Tuesday, August 16, 2011

last days notes

So, species count is rising daily, with an Olive Tree Warbler near the ringing station yesterday and another one today. These badass migrants peak around mid July and those should be considered rearguard (but still the first one I have seen this autumn)!
Other good stuff around from the last days  includes a Black Tern and some 80 Garganys at K20 salt ponds (thanks Itai!), a Sooty Falcon attacking a Barbary Falcon at the Red Canyon (upper Eilat Mountains) – a good clue for a nesting territory. Yesterday, a Black Bush Robin was found at the Hai-Bar reserve near Yotvata, by Shay Kabbessa . Great find and thanks for the photo!

A fledgling Rufus Bush Robin was caught today.

Note the partial post juv. Moult pattern-

A juv Masked Shrike from today-

The Lehnardt family is working full power! Yael is here for 3 days (a vacation from the army), and already mended all the holes at the Heligoland traps, and re-count the rings stock (would take me for ages…)
The relentless Yotam is working on new waders traps; hopefully tomorrow they will prove efficient! 
And how can I neglect the bugs? On Sunday I had a male Red Veined Darter (Sympetroom fonscolombii) at the reedbed of "Anita's lake". The last record of this species (as far as I recall) was during march!
Another good reappearing species I had yesterday - Blue Empror (Anax imperator), again,  a species that was last recorded here during mid-spring.

Itai reports of Red-veined and Violet Dropwings as well as Desert Skimmer (Orthetrum ransonnetii) from Beer-Ora.

The Ischnura senegalensis seem to be doing well hunting tiny insects at the salt pond's shore! Here's a nice "lucky" shot I made last week-

An afternoon walk around Eilat (Holland park area) provided great incounters with some residents- many "baby face" half grown Sand Partridges were running  around, 2 families of Desert Larks, and a noisy bunch of  Arabian Bablers. Just before sunset I found this beautiful Sand Gecko (Tropiocolotes nattereri). This is the smallest gecko in Israel (adults get to 6 cm). the back pattern of this individual is rather odd and unique.

Yotam is going out this evening for a waders catch…so stay tuned!

Monday, August 08, 2011

a call for Volunteers!

Autumn is here and to open the season we ask you for your help!
If you have interest of ringing and birding at the IBRCE as a volunteer, we would be happy to hear from you. Apart from ringing, work with us includes gardening, repairing of traps and equipment and general help around the park. Free time for travelling and birding will be given. We prefer volunteers with ringing license and proven experience. 
Accommodation  will be available (at the IBRCE-room with air-condition) but due to budget constrains, we will not be able to provide living expenses during this season. Having a valid International driving license will provide the option of using the park's car. 

Just to mention some species that were Caught and/or seen at Eilat during last few autumns: Black Crowned Sparrow Lark, Oriental skylark,  Hume's, Green,  Paddyfield, Syke's, Cyprus  and Menetries's warblers…Daurian Shrike, Syrian Serin, Caspian&Sibrian Stonechats, Pied Wheatear, "Eastern" Black Redstars, Olive Backed and Buff Bellied Pipits, Citrine Wagtail,  Black Winged Kite, Crested Tern and many more…   
You may have seen some of the photos below in previous posts, but just to remind you how good looking our volunteers are and how much fun we share:
Dutch, Finish, Bulgarian, and Israeli (sound like the beginning of a joke)…

The Swedish-Spanish connection-
Our Top Model, Teun Van Kassel of Holland-

Please contact us by Email at:

And of course some birding updates: today we ringed our first Eastern Olivaceous Warbler and Reed Warbler for the season! A somewhat out of date Steppe Buzzard flew overhead as well…

Friday, August 05, 2011

New arrivals

We have a new man aboard!          
Yotam Lehnardt started his one year service at the IBRCE this week. Let me tell a bit about him- he is a professional B ringer, very tall and likes bread with chocolate. Last autumn he was fortunate to catch Israel's 2nd Black Throated Accentor! So be ready for some great stuff he will find during the coming year (while I will be serving in the army…).

And now the keyboard is passed to Yotam: the summer is biting hard in Eliat. Seawacthing  is quite well though: Itai watched a single Bridled Tern yesterday and another 6 this morning at north beach, also present there as in the last few weeks are a small flock of Cory's Shearwaters about 8 of them. A dozen Common tern,1 Whiskered tern, 1 White-winged Tern, 1-3 white-cheeked Tern and the local White-eyed Gulls.
At the park the work to fix the Heligoland tarps for the autumn had begun piece by piece in the comfortable 35 degrees in 06:00 every morning, soon the traps will be catching the many migrants we are waiting for.

And yesterday these migrants finally arrived in the shape of few eastern Eastern Orphean warblers , several Lesser Whitethroats , Eastern Olivaceous Warblers and a flock of 40-50 White Storks. Soon, as weather will improve we will hopefully catch more migrating passerines and not only Sparrows and Bulbuls (today we had  some 50 House sparrows in 1 trap).

The first for the autumn- a juv. Eastern Orphean Warbler!

Itai reports of some waders around the IBRCE salt ponds- Broad Billed Sandpiper, 3 Culew Sandpipers, quite a few Ruffs & Tringas, increasing numbers of Little stints etc...
Have a good weekend, Yotam & Re'a.