Sunday, 17 June 2012

Moody Mt. Hermon ringing

Every summer we meet on Mt. Hermon to ring and monitor the special bird community of this special habitat. Our main session occurs in mid July, but this year I decided to join the June session as well, organized by Nadav and the Hula Valley team.
This year is poor for ringing on Mt. Hermon and very good for breeding. The winter was good with lots of snow still remaining on the higher elevations. Most seedeaters drink from the snow on the top, and fewer birds came down to drink in the ringing site pools. During Thursday afternoon and Friday morning we caught only 175 birds including a few recaptures from previous years. Like every year the most common species were Linnet, Goldfinch and Syrian Serin, but we also ringed other regular breeding birds: Lesser Whitethroat, Woodchat Shrike, Rock Bunting and 1 beautiful male Black-headed Bunting.

Syrian Serin

Other Hermon animals we met during this session were a big Four-lined Snake (Elaphe quatuorlineat) and Savi's Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus savii). For both species N Israel is the southernmost tip of their global distribution. The Four-lined Snake is common only on Mt. Hermon and was discovered there for the first time only in 1971. The Savi's Pipistrelle was described for the first time in N Israel in 1988.

Savi's Pipistrelle

I hope our July session will be more productive for ringing.