Eilat day 3 – Holland and Canada

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Today I continued with my demanding task to assist teams in their scouting efforts, which actually meant birding in cool spots. Isn’t it appropriate that on pre-race date I visited two sites that could be identified with our Dutch team – Team VCF, and Canadian team – The Canucks.

First thing in the morning I birded Holland Park together with Mark and Anat. At our hotel doorstep we had a flock of 53 Baltic Gulls fly over on their long migration between Lake Victoria and Finland – the stuff Eilat legend is made of.

After lunch I had a quick look in Canada Gardens, where a Semicollared Flycatcher continued to show extremely well. Another top-quality bird. Sadly light was harsh – the promises for Armageddon weather down here never materialised.

Birding Holland Park started somewhat quiet; the Black Bush Robin showed very well close to the entrance but wouldn’t play ball.

A gorgeous male Northern Wheatear posed against a dramatic backdrop of Eilat Mts.:

Pretty good numbers of Balkan Warblers:

Sand Partridge – male

Real action was in the Sylvia camp, especially around the Magic Bush – a huge flowering

Capparis decidua

that attracted many tens of warblers. Most prominent were Rueppell’s Warblers – around 10 in that one bush. They are real bullies, constantly harassing all other warblers and each other:

But the real star was Eastern Subalpine Warbler. Two males were in that bush, one of them was a real performer – feeding at extremely close range. What a fantastic bird. I have many more images – a dedicated blogpost will follow.

Eastern Subalpine Warbler – 2cy male

While heading out a flock of five Penduline Tits flew in – so cool to see them away from reedbeds, in a desert wadi. They were very mobile so managed only these record shots.

In the afternoon we had a final briefing and swap meet for COTF teams at IBRCE. After the meeting we spent another fantastic hour vis-migging from the dyke – very cool stuff including Little Swifts, Dead Sea Sparrows and many more (but still no oriental cigar).

Two hours till COTF – time to get a bit of sleep.

 

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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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