Unforgettable March

Barak Granit 08/04/2015 00:00

Below is a summary of the most interesting sightings and highlights of March 2015. The month will be remembered as one of those March month in which the migration on the coastal stripe 'bitted' Eilat and the Southern Arava, in both numbers and quality…


Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris - a flock of 3 were at Km 19, Eilat on the 27th. An exceptional record.  


Bean Goose Anser Fabalis - one of the fabalis group, was found at the Agamon, Hula valley on the 17th and apparently was photographed there already on the 3rd, representing the 4th Israeli record.


Bateleur Terathopius ecaudatus - a juv was photographed at Kisra, Western Galilee on the 31st. The 9/10 record for Israel and the first one for the North.



Cinereous Vulture Ageypius monachus - one was at Wadi Dishon on the 5th and one was seen over Eilat mountains on the 8th while two have found poisoned at the Golan Heights together with 4 Griffon Vulture. A sad news for the Griffons future, and for the many birders who saw these two magnificent birds alive at Gamla throughout the winter.


Goshawk Accipiter gantilis - 2 were at Eilat on the 19th and on the 21st while another bird was at Kisra at the end of the month.


Lanner Falco biarmicus - one was over Elkana, on the 23rd.


Demoiselle's Crane Anthropoides virgo - one was at Kfar Rupin on the 20th while a party of 4 birds were photographed near the Hula Nature Reserve on the 29th.


White-tailed Lapwing Vanellus leucurus - one was at Yotvata on the 10th and remained ther for several days. The only record for this spring so far.


Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus - an extremely early vanguard was at the Eilat bird park on the 9th.


Caspian Plover Charadrius asiaticus - three birds so far, all were at Eilat and the southern Arava as early as the 12th.


Red Knot Calidris canutus - one was at Maagan Michael fishponds on the 31st. Rare in spring.


Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus graellsii - the ringed bird which was photographed at 28/11/2014 at Maagan Michael was seen at Ashdod on the 14th.


Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus - five birds altogether reported or photographed mainly at the coastal stripe during the 4th week of the month.


Egyptian Nightjar Caprimulgus aegyptius - two to four birds were seen almost 'daily' at Yotvata until the 4th week of the month, by then they were gone.



Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops persicus - 8 were at Hayarkon Park Tel-aviv on the 31st - an exceptional record for the coastal stripe while several tens were at Eilat and the Arava on the same day.


Dunn's Lark Eremalauda dunni  -  four birds were recorded separately, between Shikmona beach at the north, to Beit-Yanai beach at the center. An exceptional and amazing mini-invasion to the coastal stripe.



Thick-billed Lark Rhamphocoris clotbey - up to 8 birds were seen regularly at Ovda Valley throughout the month.


Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula - one at Eilot fields, 1 at Yotvata and 2 at Kfar Rupin between the 16th-19th


Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni - one was at wadi Kane on the 21st while 2 were reported and (badly) photographed at Mt. Amsa at the month's end.   


Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola - 22 were noted at Kfar Rupin on the 27th.


Black Bush Robin Cercotrichas podobe - 4-5 birds were seen at Eilat and the southern Arava from the 11th onwards.



Kurdish Wheatear Oenanthe xanthoprymna – one male was at Tel Krayot, Mt Amsa on the 6th but was not seen afterwards, while the wintering female at Mt Gilboa was still there at least till mid-month.   


White Crowned Black Wheatear Oenanthe leucopyga - one was at Olga Beach on the 7th. Another interesting record out of the species breeding range.


Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti  -  quite a few were at seen along the coasts with max 6 at Tel-baruch on the 12th.


Cyprus Pied Wheatear Oentanthe cypriaca - at least 15 birds were reported from the, Arava, Negev but mainly from the coastal stripe including 7 there on the 12th among them 5 at Tel-Baruch only.


Pied Wheatear Oentanthe pelschanka - one was at Yotvata pumpkin field on the 24th-25th.


Redwing Turdus Iliacus - one was at Km 20 date plantation between 17th -25th. Very rare at Eilat.


Menetries's Warbler Sylvia mystacea - 2-3 reported from Eilat between the 13th and the 3oth.



Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans - at least 25-30 birds were reported throughout the country, mainly along the coastal stripe and the Arava, throughout the month with max 4 at Tel-Shikmona, on the 24th. A good spring for this species.


Cyprus Warbler Sylvia melanothorax - two records from the coastal stripe where they are extremely rare, including 2 at Tel-Baruch on the 12th and 1 at MIchmoret on the 20th.  


Grey Hypocolius Hypocolius ampelinus - the 13th Hypocolius for Israel was found outside of the Arava for the first time - at Ashkelon national park (southern coastal stripe) on the 26th where it remained till the month's end and beyond,  while many local and foreigners birders added it to their lifer list.  



Rosy Starling Pastor roseus - one was at Haifa on the 18th and 1 was at Sde Yaakov, Jezreel valley on the 22nd.


Sinai Rosefinch Carpodacus synoicus - 50 were noted at wady Draga, Northern Judean Desert on the 7th.    


Scarlet Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus - one was at Hefer Valley on the 15th, 2 were at Elkana on the 22nd and 1 was at Kisra on the 24th.


Red-fronted Serin Serinus Pussilus - two were at Susita, Lake of Galilee on the 18th, a very late record.


Pale Rock Sparrow Carpospiza brachydactyla - 25 were at wadi Hatzatzon, Northern Dead Sea on the 21st.




Trumpeter Finch Bucanetes githagineus - one was photographed at Beit-Yani beach on the 17th being the first record for the coastal plain.


Cinereous Bunting Emberiza cineracea - 13 were at wadi Tzviya, Mt. Gilboa on the 13th while 1-3 were seen in other places.




Articles from March 2015

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