This time of year is exceptionally thrilling for me; while the wintering species are still dominating, there are many “firsts” for the season that appear daily in different corners of the Arava and some of our breeding species already have brood-patches.
During the last few days numbers of both Lesser and Common Whitethroats, Chiffchafs and Sedge Warblers have risen both in the field and at the IBRCE nets.
The skies are filled with thousands of Common and Pallid Swifts as well as huge numbers of House Martins.
Around Yotveta, the first Yellow Wagtails are joining the many Water Pipits and Bluethroats which wintered around and almost everywhere, one can see the first wave of Isabeline Wheatears.
At K20 there is a constant rise of waders (Ruffs, Greenshanks, Green Sand’s) and beautiful Kentish Sandpipers in full breeding plumage. The most interesting wader though is a Golden Plover last Wednesday. At N. Beach still one Mediterranean Gull together with the many White-eyed, Black-headed and Siberian Gulls while the many Slender-billed Gulls are changing into beautiful pinkish plumage. No signs though of the Common Gull which was wintering around.
Up in the sky, there are almost daily movements of Steppe Eagles and the first Pallid Harrier was seen yesterday by Liron Ziv. The Larks seem to decrease in numbers (or are they just pairing for another breeding season?!) but can still be seen around Ovda Valley. And the first Spectacled Bulbuls and Graceful Prinias with brood patches are caught daily at the IBRCE.
Today Yotam caught the first Ruppll’s and Savi’s Warbler at the IBRCE amongst the other Sylvia’s, Phylo’s and Acro’s.