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>> Birding Reports

Negev, 03/MAR/06
Eyal Vanunu

I started my weekend at Ashalim area, about 50km south to Beer-Sheva, in a short afternoon hike in the surroundings. Most interesting birds were a single Temminck's Lark and some Lesser Short-toed Larks. Also around were a few Black-bellied, Spotted and a single Crowned Sandgrouse. Just before dark I noticed two Brown-necked Ravens that were 'playing' with a dying Ethiopian Hedgehog (Paraechinus aethiopicus). The two were later disturbed by a Wolf - a nice individual, still with its full winter fur.

On Friday mourning I met with Michael Duerst, Irane Hauri and Sabine Szeless. The four of us spent the day on a very relax manner. We started at Nizzana and Azuz area. The most attractive birds were probably the Cream-coloured Coursers – 15 birds were seen, giving excellent views. Also worth noting were 550 White Storks, Houbara Bustard, Barbary Falcon, Spotted Sandgrouse, Desert Wheatear and a single Bar-tailed Lark.

Our next stop was Sde Boker, where we looked for all the typical desert species. Many migrants are already quite distinctive – mainly Warblers (including a Cyprus Warbler) and Wheatears. About 100 Syrian Serins, that are wintering here and will soon leave the area, were present at Sde Boker campus.
On a very short night drive, after dinner, we heard calls of Eagle Owl and a Hume's Owl, but unfortunately, time was too short and we had to go back home early.
We also saw an Indian Crested Porcupine at Sde Zin.

Black-bellied Sandgrouse Lesser Kestrel Sand Partridge Little Owl Cream-coloured Courser Brown-necked Raven

Black-crowned Finch-lark
(Eremoprerix nigriceps) Eilat, Apr.06

Crimson-winged Finch
(Rhodopechys sanguinea)Mt. Hermon, Jul.03

White-breasted Kingfisher
(Halcyon smyrensis) Hula reserve, Jan.05
 
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