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Bulletin 1: 02 on Rare Birds in Israel (1995 - 2001)
James P. Smith and the Israel Rarities & Distribution Committee.
The Israel Rarities and Distribution Committee met for the second time in 2001, on Friday 30th November. The meeting was held at Kibbutz Lotan with members present being Barak Granit, Yoav Perlman, James P. Smith and Ido Tsurim. In view of the regular absence from Israel of Hadoram Shirihai and Eyal Shochat, Nir Sapir was invited to attend the meeting with a view to becoming a member of the committee in the near future.
Our criteria for rarity recording in Israel, clearly outlined in our first Bulletin 1:01 will appear as an appendix at the end of this bulletin. However, it is our main objective to assess all the outstanding rarity reports since the publication of the "Birds of Israel" (Shirihai 1996). In general we will be looking at species recorded in Israel less than 25 times up to and including the publication of the Birds of Israel.
The IRDC reviewed twenty one reports at our second meeting, a task made easier by the fact that some members has seen the reports prior to the meeting.
Reports that were considered to be fully acceptable were placed into Category A as follows;
Great Shearwater Puffinus gravis - 1 off Jaffa Port, Dan region on 9th February 1995. (B.Granit). 3rd record.
Little Shearwater Puffinus assimilis - 1 off Jaffa Port on 15th January 1996. Considered to be P. a. baroli. ( B. Granit). 2nd record.
Pink-backed Pelican Pelecanus
rufescens - 1 , age uncertain, Moaz Hayyim and Tirat Zevi, Bet Shean Valley
from mid-May to 14th August 1997 at least. (H. Shirihai, B. Granit).
Lesser Frigatebird Fregrata ariel - 1, Eilat north beach, 1st December 1997. (R.Riddington, J.Reid ). 1st Israel record and 1st West Palearctic record. Thoroughly documented in British Birds 93:01.
Yellow-billed Stork Mycteria ibis. 1 at Ma'agan Michael, Carmel region, during mid-July to 12th August at least 1997. (Y. Eshbol, B.Granit ). 19th record.
Southern Pochard Netta erythropthalma - 1, resembling adult female but exact age/sex not fully established, Km.20 north of Eilat, 30th April - 8th May 1998. Photographed. (H. Shirihai, B.Granit, D. Gelbart et al). 1st Israel record and 1st West Palearctic record. Documented in Sandgrouse 22:02 (O.S.M.E).
Lappet - faced Vulture Torgos
tracheliotus - 1, immature, Eilat Mountains 21st May 2001. Photographed.
(B.Granit, T.Ellery, J.P. Smith). Extinct former breeder, now considered vagrant.
3rd record since 1995.
Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus - 1 adult, Revadim Reservoir, Southern Judean Plain, 19th May 2000. (A.Ganz.) 6th record, and the first outside the Eilot region.
Crab Plover Dromas ardeola
- 2 adults, Ma'yan Zvi beach, Carmel region on 20th July 1997. Photographed
(Y.Eshbol, B. Granit et al). 3rd record.
Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius
mongolus - 1, age uncertain, Eilat salt pans on 22nd May 2001. Photographed.
( B.Granit, T. Ellery, J. P. Smith et al). 2nd Israel record.
Sooty Gull Larus hemprichii - 1, first-winter, Shifdan sewage pools, Dan region, on 21st September 1998. (E. Dovrat). 5th record for Israel, and the first for the Mediterranean Coast.
Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii - 1, first-winter, Ma'agan Michael, Carmel coast from 7th to 25th January 2001. (T.Ellery, Y. Perlman et al). 18th record. The committee would like to receive details of at least seven other reports since 1996.
Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger
cyanurus - 1, first-winter or female, Zfat, Galilee region from 1st - 31st
January 1996.Photographed. (B. Granit, Y. Perlman, E. Dovrat et al). 1st record.
Dusky Warbler Phylloscopus
fuscatus - 1, Ram Farm, Beer Sheva on 18th October 1997. Trapped, ringed
and photographed. (E. Shochat, Y. Perlman, M. Whitehouse).
Pallas's Warbler Pylloscopus proregulus - 1, Beer Sheva (in a city park), 10th February to 12th April 1998. (E. Shochat, I. Tsurim et al). 3rd record.
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer
montanus - 1, Kefar Ruppin, Bet Shean Valley on 20th October 1998. Trapped,
ringed and photographed (Y. Perlman, R. Lindroos). 6th record.
Audubon's Shearwater Puffinus lerminieri - 1, Eilat north beach on 15th May 1999.
Great white Egret Egretta alba - 1 of eastern form, E.a. modesta at Kefar Ruppin, Bet Shean on 25th November 1996.
Bataleur Terathopius ecaudatus - 1, immature at Tirat Zevi, Bet Shean Valley on 23rd October 2000.
Bridled Tern Sterna anaethetus - 1, Switzerland Park, Eilat and Aqaba, Jordan on 24th September 1999.
Pied Stonechat Saxicola caprata - 1, male at Eilat, from 4th - 7th November 1996.
Blyth's Reed Warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum -
Basra Reed Warbler Acrocephalus griseldis -
Menetrei's Warbler Sylvia mystecea - 1, adult female, Kefar Ruppin 16th October 1998. Trapped, ringed and photographed. 1, first-winter female, Kefar Ruppin on 12th November 1998. Trapped, ringed and photographed.
Steppe Grey Shrike Lanius
pallidirostris - 1, first-winter, Km.33, Southern Arava on 22nd November
1997. 1, first-winter, Km. 53 (Yotvata), Southern Arava on 27th November 1997.
Little Bunting Emberiza
pusilla - 1, adult male at Km. 40, Southern Arava on 27th - 31st March 1997.
White-fronted Sandplover - 1 at Km. 20, north of Eilat on 5th April 2000.
James P. Smith
Ideally we would like to receive reports that include the following;
1) Written documentation of date,
location, observers, weather and optical aids used.
We realize that not every report will meet these criteria but we encourage all finders of Israel rarities to submit what ever they can to the committee. Reports from sole observers will also be considered. On the other hand, reports that mention just a few lines of a description with comments such as " we didn't bother to look at it closely, because it's a common winter visitor back home" will not be considered seriously by the committee.
We look forward to receiving your records and publishing our results accordingly.
The members of IRDC are Barak Granit, Yoav Perlman, Nir Sapir, Eyal Shochat, Hadoram Shirihai, James P. Smith and Ido Tsurim.
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