|Pallid Swift, IBRCE|
A great day's birding, despite the fact we only got the chance to do so for a couple of hours.... first up was the always wonderful IBRCE early on, sadly for the last time this trip - lots of goodbyes, lots of good birds as always, and lots more great memories added to those already made at this jewel of a reserve.
|Masked Shrike, IBRCE|
But we were on a tight schedule, and so after dropping off our hire car, we crammed into Yoav's, with hitch-hiker Jochan (from Team Helgoland) on board to make the journey north even more intimate and entertaining...
|Graceful Prinia, IBRCE|
We hit the road so soon in order to leave a window of birding opportunity for Hameishar Plains on the way up north - and oh my, am I glad we did. An epic, wild semi-desert landscape with what, for the area, are unusually lush, and extensive flora-rich green patches (on account of the exceptional spring rains) which looked very good for an hour or so's wandering.
|Temminck's Lark, Hameishar Plains|
So Yoav, Amity, Jochan, Nadav and I (great to squeeze in a bit more time with the mighty Nadav - live long and sprosser, my friend) piled out of the cars and were immediately blitzed with birds - everywhere. On the more open areas, we had a mind-numbing 600+ Greater Short-toed Larks, 220 (!) Pale Rock Sparrows, a single Temminck's Lark, four singing Lesser Short-toed Larks, 20 Crested Larks, 20 Tawny Ppits and a Red-throated Pipit as well as a huge Spiny-tailed Lizard, Mountain Gazelles and 300 White Storks)....
.... while in the vegetation, we were tripping over passerines - two Siberian Stonechats, two Wrynecks, Ruppells, Eastern Orphean and Spectacled Warblers (as well as the expected clouds of Lesser Whitethroats), 15 Ortolans, 80 Spanish Sparrows, Redstart, Nightingale, and Black-eared and Northern Wheatears ....
.... and there was surely more to be found, but time sadly soon ran out. But what an hour's birding - great birds, habitat, company and migration at full tilt.
|Tawny Pipit, Hameishar Plains|
|Pale Rock Sparrow, Hameishar Plains|