For over last 15+ years every winter some of my friends, or me, would say; this spring we are really going to Israël! And for some reason we never did. We went all over the world, but we never ever went to Israël. And each year we said it again. It became a practical joke amongst us and our friends. Nobody took it serieus anymore.
Different destinations, security problems in Israël, intifada, rocket attacks on Israël, buying houses, just forgetting to go, reports of dwingling numbers of migrating birds. All reasons not to go. And this year we finally miraculasly did… My friendArjan van Egmond called if we would be going to Israël this year. I said yes. Arjan booked and within a few weeks we were standing in Eilat! How easy was that!
In the ’80’s and ’90’s Eilat was the place to go for (European) birdwatchers. Many many millions of birds pass through the Eilat area and the combination of all kinds of tired migrants feeding in small parks, huge visible (raptor) migration and special desert species made it a birder’s pelgrimage. But the numbers of birds dwelled, security problems rised and birds and birders stayed away.
The last few years the number of birders slightly increased, but reports of huge numbers of grounded migrants were few.
And then it was 2012. How different it was this year. Eilat had a rise to its former glory! Migrants were pooring all over the place. Small parks were full of tired migrants. Everywhere there were quails, pipits, wagtails, chats and warblers. Raptor migration was stunning with every day many 1000’s of Steppe Buzzards flying low over the mountains. It was said that it was the best spring in many years, maybe even the best spring ever according to the locals.
So now we know why we waited for 15+ years – we just had to be there at the best spring in decades!
A few images taken from this trip – still editing! More images of Israël can be found here.
You may also like:
Leave a Comment
Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days
- POLL: Should the ban on South Africa’s horn trade be lifted? » [1918 Views]
- 120,000 dead: half of the world’s saiga die in less than a month » [1166 Views]
- Swifts migrate from Beijing to southern Africa without landing » [930 Views]
- Vicious murdering bully chosen as Britain’s national bird » [881 Views]
- Murder Most Foul in the Faroes » [838 Views]
- Butterfly wings inspire cosmetics and bomb detectors » [790 Views]
- Earth enters new extinction phase » [719 Views]
- Yellow-breasted bunting population collapses across Eurasia » [706 Views]
- Eastern Cougar extinct, no longer needs protection, says US conservation agency » [645 Views]
- Poll: Should stricter sonar controls be imposed on the US navy? » [645 Views]
Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months
- POLL: Should the trophy hunting of giraffes be banned? » [11989 Views]
- » POLL: Should the ban on fox hunting be relaxed in the UK? [10683 Views]
- POLL: Should the Faroe Islands’ whale slaughter be allowed to continue? » [7469 Views]
- POLL: Should bear hunting be banned in the US? » [4093 Views]
- Komodo and its Dragons » [3947 Views]
- POLL: Should lion canned hunting be banned in South Africa? » [3888 Views]
- Poll: Should hunting of black bears in Florida be allowed? » [3249 Views]
- POLL: Should the slaughter of wolves in British Columbia be banned? » [2987 Views]
- Petition: Stop Lion Canned Hunting in South Africa – Shocking Video » [2764 Views]
- POLL: Should the wolf hunting contest in Idaho be stopped? » [2717 Views]