no green here, which did not mean that we saw nothing. As we stepped out of the car, one female Namaqua Dove landed no more than five meters away from us. Good views were had by all, and good photos. We must have seen well over two hundred White Wagtails and Red-throated Pipits around, as well as two Hen Harriers, and one Kestrel.
Namaqua Dove at Yotvata field
Going to the southern circular field, we encountered our four Common Cranes again. We had a beautiful specimen of an eastern Stonechat. We had a Squacco Heron flying in the fields, and eventually it sat on the irrigation pipe. The brilliant white wings were immediately visible when it took off, and all but disappeared as it landed. While we were getting ready to leave, a Great Grey Shrike flew into the Acacia tree right next to us. This aucheri subspecies shrike called for quite a while, so we could get good views of it. Two Hen Harriers, a male and female were hunting here, too.
Eastern Stonechat, at Yotvata field