Sunday, 18 August 2013

Hot and damp and hot… but with many birds!

Recently I started working more intensively in the Bet She'an Valley. My aim is to collect moult data of passerines that are uncommon or are not found in my regular sites. Those species are especially the local breeding species like 'transitiva' Barn Swallow, Clamorous Reed-Warbler and Dead-sea Sparrow, and also uncommon migrants. The highest temperature ever documented in Israel was in the Bet She'an Valley - 54°C. With the many fishponds, reed-beds and swamps humidity in the valley is very high too.
In two mornings (Friday and Tuesday) I ringed 294 birds including some interesting species: 3 Little Bitterns, 1 Scops Owl, 15 Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters, 47 Clamorous Reed-Warblers (this is the annual total at my regular site, in Tzor'a), 4 Dead-sea Sparrows and many others. In total 24 different species.
Thanks to Ron and Kobi for their assistance.

Dead-sea Sparrow - male

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater - adult

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater - juvenile

Scops Owl