Monday, 17 June 2013

Mt. Hermon

Last days I spent on Mt. Hermon. This is a highest and northernmost point in Israel – its peak is over 2200 m; the result of this is a combination of breeding species of southern Europe, like Lesser Whitethroat and Eastern Orphean Warbler with Mediterranean and more eastern or Balkan specialties like Upcher's Warbler and Syrian Serin.

Rock Nuthatch - juveniles

On Thursday-Friday we performed our first session of the CES project there. We work in a drinking site and most birds caught were seed-eaters. The total was 164 birds: 'semirufus' Black Redstart (1), Blackbird (2), Common Bulbul (1), Blackcap (2), Common Whitethroat (15), Lesser Whitethroat (11), Eastern Orphean Warbler (2), Upcher's Warbler (1), Woodchat Shrike (2), Sombre Tit (3), Great Tit (5), Rock Nuthatch (3), Linnet (66), Goldfinch (16), Greenfinch (1), Syrian Serin (11), House Sparrow (12), Rock Bunting (5) and Corn Bunting (2).

Adult Common Whitethroat after partial post-breeding moult

Sombre Tit

Recently, during the SPNI breeding bird survey of the mountain, discovered a small population of breeding Chiffchaffs were discovered in one specific wadi; this is more than 500 km from the southern known population of any species / subspecies of the Chiffchaff complex. To obtain more data on those birds we ringed on Sunday at this site. We caught 3 individuals together with a nice variety of typical woodland species.

Later on that day we colour-ringed western Rock Nuthatches as part of a research by Amir Ben-Dov; we ringed 7 individuals in 4 separate territories. All adults started their post-breeding complete moult already.

Thanks to Nadav, Francis, Amir and all other participants in the Hermon ringing.