|Masked Shrike - one of many in the dunes|
Day twelve was our first legitimate rest day of the trip, which we spent relaxing and hanging out with the Perlmans; but Yoav and I were back in the ring and up well before dawn the following morning, and soon on our way north-west to Ashdod beach and dunes.
I tagged along with Yoav and IPNA Ranger Sivan for a few hours monitoring this potential nature reserve on the Mediterranean coast, sandwiched between Ashdod's industrial wastelands and Tel Aviv's southern suburbs - despite the huge volumes of litter on the beach (apparently mostly from Egypt, Gaza and further west), it was full of birds and indeed potential, especially the scrubby dune system.
|Super-chilled, big-eared Red Fox|
Warblers, hirundines and other insectivores abounded, and after reducing a little over recent days, Painted Lady migration went through the roof again, with countless waves moving north (and a minute's count back in Yoav's garden totalling 302....). Other highlights included an entertaining paryy of European Bee-eaters, Mountain Gazelles, and a Red Fox - which occupied the only sofa cushion on the beach as if it were placed there specifically for it....