Thursday, 30 June 2016

Israel 2016 (Hybrids, Crested & Hi-lights)

As this trip progressed so did the migration and one morning whilst at Semadar sewage plant, European Honey Buzzards began to come in low over the site as if they were looking to come in to land and probably drink from the ponds. Then the bird above appeared distantly but came in nice, slow and on first, distant impressions it looked like it was a Crested but as it got closer it became clear that this paticular individual was infact a hybrid between European & Crested Honey Buzzard. Throughout the course of the European Honey Buzzard migration that we observed we had at least 2 hybrid birds and 1 Crested.  

On route we stopped at Ein Avidat and this brought back memories from the last time I was here some 16 years ago. I really like here at this site, mainly for it's scenery and the nice quiet atmosphere of the site location. Few Vultures were present here this day but an Alpine Swift was the only one of the trip for myself. I went in to the information centre here was pleased to hear that Caracal's are present within the surrounding area of the entire Negev. Other Mammas seen included Ibex and Dorcas Gazelles

Always nice to see Hobby's on a pylon, especialy a pair part dispalying closeby as well, felt like south east Essex! 

Other hi-lights this trip included:

Sooty Falcon 1, Eleonora's Falcon 1, Lesser Kestrel-several at Yotvatta, Hen, Montagus and Pallid Harriers but again the star of this trip was just seeing European Honey Buzzards on such mass. 

Upon returning home from Israel it was a delayed performance for the local European Honey Buzzards but it did finally take place and luckily just before and when Stevie B came down for a few days in the Forest. 

We managed to rack up over 100 species within the New Forest National Park. This included all the local specialities such as Dartford Warblers, Wood Larks, Tree Pipits Wood Warblers (drastic decline in numbers) Nightjars (top performers in good dusk light) Firecrests, Redstarts, Great & Lesser Spots, Hawfinch, Common Buzzrd, Hobby & Gos with the added bonus of a smart Stilt Sandpiper, and another assortment of Waders, Ducks & Terns all added to a great couple of days out on site with Steve but as we both agreed as the trip came to an end that  the star attraction was seeing European Honey Buzzards do what they do best, Wing Clapping over a home-wood.  

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