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
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.