Birding with giants

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This morning I had the pleasure and honour to bird with two ornithological giants – authors of e.g. the recently published Handbook of Western Palearctic Birds, Lars Svensson and Hadoram Shirihai. I know Hadoram well since my childhood, but it was the first time I birded with Lars.

We met up at Ma’agan Michael with Dan my boss and had a good drive and walk around the ponds and beach. Though it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing birding site in the world, birding was certainly first class.

Despite the strong wind we saw lots of birds, and some fine species including 3 Pallas’s Gulls, 7 Greater Sand-plovers, 4 Citrine Wagtails, and . Full eBird checklist here.

Pallas’s Gull – an immaculate 1cy, such a beautiful gull

Greater Sand-plovers – note the variation in breast pattern

With on the left

A surprisingly tame Egyptian

Then we went up Mt. Carmel to visit Hai Bar Carmel NP. Heading up, two Common Ravens flew by. Dan and I got excited (they’re rare in Israel, especially away from the remote desert) but later on we found out that one of them was released at Hai Bar.

Hai Bar Carmel is a true conservation success. Despite the crash in Eurasian Griffon numbers in Israel, this site on the outskirts of Haifa has become their stronghold in northern Israel.

During our short visit there we were treated to fantastic views of griffons, including several individuals of the rare un-ringed un-tagged subspecies.

Lars came over to Israel for our annual conference next week – looking forward to spend more time with him and his wife during the next few days.

 

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Yoav Perlman

Yoav Perlman

I have been birding since the age of 9, and from the age of 15 I started working professionally in birding. I have been working for the Israeli Ornithological Center since 1998. I was a member of the Israeli rarities committee between 2001 - 2007. I have an MSc in Ecology from the Ben Gurion University. I did my research on the ecology of Nubian Nightjars in Israel, and spent hundreds of nights with these fascinating birds. I lead tours in Israel, and especially focus on Nubian Nightjars obviously. I traveled and birded Asia extensively, and also Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and North America. I am married to my lovely wife Adva and father to two sons - Uri and Noam, and one daughter - Libby. Currently I live in Norwich, where I am starting a PhD project at UEA.

Yoav Perlman

Yoav Perlman

I have been birding since the age of 9, and from the age of 15 I started working professionally in birding. I have been working for the Israeli Ornithological Center since 1998. I was a member of the Israeli rarities committee between 2001 - 2007. I have an MSc in Ecology from the Ben Gurion University. I did my research on the ecology of Nubian Nightjars in Israel, and spent hundreds of nights with these fascinating birds. I lead tours in Israel, and especially focus on Nubian Nightjars obviously. I traveled and birded Asia extensively, and also Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and North America. I am married to my lovely wife Adva and father to two sons - Uri and Noam, and one daughter - Libby. Currently I live in Norwich, where I am starting a PhD project at UEA.

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