Wednesday, September 11, 2013


So, after a few months of relative normality in Somerset, i'm back 'on the road' again. On monday I arrived in Israel where i'll be spending 5 weeks working on the Northern Valleys Raptor Count. i get patchy wi-fi here on the Kibbutz where i'm staying, so will do my best to upload some photos and sightings on to here periodically.

The birding has been flippin amazing so far, there are birds literally everywhere here, fields buzzing with larks and wagtails, buntings and warblers flipping between bushes and a sky full of raptors. After I  arrived a t stupid o'clock at the airport, Yoav Perlman picked me up and we had a few hours birding in the Bet Shean Valley before I joined the count team. I had 12 lifers in those few hours, the best birding i've had in a long time!

The big passage of Honey Buzzards is over, but I saw 1000+ yesterday and 500+ today. Lesser Spotted Eagles and Levant Sparrowhawks are the main focus of the count, and they are starting to dribble through now, with the big counts due in a week or so for the LS and a few weeks for LSE.

Anyways, a picture is worth a thousand words as they say:

Most of the raptors are reeeaalllly high up, and too far for photos
This is a standard view of a small part of a Honey Buzzard thermal
Blue-cheeked Bee Eater on the Jordanian border fence

Bird of the trip so far: Cinereous Bunting that I found after 'work' today.
Quite a rarity around these parts i'm told!

Booted Eagle
Lesser Spotted Eagle

Some come a bit lower though, like this juvenile Montagu's Harrier

Red-backed Shrike

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