Trip Report: Israel, November 7-17, 1996
KCL Development Oy,
P.O. Box 70,
02151 ESPOO, FINLAND;
Jukka Ihanus (JI)
Heikki Kotilainen (HK)
Juha Piipponen (JP)
Eelis Rissanen (ER)
Authorities seemed to be a bit more alert than on the previous visit,
maybe due to the problems in the peace process etc. Anyway Mount Hermon
was closed (and every road sign there was turned in the wrong direction,
actually not a problem after you know it). We were stopped by a couple of
soldiers (not professional soldiers, but ones in training) at Nizzana,
they had orders to call a professional officer if somebody was seen
there too often. Well, no officer showed up, and eventually they let us
go. Also we were turned back from the northern fields of Yotvata by two
soldiers (with fancy sunglasses) in a Jeep. Anyway, later on we bravely
drove around the pools at k18 without any trouble in spite of numerous
signs. It seems to depend on your luck. We did not drive through the West
Bank and therefore advise people not to drive through Tel Aviv area in
the rush hour...
Anyway, November seems to be quite good for birding there. Places
mentioned can be found from D. Gosney's booklet
Finding birds in Israel
and more recent information from Gosney's
or to be more exact
OSME homepage is
worth checking for latest records.
Route (number of species on that day in parentheses):
7.11. Eilat: Beach - Salt pans - Wadi - Amram's Pillars - Pumping station (61)
8.11. Nizzana-Urim (70)
9.11. Be'er Sheva - Ma'agan Mikhael - Tishlovet Reservoir (98)
10.11. Mount Arbel - Wadi Ammaud - Gamla - Hula (88)
11.11. Hula Valley (77)
12.11. Tirat Zevi - Kefar Ruppin (86)
13.11. Nizzana - Sede Boquer - Dead Sea (49)
14.11. Ein Gedi - Nahal Arugot - Yotvata - Eilat (67)
15.11. Eilat: Cemetery - Beach (only a few...)
16.11. Eilat & Arava valley: k33, k40 (92)
17.11. Yotvata - k40 - Eilat - En Netafim - Eilat (72)
6.-7. Hotel Etzion, Eilat
Reserved through travel agency, ok
8. Youth Hostel, Be'er Sheva
Hard to find, some way south from big hotel (Desert Inn?).
Price 76 (4 room) - 90 (double room) NIS per person, ok
9.-11. Motel Mital House, Tiberias
About the first accommodation when coming from Nazareth direction,
price only 60 NIS / person in double rooms, good take-away
pizzeria in the same building. We liked it.
12. Youth Hostel, Be'er Sheva (again)
13. Ein Gedi camping
Near the beach, a room for 4 cost 116 US dollars. Coming out of
door in the morning we saw immediately Fan-tailed Ravens, Tristram's
Grackles, and four Silverbills.
14.-17. Hotel Etzion
That's it !
- Little Grebe, Tachybaptus ruficollis
Here and there in reservoirs and fishponds. Highest count about 60 at
Tishlovit in the evening of 9th, other observations at Be'er Sheva
sewage pools Ma'agan Mikhael, Hula, Tirat Zevi and Kefar Ruppin.
- Great Crested Grebe, Podiceps cristatus
One at North Beach on 16th
- Black-necked Grebe, Podiceps nigricollis
Approx. 10 at Tishlovit in the evening of 9th.
- Brown Booby, Sula leucogaster
One juvenile present at North Beach apparently all the time. Usually on
a floating barrel behind the fish farm.
- Great Cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo
From 2 to 20 at North Beach. 50 at Ma'agan Mikhael on 9th, +500 at Hula
on 11th and also some at Tirat Zevi and Kefar Ruppin on 12th.
- Pygmy Cormorant, Phalacrocorax pygmeus
12 at Tirat Zevi and 20 near Kefar Ruppin on 12th.
- White Pelican, Pelecanus onocrotalus
200 Between Tel Aviv and Ma'agan Mikhael and 1400 at Ma'agan Mikhael on
9th. At Hula 800 on 10th and 500 on 11th. +10 Dead near a fish pond near
Hula reserve almost under a electric wire (with no balls... I mean the
orange ones). Had hit the wire or been shot? Smell was so awful we did
not do further examinations...
- Striated Heron, Butorides striatus
One juvenile seen from North Beach on 14th, 15th and 16th, probably
present all the time, sometimes hard or totally impossible to see.
- Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis
Very common North of Negev, hundreds in Hula valley and around Bet
Shean. About 400 at Ma'agan on 9th.
- Little Egret, Egretta garzetta
1 at EIlat Salt ponds on 7th, 30 at Ma'agan Mihael on 9th, 10 at Hula on
11th, 60 altogether at Tirat Zevi and Kefar Ruppin on 12th and about 10
in Eilat on 16th.
- Western Reef Heron, Egretta gularis
Always some individuals present at North Beach in Eilat. Highest count
10 of light and one of dark morph on 14th.
- Great White Egret, Egretta alba
Clearly most common egret: 100 At Ma'agan Mikhael (9th), 200 at Hula on
10th, 150 At Tirat Zevi and Kefar Ruppin on 12th and also one in Eilat
- Grey Heron, Ardea cinerea
20 to 100 in Eilat, mostly at North Beach, 300 at Ma'agan Mikhael on
9th, about 100 in Hula and also common at Tirat Zevi and Kefar Ruppin.
- Purple Heron, Ardea purpurea
1 at Ma'agan Mikhael on 9th, 1 at Tirat Zevi on 12th and one at Yotvata
sewage pools on 14th.
- Black Stork, Ciconia nigra
On the fields of Hula Valley 13 on 10th and 40 on 11th, 20 at T Zevi and
Kefar R on 12th.
- White Stork, Ciconia ciconia
20 at Ma'agan M on 9th, a few in Hula Valley and 15 at Tirat and Kefar,
not very many anyway.
- Glossy Ibis, Plegadis falcinellus
50 at Ma'agan on 9th and 30 at Hula on 11th (only 3 seen on 12th)
- Spoonbill, Platalea leucorodia
100 at Ma'agan on 9th but only 2 at Hula and 2 near Bet Shean.
- Greater Flamingo, Phoenicopterus ruber
2 ad. and 1 juv. in Eilat on 7th, later 5 adults. 30 at pools at k18.
- Shelduck, Tadorna tadorna
18 at k18 on 16th and one at Eilat salt pans on 17th.
- Ruddy Shelduck, Tadorna ferruginea
2 at Ma'agan on 9th, on 16th 1 at pools near k18 and 7 (4 the next day)
behind the sewage pond at k40.
- Wigeon, Anas penelope
2 in a fishpond in Hula Valley on 10th, 1 at k40 sewage pond on 16th.
- Teal, Anas crecca
Rather common, for example 80 at Nizzana, 200 at Ma'agan and hundreds
in the Hula valley, 100 at Eilat on 16th
- Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos
A single male at Nizzana on 8th, appr. 50 at Be'er Sheva on 9th and 200
at Hula on 11th.
- Pintail, Anas acuta
3 at Nizzana on 8th
- Shoveler, Anas clypeata
3 at Nizzana on 8th, 50 at Be'er Sheva on 9th, and approx. 300 in the
Bet She'an area on 12th
- Garganey, Anas querquedula
10 on 9th at Be'er Sheva, some at Ma'agan and 2 near Hula on 11th
- Ferruginous Duck, Aythya nyroca
2 at Tshlovit reservoir on 9th and 3 at Kefar Ruppin on 12th.
- White-headed Duck, Oxyra leucocephala
3 (at least) at Tishlovet reservoir on 9th (JP,JI).
- Pochard, Aythya ferina
Approx. 50 identified at Tishlovit reservoir on 9th and 60+ at Tirat
Zevi and Kefar Ruppin on 12th.
- Tufted Duck, Aythya fuligula
200 at Nizzana on 8th. I recall also some at Tirat Zevi and Kefar Ruppin
- Black Kite, Milvus migrans
Plenty of then around Urim, about 200 on at one rubbish dump somewhat
west of Urim fields. High concentrations also in Hula valley and Bet
shean. About 300 altogether on 9th, most of which at fields near
- White-tailed Eagle, Haliaeetus albicilla
Two adults, presumably the breeding pair, at cotton fields near Hula
reserve on 10th.
- Griffon Vulture, Gyps fulvus
6 at Ma'agan Mikhael on 9th, 30 at Gamla on 10th, 40 at Hula on 11th,+10
at Sede Boqer on 13th and about 10 at the mountains near En Gedi on
- Marsh Harrier, Circus aeruginosus
10 at Ma'agan Mikhael on 9th, about 10 in Hula Valley on 10th, also
about 10 around Tirat Zevia and Kefar ruppin on 12th. Also some single
birds here and there.
- Hen Harrier, Circus cyaneus
Seen somewhere almost every day. Best concentration in the Hula valley:
approx. 20 birds seen on 10th. Other places include surroundings of Bet
Shean and Urim - Nizzana area.
- Pallid Harrier, Circus macrourus
3 males and one female (adults) at the fields south of Urim on 8th.
- Sparrowhawk, Accipiter nisus
1 to 5 individuals daily.
- Goshawk, Accipiter gentilis
1 Near Bet She'an on 12th and maybe the same bird a couple of hours later
near Kefar Ruppin.
- Buzzard, Buteo buteo
Seen daily, not very great numbers, 10 at Hula valley on 11th.
- Long-legged Buzzard, Buteo rufinus
At least 10 at Urim on 8th, 5 in the Hula valley on 11th and several
others scattered along the way. Seen almost daily.
- Lesser Spotted Eagle, Aquila pomarina
One subad on 7th over the Date palm plantation in Eilat. (JP)
- Spotted Eagle, Aquila clanga
One subad (about 3-cy) seen well at Ma'agan Mikhael on 9th. One adult
and 3 subadults near Hula on 11th. One interesting-looking subad with
some light colour in underwing median coverts near Dead Sea on 14th. Two
near a unofficial rubbish dump somewhere behind the Cemetery on 17th
- Steppe Eagle, Aquila nipalensis
About 50 at the mountains just outside Eilat on 7th. Several near a
unofficial rubbish dump somewhere behind the Cemetery in EIlat on 17th
- Imperial Eagle, Aquila heliaca
3 juv. and 1 subad seen at Urim on 8th. Also one possible adult sitting
far away on a pylon. 5 juv. and 1 subad in the Hula valley on 11th.
- Bonelli's Eagle, Hieraeetus fasciatus
1ad. and 1 juv. at Gamla on 10th, 1 at Sede Boqer on 13th
- Booted Eagle, Hieraaetus pennatus
One pale phase individual at Eilat Cemetery on 15th (JI,JP).
- Short-toed Eagle, Circaetus gallicus
1 in Eilat on 7th (JP).
- Osprey, Pandion haliaetus
1 in the Negev desert near Sede Boqer in the morning of 8th
- Kestrel, Falco tinnunculus
Quite common, especially in the north. Approx. 200 seen between Be'er
Sheva and Ma'agan Mikhael on 9th.
- Hobby, Falco subbuteo
1 at Nizzana on 8th, 1 at Mount Arbel on 10th, 1 in Eilat on 16th
- Merlin, Falco columbarius
1 at Nizzana on 13th.
- Saker, Falco cherrug
1 juvenile on a pylon at Urim on 8th.
- Peregrine, Falco peregrinus
1 adult at Eilat on 7th, 2 at Urim on 8th, 1 juvenile at at fish pond
near Bet Shean on 12th.
- Barbary Falcon, Falco pelegrinoides
1 at the Dead Sea on 14th (also 2 unidentified large falcons the same
day) 2 in Eilat on 16th.
- Chukar, Alectoris chukar
About 40 in Nizzana on 8th,15 at Mount Arbel on 10th, 50 at Nizzana and
10 at Sede Boqer on 13th and also some Near En Gedi on 14th.
- Sand Partridge, Ammoperdix heyi
A few in several places: Eilat Cemetery, Nizzana (10 on 8th), En Gedi
- Black Francolin, Francolinus francolinus
2 males and 2 females at the fields near Hula reserve on 10th.
- Water Rail, Rallus aquaticus
4 seen at Ma'agan Mikhael, some voices heard also in other wetland
- Moorhen, Gallinula chloropus
Several tens at wetland areas: Ma'agan Mikhael, Tishlovet (9th day
approx. 50 altogether), Hula Valley Tirat Zevi and Kefar Ruppin. Also
some in ponds and reeds of Arava.
- Coot, Fulica atra
Where we saw Moorhens we saw even more Coots (no counts).
- Crane, Grus grus
Thousands in the Hula Valley on 10th (estim. 2000 seen) and 11th. Other
observations: 1 in Eilat on 7th, 3 at Nizzana on 8th, 200 near Tishlovit
reservor on 9th and 1 juv. on 16th and 13 on 17th at k40 sewage pond.
- Houbara Bustard, Chlamydotis undulata
One near the sewage ponds at Nizzana on 8th. 4 on the runway of the
airfield at Nizzana and one some kilometers south of that on 13th.
- Stone Curlew, Burhinus oedicnemus
1 at Nizzana on 13th (JI, HK, ER)
- Black-winged Stilt, Himantopus himantopus
30 at Be'er Sheva sewage pools and 20 at Ma'agan Mikhael on 9th, 10 in
the Hula Valley on 11th and about 20 At Tirat Zevi, Kefar Ruppin and
surroundings on 12th. Best count 40 at saltpans in Eilat on 17th.
- Avocet, Recurvirostra avosetta
2 at Hula on 11th, 15 near Bet shean on 12th.
- Ringed Plover, Charadrius hiaticula
2 at Ma'agan Mikhael on 9th, 5 in the Hula Valley on 11th. About 20 in
the Bet Shean area on 12th. At salt pans in Eilat: 5 on 7th, 50 on 16th
and about 100 on 17th.
- Little Ringed Plover, Charadrius dubius
5 in Eilat on 7th.
- Kentish Plover, Charadrius alexandrinus
5 at Kefar Ruppin on 12th. Eilat: 15 on 16th and 20 on 17th at salt
- Spur-winged Plover, Hoplopterus spinosus
Common, especially north of Negev. Best single spot Be'er Sheva sewage
pools, where about 200 present. Only few in Eilat and Yotvata and in
- Lapwing, Vanellus vanellus
100 at Urim on 8th, 10 at Ma'agan Mikhael on 9th, common at fields of
Hula Valley and surroundings of Bet Shean, In Arava only one seen on
16th and 17th at k40 sewage ponds.
- Sociable Plover, Chettusia gregaria
Three among Lapwings at Kefar Ruppin on 12th.
- Grey Plover, Pluvialis squatarola
1 at ponds in Eilat on 7th, 16th and 17th. One at k40 sewage pond on
- Golden Plover, Pluvialis apricaria
4 on fields near Kefar Ruppin on 12th.
- Sanderling, Calidris alba
2 at pools in Eilat on 7th, 5 on 16th.
- Little Stint, Calidris minuta
50 at Ma'agan Mikhael on 9th. 250 total estimated in Tirat Zevi and Kefar
Ruppin and pools nearby on 12th. 200 at pools in Eilat on 16th and 17th
(a few also on 7th).
- Temminck's Stint, Calidris temminckii
3 at pools in Eilat on 7th, 8 at Kefar Ruppin on 12th
- Dunlin, Calidris alpina
A few in Eilat on 7th 20 at Kefar Ruppin on 12th, 7 at North Beach in
Eilat on 14th. On 16th and 17th 150-200 at pools in Eilat.
- Curlew Sandpiper, Calidris ferruginea
Few among other calidrids in Eilat, hard to distinguish, hard to count in
- Ruff, Philomachus pugnax
50 at Be'er Sheva sewage ponds and some at Magan Mikhael on 9th, a few
in Bet She'an area, also small numbers seen in around several ponds in
- Common Snipe, Gallinago gallinago
1 at Nizzana on 8th, as many as 50 at Magan Mikhael on 9th, some at
Tishlovet. Some here and there in the ponds and wetlands in Hula and Bet
She'an valleys and Yotvata-Eilat area.
- Spotted Redshank, Tringa erythropus
10 at Be'er sheva and Ma'agan on 9th, a flock of 50 at pools between
Bet She'an and Kefar Ruppin on 12th. 5 in Eilat on 17th.
- Redshank, Tringa totanus
Singles or small groups at almost every pool visited as well in Eilat as
in Hula and in between. 20 around Hula on 11th.
- Greenshank, Tringa nebularia
5 in Eilat on 7th, 16th and 17th.
- Green Sandpiper, Tringa ochropus
2 at ponds in Eilat on 7th. 2 at Ma'agan Mikhael on 9th. 2 at Kefar
Ruppin on 12th.
- Wood Sandpiper, Tringa glareola
1 at Nizzana on 8th, Present in small numbers at Be'er Sheva and Ma'agan
Mikhael on 9th. Also in Hula (5 on 11th) and Bet She'an area. 1 in EIlat
- Marsh Sandpiper, Tringa stagnatilis
1 at Ma'agan Mikhael on 9th (JI,JP)
- Common Sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos
4 seen at some ponds in Hula Valley on 11th, 5 in Kefar Ruppin and Tirat
Zevi on 12th.
- White-eyed Gull, Larus leucophtalmus
20 to 100 continuously at North Beach in Eilat. Could be attracted with
pieces of bread.
- Black-headed Gull, Larus ridibundus
10 to 20 at North Beach in Eilat, 20 at Ma'agan M on 9th, 200 at the Sea
of Galilee on 10th. Common in Hula and Bet She'an area.
- Slender-billed Gull, Larus genei
5 adults at North beach in Eilat from 14th to 17th.
- Common Gull, Larus canus
1 adult at North beach on 16th and 17th.
- Yellow-legged Gull, Larus cachinnans
a few individuals of several ages at North Beach in Eilat.
- Armenian Gull, Larus armenicus
+500 at Ma'agan Mikhael on 9th, several hundreds on Hula and Bet She'an
- Siberian Gull, Larus heuglini
1 subad at Ma'agan Mikhael on 9th
- Caspian Tern, Sterna caspia
1 to 4 patrolling continuously North Beach in Eilat
- Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse, Pterocles lichtensteinii
About 25 at dusk (quarter past 5) at pumping station in Eilat on 7th and
- Crowned Sandgrouse, Pterocles coronatus
A flock of 10 arrived to drink at the pool (the new place closer to the
main road) in Nizzana after others sandgrouse had left the plains
nearby (about 10 o'clock) on 13th. It's easy (for JP) to get several
pounds of sand into one's lungs by running from distance after the
whistle has been blown...
- Spotted Sandgrouse, Pterocles senegallus
About 200 at Nizzana on 8th and 13th. The behaviour was the same: They
arrived from the west to a rocky area 0.5 - 1 km south of the pool and
stayed for about an hour after which they headed east in larger flocks.
Some time after that there were some flocks flying west.
- Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Pterocles orientalis
The behaviour was exactly the same as with Spotted Sandgrouse. The
numbers were somewhat higher, 300 or so.
- (Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Pterocles alachta)
A large flock (hundreds or more likely thousands) seen flying in the
distance at dusk North of Urim on 8th. ID not confirmed.
- Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon), Columba livia
- Collared Dove, Streptopelia decaocto
- Laughing Dove, Streptopelia senegalensis
- Namaqua Dove, Oena capensis
2 males by the road near bird sanctuary in Eilat.
- Ring-necked Parakeet, Psittacula krameri
2 on 9th and 2 on 13th flying over highway near Tel Aviv
- Striated Scops Owl, Otus brucei
1 at 7th and surprisingly 2 on 16th day at traditional place (with less
commercial potential nowadays) in Eilat.
- Little Owl, Athene noctua
1 at roadside east of Nizzana on 8th.
- Little Swift, Apus affinis
6 at Mount Arbel and 20 at Gamla on 10th.
- Alpine Swift, Apus melba
2 at Gamla on 10th.
- White-breasted Kingfisher, Halcyon smyrnensis
1 on 8th between Nizzana And Urim. At Ma'agan Mikhael, Hula Valley and
Bet She'an area every set of fishponds seemed to have some individuals.
Anyway, none at all seen in Eilat-Yotvata area. Day estimates: 10 on 9th,
10 on 11th, 30 on 12th
- Kingfisher, Alcedo atthis
Seen at same habitats as White-breasted, but was a bit more common
although a bit harder to spot. Appeared in Eilat area, too.
- Pied Kingfisher, Ceryle rudis
Appeared in slightly higher numbers than Smyrna in the same places. 1
almost always at North Beach in Eilat
- Little Green Bee-eater, Merops orientalis
Appeared in small groups, several groups seen daily around Eilat-Yotvata
- Hoopoe, Upupa epops
Seen at least in Nizzana, Urim and Be'er Sheva. e.g. total 8 on 9th.
- Syrian Woodpecker, Dendrocopos syriacus
2 at a rubbish dump SE of Urim on 8th, 1 near Tel Aviv on 9th, 1 at
Gamla on 10th and 1 at Newe Ativ on 11th.
- Skylark, Alauda arvensis
Common, fields at Urim, Hula and Bet She'an for example hold large
- Oriental Skylark, Alauda gulgula
2 with skylarks on fields near Kefar Ruppin on 12th.
- Wood Lark, Lullula arborea
3 at Gamla on 10th.
- Crested Lark, Galerida cristata
Common, although not in very high concentrations.
- Calandra Lark, Melanocorypha calandra
50 at Urim on 8th, 1 flying over Be'er Sheva sewage pools on 9th, and a
flock of 100 near Kefar Ruppin on 12th.
- Desert Lark, Ammomanes deserti
4 at parking near Amram's Pillars on 7th, several at Nizzana on 8th and
13th, 2 at Sede Boqer on 13th. 2 near Dead Sea on 14th, 2 at the
Cemetery in Eilat and 2 at Ein Netafim on 17th.
- Bar-tailed Desert Lark, Ammomanes cincturus
2 by the road halfway to Amram's Pillars on 7th.
- Hoopoe Lark, Aleamon alaudipes
1 in the sand dune area behind the sewage pool of k40 on 16th and 17th.
- Grag Martin, Ptyoprogne rupestris
Some at Ma'agan Mikhael, some tens at mountains near the Sea of Galilee
and at Golan Heights.
- Pale Crag Martin, Ptyoprogne obsoleta
Several tens each day in Eilat and at Southern Dead Sea.
- Brown-throated Sand Martin, Riparia paludicola
Among other martins at reeds behind a pool north of North Fields near
Eilat on 16th. Found couple of days earlier. 3rd for Israel
- Sand Martin, Riparia riparia
20 at Reeds behind a sewage pool north of North Fields on 16th.
- Swallow, Hirundo rustica
Seen in small numbers almost every day. Common in Hula valley and around
- House Martin, Delichon urbica
Some individuals among other martins. Eilat, Ma'agan Mikhael etc.
- Water Pipit, Anthus spinoletta
10 at Be'er Sheva sewage ponds and some at Ma'agan Mikhael on 9th.
Several tens at the pools in Tirat Zevi and Kefar Ruppin on 12th. 5 at
the sewage pond at k40 on 16th.
- Meadow Pipit, Anthus pratensis
Some at Ma'agan Mikhael, Mount Arbel, Hula and also in Eilat.
- Red-throated Pipit, Anthus cervinus
About 20 seen in Eilat (North Fields, Beach etc.). Some in Negev, Hula
Valley and Bet She'an.
- Long-billed Pipit, Anthus similis
1 at Wadi Ammaud on 10th.
- Yellow Wagtail, Motacilla flava
A few, most of which only heard.
- Grey Wagtail, Motacilla cinerea
1 at Eilat on 7th, 1 At Wadi Ammud on 10th. Some in Hula Valley on 11th
and around Bet She'an on 12th.
- White Wagtail, Motacilla alba
Some at almost every pool.
- Yellow-vented Bulbul, Pycnonotus xanthopygos
Everywhere where there are some bushes or trees.
- Wren, Troglodytes troglodytes
2 (singing) at Mount Arbel on 10th.
- Bluethroat, Luscinia svecica
Quite common, found at almost all places having reeds.
- Redstart, Phoenicurus phoenicurus
Only few. Missähän niitä oli ?
- Black Redstart, Phoenicurus ochruros
Seen every day. Gardens, bushes etc.
- Blackstart, Cercomela melanura
Present in small numbers in semi-desert areas at Dead Sea, Negev and
- Stonechat, Saxicola torquata
Seen daily, scattered, no counts.
- Wheatear, Oenanthe oenanthe
2 near Eilat on 14th and 3 on 16th.
- Isabelline Wheatear, Oenanthe isabellina
1 on 8th and 3 on 13th around the airfield at Nizzana.
- Desert Wheatear, Oenanthe deserti
2 at Nizzana on 8th and 13th. 2 at k33 on 16th and 17th
- Black-eared Wheatear, Oenanthe hispanica
1 at Ma'agan Mikhael on 9th.
- Finsch's Wheatear, Oenanthe finschii
1 on 8th near Nizzana Castle and 3 9km south from Nizzana Castle on 13th.
- Mourning Wheatear, Oenanthe lugens
A few around Eilat and Nizzana.
- Hooded Wheatear, Oenanthe monacha
1 female by the road to Aqaba in Eilat on 7th and 1 male somewhat south
of the sewage ponds of k40 on 17th.
- Red-tailed Wheatear, Oenanthe xanthopymna
1 in a Wadi just outside Eilat on 7th. About 12th record for Israel.
Thanks to the Belgian who ran half a kilometer to tell us.
- White-crowned Black Wheatear, Oennthe leucopyga
Around Eilat, for example in Ein Netafim, Cemetery.
- Blue Rock Thrush, Monticola solitarius
Several at Mount Arbel and Wadi Ammaud on 10th
- Blackbird, Turdus merula
2 at Be'er Sheva on 9th, some near the Sea of Galilee and in the Hula
Valley on 10th and 11th. Also some singles later on.
- Song Thrush, Turdus philomelos
1 near the ringing station in Eilat on 16th and one at the sewage pond
of k40 on 17th.
- Cetti's Warbler, Cettia cetti
Commonly heard in Hula and Bet She'an. Some seen also.
- Graceful Warbler, Prinia gracilis
Heard and seen in many places with suitable bushes: Eilat, Nizzana etc.
- Fan-tailed Warbler, Cisticola jundicis
1 at Ma'agan Mikhael on 9th.
- Moustached Warbler, Acrocephalus melanopogon
5+ at Tirat Zevi on 12th, took a little patience to see (...and a little
help from my friends - JP).
- Sedge Warbler, Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
1 at Ma'agan Mikhael on 9th.
- Great Reed Warbler, Acrocephalus arundinaceus
1 at Ma'agan Mikhael on 9th (JI,JP). Actually we could not make a
Clamorous one out of it, however hard we tried.
- Clamorous Reed Warbler, Acrocephalus stentoreus
Several seen at last at Tirat Zevi (~20) and Kefar Ruppin on 12th. Not
so hard to see as Moustached.
- Spectacled Warbler, Sylvia conspicillata
1 near Nizzana Castle on 8th (JP) muut ?
- Sardinian Warbler, Sylvia melanocephala
Some in Eilat-Yotvata area and Negev.
- Cyprus Warbler, Sylvia melanothorax
1 in a Wadi just outside Eilat near road to Ovda on 7th.
- Blackcap, Sylvia atricapilla
1 female at Mount Arbel on 10th.
- Chiffchaff, Phylloscopus collybita
Quite common. Usually in the bushes around pools.
- Leaf Warbler, Phylloscopus trochilus
1 at Ma'agan Mikhael on 9th.
- Wood Warbler, Phylloscopus sibilatrix
1 at Eilat on 16th (JI, HK)
- Arabian Babbler, Turoides squamiceps
5 at Nizzana on 8th and 13th, Common in En Gedi.
- Great Tit, Parus major
Several near the Sea of Galilee on 10th and 11th.
- Penduline Tit, Remiz pendulinus
2 at Bet She'an on 12th.
- Palestine Sunbird, Nectarina osea
Observed throughout the country in bushes.
- Great Grey Shrike, Lanius excubitor
A few almost every day.
- Lesser Grey Shrike, Lanius minor
A few near Eilat at the end of the trip.
- Red-backed Shrike, Lanius collurio
1 juv at Yotvata sewage farm on 14th., 1 at Switzerland park in Eilat on
- Jay, Garrulus glandarius
5 seen from car between Beer Sheva and Tel Aviv on 9th. 1 at the Sea of
Galilee on 10th. Local race quite different from that what we are used
- Jackdaw, Corvus monedula
10 near Tel Aviv on 9th, common at Hula Valley and Bet She'an area.
- House Crow, Corvus splendens
Up to 50 in Eilat.
- Hooded Crow, Corvus corone (cornix)
Quite common in N Negev and north of that.
- Fan-tailed Raven, Corvus rhipidurus
Altogether about 100 seen at Dead Sea, Ein Gedi and southwards on 14th.
- Brown-necked Raven, Corvus ruficollis
Few individuals here and there in dry areas, deserts and mountains, e.g.
Arava, Negev and Dead Sea.
- Northern Raven, Corvus corax
2 among other ravens at Dead Sea on 14th.
- Tristram's Grackle, Onychognathus tristramii
2 at Eilat on 7th and 20 on 16th, common at Dead Sea: Ein Gedi etc.
- Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
Large flocks at Urim, Be'er Sheva, Hula Valley and Bet She'an area.
- House Sparrow, Passer domesticus
At many places with people and animals.
- Spanish Sparrow, Passer hispanolensis
Seen daily. Often formed larger flocks than House Sparrow and favoured
more places with bushes and reeds. Largest flock 200 at Yotvata sewage
farm on 17th.
- Dead Sea Sparrow
One female at k33 in Arava Valley on 14th. 30 at North Fields on 16th
and 30 at Yotwata on 17th.
- Chaffinch, Fringilla coelebs
3 near Urim on 8th. Common in Hula Valley And Bet She'an area.
- Serin, Serinus serinus
20 near the road at Wadi Ammaud on 10th.
- Syrian Serin, Serinus syracus
2 at the sewage ponds of Yotvata on 17th. They were quite co-operative
when it comes to photographs (~2 films)
- Greenfinch, Carduelis chloris
10 near Nizzana Castle on 8th. Several tens seen in the North.
- Goldfinch, Carduelis carduelis
10 somewhere on 8th. 30 Near the Sea of Galilee on 9th. Many flocks in
the Hula Valley and Bet She'an area.
- Linnet, Carduelis cannabina
1 at South Fields on 7th. 10 at the Sea of Galilee on 10th. Common in
the North, Hula, Bet She'an etc.
- Desert Finch, Rhodospiza obsoleta
5 at Eilat on 7th. 5 in the trees near Nizzana castle on 8th and 13th. 15
near Eilat on 14th
- Sinai Rosefinch, Carpodacus synoicus
9 (4 red males) at Amram's Pillars on 7th. 1 at Ein Netafim on 17th.
- Rock Bunting, Emberiza cia
10 at Mount Arbel on 10th.
- House Bunting, Emberiza striolata
2 at cemetery in Eilat on 15th.
- Corn Bunting, Emberiza calandra
1 at Nizzna on 8th, 4 at Mount Arbel on 10th. 10 near Mount Hermon on
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March 25, 1997; updated August 31, 1998