29. huhtikuuta 2012

Ortolan buntings and else, 20.4.2012

We started this morning in Yotvata. When we arrived about 6.00 we noticed that there must be something like 300 Ortolan Buntings!! Huge flock were eating in a field. When we checked Ortolan flock, we saw some other birds too. Tens of Yellow wagtaills and i found 2 Bimaculated Larks sitting with the buntings. There was something like 15 Short-toed Larks too.
Bird of pray side this time was Montagus Harrier, Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Honey Buzzards and Kestrels. We had also one difficult Harrier but ID is not totally clear.

One of many Yellow Wagtaills.

About after an hour or something we decided to continue and check the are with car. First good birds were two Rufous-Tailed Rock-Thrushes! Nice looking males. Then we drove other side of the fields and we noticed odd looking Honey Buzzard sitting on pile of wood. Size was huge and color was some how weird. We took photos when it was sitting and then we drove little bit closer. Bird jumped in the air and we saw 6 fingers, typical throat pattern, reddish color, enough stripes on under wing and Eagle like size. Bird was clearly Crested Honey Buzzard!

Rufous-Tailed Rock Thrush, male. 

Crested Honey Buzzard!!

After this magnificent bird, we decided to leave and when we were driving towards to exit, this normal Honey Buzzard were sitting nicely in a tree.

This normal Honey Guy was notably smaller that Crested.

After Yotvata we drove to Palm forest near Eilat. New specie to our trip list were Indian Silver Bill. After Palm forest we went to km19 pool. Nothing special there but when we were leaving, somebody saw 2 Pratincoles flying north. We left to follow birds and when we reach km20pools we saw flock of Pratincoles sitting on a bank. There were 7 birds and when we looked them with telescopes we saw that every bird has longer tail than wing. It´s one of the major things what you have to see. Other is reddish under wing and i saw one bird raising the wings and there was rufous/reddish pattern... Sadly these birds were Collared Pratincoles.
Other good birds where Gull-billed Terns, huge flock of Spender-billed gulls and many Phalaropes.

One of the seven Collare Pratincoles.

Gull-billed Terns.

After km20 pools we noticed that it´s time to go sea-watching to North Beach. Same time when we try to get to the beach, in Eilat was some triathlon competition and every f****ng road was closed... Some how we get our selves to the beach.
We checked terns and Brown Boobies first and then Jände saw two Shearwaters. One was flying and one swimming. We confirmed those as a Sooty Shearwaters. Ten something magical happened. One shearwater came closer to the beach all the time and soon we were photographing it when it flew about 5m away from us! After about 100 photos we came back to our telescopes but bird wasn´t ready yet! It came over the coastline and it was clearly on the beach side! Weird bird... We had also 4 Red-footed Falcons!

Sooty Shearwater flying.

Just amazing ending for this day. This photo is not best but i must save betters for some other purposes.
After we bring our stuff to hotel, we ate in Gulf restaurant.

Super day!


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