30. huhtikuuta 2012

Nizzana magic, 24.4.2012

We started little bit before 6 and our first target was Macqueen´s Bustard. Our only notes for the Bustard was Hadoram Shirihais book with quite old info. We had 2 Bustards in same area 2008 but now we didn´t know is this a right place.
We drove some road and some times we stopped to watch desert with telescopes. The road ended soon and we had to turn back... In Hadoram Shirihais book, there is one good Bustard place, so we dropped Jände there and continued something like 1,5km with Esko. I put my telescope on and start to look. After hmmm.. maybe 1min i noticed huge Bustard walking in the desert!! Bird was male and these were my best views ever of this specie! We had 3 birds in Kuwait last December, but very far away. Esko found bird also and together we admired the bird. We called Jände and told him that we found Bustard and then we went to get him back to the car. Soon we noticed that we are almost late in the fish-ponds.
We drove straightly to the ponds and there was next amazing show! About 300 White Pelicans were sitting in one pool! We took few photos first and then went little bit closer. Pelicans started to be nervous and when we jumped out of the car, flock jumped in the air. You can imagine when 300 15kg heavy birds take a leave same time!

Pelicans saw us! 

"Quickly, up in the air!" 

It took about 5min when all the birds were in flight. One of greatest nature events what i have ever seen.
Place was also weird, middle of the desert where is only few water places and there sits so huge flock.
Also few species of Sand Grouses were present. First flock was Black-bellied Sand Grouses and soon after that, one Pin-Tailed Sand Grouse flew with Black-Bellies.
We were of course hoping to see Crowned Sad Grouses, but only flock of 4 Spotted Sand Grouse showed to us.
Still can´t be sad, 3 species of these superb birds were more than i believed.

Black-Bellied Sand Grouses. Mostly males.

After ponds we gave a try for Cream-coloured Coursers. Jände had some notes from Spanish trip-report and we found the right road. After we were drove about 7km i saw Courser very near to the road! We stopped and same time 3 Coursers were running away from us! Such a great birds. We got few photos of birds with Esko and everybody were super happy.

Cream-coloured Coursers! 

After Coursers we drove back to the hotel and after quick breakfast we left.
Rest of the day was mostly driving to the north. We make little sea-watch in Ashdod but nothing interesting there. After Ashdod we make huge fatal mistake... We some how drove to Tel-Aviv suburb and then the heavy traffic started.. It took about 1,5h to get out there. Everybody was little bit frustrated..
About 8 a clock in evening we arrived to Zafed and we took first hotel we found. It was amazing 5*****+ hotel! Price was huge but room was perfect. Maybe coolest and best hotel where im ever been!
Great day with lots of great desert birds.


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