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mvecht

mvecht`s Big Year

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mvecht

One of the stops on the trip was Gamla Nature reserve not to far from lake Gallilee.

The main attration here is the Griffon Vultures. There is a breeding program to try to strengthen the population.

27 April Gamla Nature Reaserve

Rock Hyrax (Procavia capensis)

Unfortunately no safaris planned this year but at leat I got to see a safari animal :D

RockHyrax_9011.JPG.a4f2a5729dfb53af64a4e3e2931abaaf.JPG

#119 Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus)

GVulture_8904.JPG.347963004a3920c4c457dc2b98f97de6.JPG

 

GVulture_8919.JPG.828701d3f088a65ad18f512c6791af27.JPG

 

GVulture_8973.JPG.b38482bf73020ad6404df64758923403.JPG

 

The highlight of the trip together with the Black-crowned nightheron was this one

#120 Aegyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus)

aegrib_8833.JPG.6ebeef9422ead1fff06ca63f57c23b6f.JPG

aegrib_8857.JPG.83b9d18f256fe46b60c25d5cb9d5c27d.JPG

AeVulture_8862.JPG.883862b14dad24943c880134c5b15baf.JPG

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mvecht

A quick trip summary

27 April full day trip (14,5 hours) to Hula Valley (Agamon Hahula), Gamla Nature Reserve and Bet Shean fishponds.

3 visits to a park near the hotel. Leumi Park, Ramat Gan

Total count for the trip 77. This number would have been much higher if I had visited 4-6 weeks earlier.

18 lifers

16 already on BY 2019

47 new ones.

Maybe I should get away from the sofa more oftenB)

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lmSA84

Congrats on the 100. Some great shots and really interesting to see what birds Israel has 

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Kitsafari

A belated congrats on the 100th bird - the night heron is always a thing of beauty!

 

Love your vultures and the Israel trip was very productive one. 

 

 

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mvecht

@ImSA84  I did realise until I strrted planning the trip but Israel is great for birding. Apparently mor than 500 million birds migrate over Israel each year including several million raptors. This migration path serves a lot of the birds going between Eastern Europe, Russia and the Stan`s to Africa.

I have put on a list for future trips, but next time I want to hit the spring migration in Eilat in the south where up to 150,000 raptors can be seen in one day.

@Kitsafari  thank you for the kind words and please keep posting more of the lovely birds from Singapore.

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michael-ibk

Really interesting Michael! I've been told that Israel is excellent for birding during migration, and you're proving that. A fascinating mix of some European locals and exotic species. And how cool that Hoopoe is the national bird! Congratulations on your first #100! 

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mvecht
Posted (edited)

Important lesson in BY. Take the picture when you have a chance.

At Hula reserve in Israel I was told the collared doves were abundant so initially I did not take pictures due to light or environment.

After that no more collared doves on the trip in Israel!

Anyhow I have a sofaB)

First Collared Dove of the year at our house.

17 May at home.

#121 Eurasian collared dove (Streptopelia  decaocto)

 

1085118009_Collareddove_9762.JPG.ff65cd8a4809390d2fe05bacb7f2e423.JPG

Edited by mvecht

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mvecht

My wife and I are heading home after a week in Eastern Sicily.

It was not meant as a birding holiday so I brought my old Nikon P600 superzoom (24 - 1440 mm equivalent)

it is a great tool for birds that are sitting still, but it features an electromechanical zoomthat is very slow combined with a low resolution viewfinder and very slow autofocus making it very difficult to use for birds inflight. Anyhow EBC so that did not prevent me from trying.

First stop was Syracuse.

#122 Spanish Sparrow (Passer Hispaniolensis) 19 May

Spanishsp4724.JPG.d15891748f4fddd34aba62db917785b9.JPG

#123 House Martin (Delichon urbicum) 19 May Syracuse

Spanishsp4682.JPG.a858b7a44d91d284b89c4ee572f193ab.JPG

#124 Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus) 19 May Syracuse in a small papyrus reebed in downtown Ortigia

Swarbler4729.JPG.efea0b0a71ac323a7698ed0d81984b91.JPGGoldfinches were abundant on the entire trip.

This one was feeding from a flower pot in an open window in an apartment.

Goldfinch4681.JPG.e35da04c145b073b9c67e333f376ec21.JPG

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mvecht
Posted (edited)

In Siracusa some Sheerwaters were seen far out at sea but it was not possible to take any photos.

On the train ride to Taormina we saw Flamingo`s just north of Siracusa but again no possibilities to take pictures.

Our hotel in Taormina was overlooking the ocean and had some nice views of Etna. We laso had a small garden just below our room.

#125 Sardinian warbler (Sylvia melanocephala) 21 May

The bird was seen daily but was very good at hiding.

Sardwarbler4827.JPG.dbefce81373d29125da761ada4751b01.JPG#126 Serin (Serinus serinus)  were seen daily in multiple locations

Serin4853.JPG.ac37aaffc172772ebd3fd4bd6d38235c.JPG

Alpine Swifts were seen in front of the hotel daily and so was

#127 Crag martin (Ptyonoprogne rupestris) Capotaormina

seen daily in high numbers close to the room but I only got this EBC of a nesting bird

CMartin4925.JPG.323f1c73a84b45c1b0cd7702479c0bc7.JPG

As we were travelling light I did not bring my sofa:D

I am not a beach person but rumours had it that there were Peregrine Falcons in the area so we found some beach chairs and had this view.

DSCN5016.JPG.060a572732183e74f30a5cfae761c9fd.JPG

It did not take many minutes before we spotted two juvenile Peregrine`s sitting on a cactus.

Shortly after we had a nice view of the family with 4 birds on the wings at the same time.

The birds were then seen frequently for the rest of the trip.

One of the young birds got a small prey. Note that the brest is striped rather than barred and that the cere is blueish rather than yellow.

Peregrine5036.JPG.68d2306c5f6fd56057e92c38d797d1cf.JPG

The last thing we saw before leaving our room was the two juveniles flying close by.

 

We spent the last day in Catania. Both common and Pallid Swifts were abundant.

This is really an EBC but I could not do any better

#128 Pallid Swift (Apus pallidus)

PSwift5058.JPG.181c81701d8c395929bc4dd68a724d2b.JPGWe are currently at Brussels airport and took a quick trip to the city as my wife had never tried "Mussels from Brussels".

A nice surprise was to see a Peregrine Falcon hunting over Grand Place.

Edited by mvecht

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Dave Williams

I do like Sicily, Inspector Montalbano sums the place up especially the food! You saw some good birds too.

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mvecht

Today I went to Northern Jutland in Denmark

to visit a National Park called "Lille Vildmose". The area is what is called a raised Bog.

It is an excellent place for birding. It is also the only place in Denmark where you can spot Moose, that was reintroduced two years ago.

Golden Eagles nest here. I did see one but it was too far away for pictures.

Unfortunately a lot of the birds were quite distant so not the best pictures today.

#129  Red-backed shrike (Lanius collurio)

Shrike_9773.JPG.1f27d87de15904b411ad6416cd5f9f9e.JPG

 

#130 Meadow pipit (Anthus pratensis)

Mpipit_9807.JPG.bd13f74bc8d4bce85b090aaa6bcfaf81.JPG

 

#131 Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica)

Beautiful bird, but very good at hiding so often it is only heard.

This came down to feed on the ground for a few seconds but the surrounding grasses disturbed the focus.

Bthroat_9862.JPG.30883e8cf840a3a06a459ad2ea09d2ec.JPG

 

#132 Red-necked grebe (Podiceps grisegena)

Rngrebe_9813.JPG.a94d900c6f6facc1f2e11c4bf9def11f.JPG

 

#133 Common whitethroat (Sylvia communis)

Whitethroat_9821.JPG.0a48db1353e0bf85fb2f453c6d519c61.JPG

 

#134 A very distant Great egret (Ardea alba)

GEgret_9907.JPG.09e30d74fe2ae1587fa75a2c8b04f81a.JPG

 

Relatively uncommon in Denmark so I will use this very poor picture

#135 Garganey (Spatula querquedula)

Garganey_9797.JPG.cee26731ad693d92f17e2c5aef476ac4.JPG

Quite common in Denmark but the first for me this year. It is the one resting by the waters edge. EBC!

#136 Common Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)

shoveller_9797.JPG.50c9777ab3941acee8473d4ad465f4e3.JPG

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PeterHG

That red-necked Grebe is a real beauty!

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mvecht

Today I took a lunchwalk at Egaa Engsoe.

The White-tailed eagles put on a display with several unsuccesful hunts, but too far away for pictures.

#137 Icterine wrbler (Hippolais icterina)

IWarbler_9966.JPG.2998a4681a39db0e8ed0889f3ed392d2.JPG

 

#138 Marsh warbler (Acrocephalus palustris)

MWarbler_9975.JPG.ae3607f4704fd89e81854ac9cfa24d84.JPG

 

#139 Gadwall (Mareca strepea)

Gadwall_9997.JPG.870a8e32b6c151fe307c73cf14a5423c.JPG

 

#140 Canada goose (Branta canadensis)

Cgoose_9996.JPG.63520673a9ca66a492ac5fb158d78006.JPG

 

Sunday I posted a very poor picture of a Whitethroat. This should be better (at least I think it is a Whitethroat). As you can see from the picture it was not capable of singing :D

Wthroat_9955.JPG.df8d621efdbec3ee87fe8f38f37f2b1b.JPG

 

As I was walking along the lake I heard a strange calling. It did not sound like any bird I had heard before. Finally I looked down and noticed these two cuties only meters away. After a minute a very nervous parent popped up and I left in order for the family to reunite.

Stoat  (Mustela erminea)

 

Stoat_9983.JPG

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michael-ibk

A fantastic Stoat sighting, wow!

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PeterHG

Great encounter with the Stoat family!

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Kitsafari

great sighting of the stoats - they are cute - are they part of the weasel family and are they common in europe?

 

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mvecht

@Kitsafari  The Stoat is a member of the Weasel family. It is sometimes called short-tailed weasel. In northern climates it turns white in the winter and in the old days the white fur was often used by members of various royal families.

The stoat is relatively common but rarely seen. Typically you only get to see its backend for a few seconds:D

This is the first time I have seen young ones.

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Towlersonsafari

and of course, as my mother used to say @Kitsafari  and @mvecht  you can tell them apart because a weasel is weaselly  recognised and a stoat is stoatedly different!

lovely sighting though @mvecht

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Galana

Great photos. Love the Stoats. Envious is an understatement.

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