Saturday, April 13, 2019

Israel 2019, day eight - urban education, warbler-style

Hume's innit
The first full day of the International Bird Observatories Conference (#IBOC2019) was packed with talks and sessions, pretty much all of which were unmissable, and so the only birding of the day involved a quick 45 minutes or so break with Yoav to Shakhamon Park, an urban green-ish space in the middle of town.

We were into warblers as soon as we got out of the car, and soon came across the reported Yellow-browed Warbler of the previous day. Yoav immediately called it as a Hume's, despite the previous consensus and the arguably somewhat bright (and heavily worn) spring plumage - vindicated by the call, which the bird delivered many times, making it easy to track through the trees. A very educational bird and a lesson in variability....

The rest of the park was teaming with insectivores - Balkan, Eastern Olivaceous, Eastern Orphean, Chiffchaffs, Lesser Whitethroats, Wrynecks and more - classic urban birding, Eilat-style.

Tree Pipit 
The Sylvias just love the bottlebrush, as this Eastern Orphean demonstrates

Entertaining, tail-dipping Eastern Oliveceous Warblers