Eilat Weekly Updates

Shachar Shalev 10/06/2018 00:00

 

 

 

 

 

7.7.18

 



 

First week of July is a time of very low expectations. My only wish for this weekend was to see Belgium beat Brazil and that turned out pretty damn good!

Thursday morning I was off work so I headed down to North Beach to see if there was something different. Well I soon ran into a true vagrant! A birder from Tennessee came wandering down the beach! He had obviously lost his bearings but he was having a good time and we soon picked up a group of Bridled Terns, Long-tailed Skua and Arctic Skuas or should I say Parasitic Jaegers (the names caused some confusion) alongside plenty of regular terns.

 

And then a small duck flew past us at high speed. I don't ever remember seeing a duck off north beach in summer!?? And it didn't look like any duck I know. I tried to get a picture but it was too quick for me. Chris Agee, the vagrant Tennessee birder was better prepared and managed a couple of pictures before the bird disappeared over Jordan. I am now waiting for him to download them and maybe someone will be able to ID the bird!

 

Later we went for coffee at the bird sanctuary where a Blue-cheeked Bee-eater was waiting for us by the front gate, a pair of Yellow Wagtails were seen there, a Black Bush Robin was seen by Ohad, the Oriental Honey Buzzard made an appearance. crazy stuff for July in Eilat! There are more waders moving in with the first Common, Marsh and Wood Sandpipers arriving, a Ringed Plover already returning as well as the first Red-rumped Swallows and Sand Martins.

 

KM20 now has young Hoopoe larks on the northern side, still well worth a visit with really big numbers of Flamingos summering this year. Friday afternoon I had the great fortune of being kicked out of the house by my 7yo daughter who wanted to clean the floor!!?? I took the dogs to North Beach just to see what was moving and found a great southerly breeze was cooling things and the birds were loving it. The Bridled Terns even came to sit on the nearby bouys while birds were coming up the outlet easily picking up small fish. This morning was surprisingly quiet but 11 Bridled Terns came in right over our heads and then four Skuas did the same, two Long-tailed and two Parasitic .....Jaegers. Have a great week all!

 

1.7.18

 



 

To say that birding this week in Eilat was slightly less exciting than the Argentina-France match might be the understatement of the current century.

Remarkably I met a Norwegian father/son team out birding and enjoying the birds they found… even the daily 43C didn't seem to bother them.

 

North Beach remained the only place to be and it consisted mainly of watching the same flocks of Common and Little Terns, White-eyed Gulls, Caspian and White-cheeked Terns, a couple of Gull-billed Terns... Itai had 2 Lesser Crested Terns, Rei had 2 Bridled Terns, the occasional Arctic Skua, a Sooty Falcon this morning and then came one of those Red Sea moments. The Red Sea is 2,250 kilometres long and we are a tiny bay at the furtherest tip. I reckon there are hundreds of thousands of seabirds that mill around the Red Sea each summer of which we see a tiny fraction. but the potential is there.

This is what drives us to sit on the beach watching an empty horizon. I'm at the beach at 5:30am and by 8am I'm thinking coffee is more attractive than any mega. I see a bird powering in from the southern horizon - probably a skua. There's a strong northerly wind and the bird has real speed coming in, part gliding the surface and partly up a bit, definitely not a shearwater action… probably a skua still. He's just close enough to see he's all brown, bit patchy, no wing markings of skua??? And in a flash he turns south and I can only watch the silhouette disappear over the horizon. too distant too quick to really know what it was.

 

Elsewhere the Autumn migration has just about moved into first gear. Plenty of Redshanks around, Greenshanks, Black-tailed Godwits, first Wood Sandpiper back again, some Eastern Olivaceous Warblers in Park Canada.

next week will be more of the same.

stay with the football!

 
 

 

 

Shachar Shalev

 
 
 

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