Israel Trip Report

18 to 24 March 1996

Systematic List

Black-necked Grebe Podiceps auritus
6 Salt Pans Eilat 18th (another reportedly was found dead here on the morning of the 18th).

Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
6 North Beach Eilat 19th.

Little Egret Egretta garzetta
2/3 North Beach every visit. 1 over Eilat 18th.

Western Reef-Heron Egretta gularis [garzetta]
1 or 2 recorded at the North Beach Eilat on every visit but no dark phase birds.

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Common particularly on the Salt Pans, biggest count was over 50 at the Jordan border crossing area on the 20th (illustrated right).

Cattle Egret Bulbulcus ibis
4 in camel field within the Date Palms Eilat 20th and 2 in the same field on the 22nd.

Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides
1 on the 18th on Lagoon Eilat and 1 on jetty west Eilat on 22nd.

Green Heron Butorides virescens [striatus]
Up to 7 recorded on jetties to the west of Eilat on 24th seen fishing & roosting at dawn only.

Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax
1 roosting at Switz. Park Eilat 22nd & 1 flew over calling `Humes Tawny Owl` site on the 23rd.

Black Stork Ciconia nigra
100's over at Negev highlands & Avdat area on the 23rd.

White Stork Ciconia ciconia
Even more than Black Stork in huge (uncountable!) spiralling groups of 1000's of birds (see above).

Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber
5 distantly the North Resr. Eilat on the 18th.

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Only recorded in Jordan from the Jordan border crossing on the 22nd when 50+ were counted.

Northern Pintail Anas acuta
5 North Resr. 18th were the only seen.

Garganey Anas querquedula
7 (3 drakes) Nizzana Pools 23rd showing very well on open water.

Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
Up to 5 counted in flight only around the Jordan Jorder crossing 22nd.

Black Kite Milvus migrans
Small numbers recorded on passage every day but much larger counts in the mountains around Eilat.

Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus
1 over Mt. Yoash 19th and 5 over Negev Highlands 23rd.

Griffon-vulture Gyps fulvus
6 feeding on carcass in Negev Highlands on the 23rd plus 10+ over at Sede Boqer on the 23rd.

Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus
1 over the Date Palms Eilat on the 22nd.

Western Marsh-harrier Circus aeruginosus
5+ over the Jordan border crossing 22nd & between 1 & 3 Date Palms and Salt Pans on every visit.

Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus
1 female Nizzana 23rd.

Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus
2 females Nizzana area & a superb male at the Nizzana Pools 23rd.

Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
1 over Switz. Park Eilat was the only bird recorded.

Steppe Buzzard Buteo buteo vulpinus
1000's passed during our stay in the Eilat, biggest numbers on the 19th on Mt Yoash though Steppe Buzzards were seen at just about any time anywhere. One or two recorded in & around the Date Palms & South Fields Eilat on most visits in trees & on ground.

Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus
3 over from Mt.Yoash (N. Eilat) 19th amoungst 100's of Steppe Buzzards.

Lesser Spotted Eagle Aquila pomarina
1 Mt. Yoash during heavy passage of raptors on the 19th.

Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis
3 Mt. Yoash 19th.

Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca
1 superb individual past over Mt Yoash on the 19th.

Golden Eagle Aquila chrystaetos
1 over Mt.Yoash 19th.

Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus
4 (inc.3 imms) over the Date Palms/South Fields 22nd.

Osprey Pandion haliaetus
A single bird recorded over the South Fields on the 22nd.

Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni
Up to 4 recorded in pylon at Switz Park on almost all visits. 1 perched Nizzana 23rd.

Barbary Falcon Falco pelegrinoides [peregrinus]
2 Switz. Park Eilat on the 22nd and another on the 23rd at Nizzana.

Sand Partridge Ammoperdix heyi
Recorded at the Cemetary Eilat on 2 occasions, 2 (male and female) on the 18th and 4 on the 21nd. 6 birds counted Wadi Etek 20th.

Chukar Alectoris chukar
(Illustrated left)
Only seen at one location in the south (3 Wadi Etek 20th) but seen regularly from the car in the more northern areas (on road from Eilat to Nizzana).

Common Quail Coturnix coturnix
3/4 recorded on every visit to Switz. Park Eilat with some giving relatively prolonged views. Also recorded occasionally in the date palms.

Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata
2 showed well at Nizzana at dawn on the 23rd and were watched for 20 minutes.

Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
3 recorded on every visit to the Canal Eilat and 16 Nizzana pools 23rd plus a single bird Switz. Park pools 22nd.

Stone-curlew [Eurasian Thick-knee] Burhinus oedicnemus
1 just north of Switz Park Eilat on the 18th.

Cream-coloured Courser Cursorius cursor
2 very wecome individuals Nizzana 23rd.

Collared Pratincole Gareola pratincola
5 on the 22nd in flight only viewed from the Jordan border crossing over the wet and reedy area just inside Jordan this area looks excellent .

Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
Regular, particularly around the Lagoon in Eilat where up to 20 counted on each visit.

Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus
Again regular at the Lagoon where 5 were present on the 18th. 2+ Switzerland Park Eilat on most visits.

Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii
Only seen on the North Beach Eilat, 1 19th, 3 on the 20th, 4 on the 22nd with one male was starting to gain some summer plumage.

Spur-winged Lapwing Vanellus spinosus
Small numbers counted (and heard) in the Date Palms (up to 5) but also seen along the canal and up in at Nizzana pools area on the 23rd.

White-tailed Lapwing Vanellus leucurus
2 seen, both giving good views. 1st was at the North Resr. on the 18th and the second on the Canal Eilat on the 19th.

Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
Just one seen in the hand at the Ringing Station on the 19th.

Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata
Only 2 seen distantly at the Jordan border crossing on the 22nd.

Common Redshank Tringa totanus
1 or 2 present on each visit to the Salt Pans and Canal on all visits. Similar small numbers at the North Resr. on the 18th.

Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis
A single bird seen on the 18th at the North Resr.

Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
Regularly recorded in and around the Date Palms Eilat with birds often being flushed from the ditches & drainage channels to the north of the palms. Biggest count was 6.

Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
1 flushed from ditch in the South Fields (Eilat) on the 24th.

Little Stint Calidris minuta Regularly seen with 3/4 at the Salt Pans, Switzerland Park and 3 at Nizzana Pools on the 23rd.

Dunlin Calidris alpina
Small numbers at the Salt Pans on most visits.

Ruff Philomachus pugnax
Largest count was 30 at Switzerland Park 18th, 1 on the 22nd and 4 on the 24th. 2 were at the Nizzana Pools on the 23rd.

White-eyed Gull Larus leucophthalmus
Always at the North Beach with the best count being 16 on the 20th, 10 on the 19th and 6 on the 22nd. Most birds were stunning adults.

Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus
Regular at the North Beach with 2 or 3 on each visit, no summer plummage adults were seen most appearing to be 2nd or 3rd winter birds. Also small flocks north over Eilat every morning.

Yellow-legged Gull Larus cachinnans [argentatus]
Always seen at the North Beach & the Salt Pans with some groups reaching over 30 birds.

Armenian Gull Larus armenicus [argentatus]
1 or 2 seen perched on buoys on every visit to the North Beach, always adults.

Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
Again regular at the North Beach and Salt Pans but very few inland.

Slender-billed Gull Larus genei
Always seen at the North beach and nearby , 30+ flock Salt Pans 18th and 20 North Beach on the 22nd.

Caspian Tern Sterna caspia
2 North Beach 19th and 2 there again on the 20th

Royal Tern Sterna maxima
A bird almost certainly of this species was seen at the North Beach on the 22nd by c30 observers and again seen there the following morning .

Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis
10+ North Beach 19th and 20+ counted there on the 22nd.

Common Tern Sterna hirundo
The only count was one of c20 on the North Beach on the 22nd.

Pin-tailed Sandgrouse Pterocles alchata
c50 came to drink at the Nizzana pools in c1 hour on the 23rd.

Spotted Sandgrouse Pterocles senegallus
300+ drinking at Nizzana Pools (as above).

Black-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles orientalis
c100 Nizzana Pools (as above).

Crowned Sandgrouse Pterocles coronatus
Just 12 during 1 hour at Nizzana Pools on the 23rd.

Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse Pterocles lichtensteinii
54 at the Pumping Station drinking pool Eilat on the 18th & 46 on the 21st.

Rock Dove Columba livia
4 Amram Pillars 19th plus many feral birds in Eilat and other built up areas.

Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur
2 just north of North Fields Eilat on the 20th.

Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis
Common in many different habitats.

Eurasian Collared-dove Streptopelia decaocto
Very common in many habitats.

Namaqua Dove Oena capensis
3 at the K20 site (north Eilat) on the 18th.

Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri
2 North Beach (in off the sea?) 19th.

Eurasian Scops-owl Otus scops
1 roosting in Ofira Park Eilat on the 24th.

Hume's Tawny Owl Strix butleri
1 Param area (on Hadorams organised trip) 23rd. This site should only be visited with Hadoram, it is illegal to play tapes.

Long-eared Owl Asio otus
5 at roost site nr. Nizzana.

Alpine Swift Tachymarptis melba
1 Yotvata 21st. 3 North Beach 22nd and 2 more Eilat Town Centre 22nd.

Common Swift Apus apus
Migrants passing though Eilat every day with atleast 25+ through per hour being typical count.

Pallid Swift Apus pallidus
In much smaller numbers than Common Swift but regular usually in small groups of up to 3 with Common Swifts.

Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis
4 together up the Canal Eilat 18th and 2 fishing North Beach 19th also singles seen on most visits to Canal area.

Little Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis
Regular around Eilat (Ringing Sta., Cemetery etc.) usually in numbers of 1-3 but a good count of 7 around Ringing Sta. on the 18th.

Hoopoe Upupa epops
Recored almost every day as singles in many habitats.

Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla
Again recorded almost every day always in singles around Eilat cemetary, Date Palms etc.

Desert Lark Ammomanes deserti
4/5 Wadi Etek/Natal Raman 20th. 1 Sede Boqer 23rd.

Hoopoe Lark Alaemon alaudipes
2 K33 down to 30ft 21st (inc. male singing).

Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla [cinerea]
Small numbers Date Palms and 1000s Nizzana 23rd in large mobile flocks.

Lesser Short-toed Lark Calandrella rufescens
2+ Nizzana 23rd with Short Toeds inc. good views on the ground.

Dunn's Lark Eremalauda dunni
2 showed well 21st at K33.

Crested Lark Galerida cristata
Small numbers recorded usually in groups of 2 or 3 North and South Fields, Date Palms etc.

Sand Martin Riparia riparia
Steadily over Eilat most days with peak numbers on the 22nd (the best day for hirundines).

Eurasian Crag-martin Hirundo rupestris
As Sand Martin but smaller numbers, particularly over canal, but also over town centre.

Pale Crag-martin Hirundo obsoleta [fuligula]
Again as above but again smaller numbers.

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
Many passed through during the week peak counts on the 22nd with 100s over all day.

Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica
As above but in slightly smaller numbers, never the less 100s over on the 22nd.

House Martin Delichon urbica
Small numbers past though Eilat largest number s on the 22nd.

Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris
1 Dung Heap (Eilat) 20th. 1 Switz Park, 2 Date Palms and 1 Lagoon on the 22nd.

Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis
2 Date Palms (Eilat) 22nd.

Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis
Just 2 recorded Eilat lagoon 18th.

Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus
Regularly seen around Eilat with many individuals seen, best numbers at Lagoon & Dung heap. Few individuals gaining red throats

Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta
2 Lagoon Eilat 22nd.

White Wagtail Motacilla alba
Regular around Eilat good numbers in many locations (Canal, Dung Heap, Date Palms etc).

Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola
2 superb males seen, 1 Canal 18th & another 24th Ofira Park.

Yellow Wagtail [Ssp] Motacilla flava
Many in & around Eilat (partic. at Ofira Park) mostly feldegg but also thunbergi & flava races.

Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
1 Date Palms 19th.

Yellow-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus xanthopygos [barbatus]
Abundant in many habitats from hotel gardens to desert wadis.

Bluethroat (Red-spotted) Luscinia svecica svecica
1 Canal 18th, 3/4 Dung Heap 18th, 2 Dung Heap 20th, 1 Yovata 21st, 4 Dung Heap 22nd. All showed well particularly around Dung Heap.

Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus
2 North Fields 18th, 2 Date Palms 20th, 2 Date Palms 22nd & 10+ Date Palms 22nd.

Blackstart Cercomela melanura
Always seen in desert areas big counts included 12 Cemetary/Pumping Station 18th and 20 Yotvata 21st.

Common Stonechat Saxicola torquata
1 or 2 North Resr. 18th.

White-crowned Black Wheatear Oenanthe leucopyga
4+ Pumping Station/ Cemetary 18th, 1 Cemetary 21st, 1 Wadi Etek 19th.

Hooded Wheatear Oenanthe monacha
2 Wadi Etek 19th

Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
Regular in many habitats with 20+ counted every day.

Mourning Wheatear Oenanthe lugens
1 near Wadi Etek 19th, 1 Jordan Border crossing 22nd, 1 Paran Wadi 23rd.

Cyprus Pied Wheatear Oenanthe cypriaca [pleschanka]
1 1st summer at private sewage works Yotvata 21st.

Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe hispanica
Regularly recorded 2+ most days inc. 2 Dung Heap 18th (& other visits), 5+ Nizzana 23rd.

Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina
1 Dung Heap 18th & 20th (same bird), 1 Yotvata sewage works 21st.

Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius
A pair around the cemetary Eilat 18th & same pair 21st.

Eurasian Blackbird Turdus merula
Just a single male nr. Avdat 23rd.

Graceful Warbler Prinia gracilis
Regular at many sites particularly around water (eg Canal) many singing.

Streaked Scrub-warbler Scotocerca inquieta
1 north of North Fields (Eilat) 20th & another 3 giving good views Paran Wadi 23rd.

Savi's Warbler Locustella luscinioides
2 seen, 1 Switz Park 22nd & second Ofira Park (Eilat)24th.

Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
1 Ofira Park feeding on ground 24th.

Eurasian Reed-warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus
1 Ofira Park 19th, 2 Ofira Park 22nd, 1 20th Date Palms area (Eilat).

Olivaceous Warbler Hippolais pallida
Regularly recorded every day particularly in vegetated Wadis, often up to 5 counted in Date Palms and Ringing Station areas (Eilat).

Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
2 Cemetary 18th & 2 Ofira Park (Eilat) 19th.

Common Whitethroat Sylvia communis
2 Date Palms 22nd, 2 Cemetary 18th.

Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca
Certainly the commonest Warbler during our staying recorded in good numbers in many habitats sometimes in noisy groups of 10+ birds.

Orphean Warbler Sylvia hortensis
1 Wadi (nr Pumping sta.) 18th & a second Ofira Park 19th.

Arabian (Red Sea) Warbler Sylvia leucomelaena
1 showed distantly but well 21st Yotvata after an hours search.

Rüppell's Warbler Sylvia rueppelli
Surprisingly good numbers, recorded almost every day with good counts being 5 Cemetary 18th & 4 Ofira Park 19th (Eilat).

Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala
1 male Date Palms 19th, 2 Wadi Etek 20th.

Cyprus Warbler Sylvia melanothorax [melanocephala]
1 gave prolonged views at Wadi Etek 20th.

Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans
Just 1 male at Amram Pillars 19th.

Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata
2 (pair) near Paran Wadi 23rd.

Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus
1 Wadi Etek 20th.

Eurasian Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
Only seen in surprisingly small numbers.

Bonelli's Warbler Phylloscopus bonelli
Many seen with up to 25 being the largest day count (between Jordan Border crossing and North beach) on the 22nd. Often giving v.close views.

Collared Flycatcher Ficedula albicollis
1 male Date Palms 20th.

Semi-collared Flycatcher Ficedula semitorquata [albicollis]
1 Date Palms 20th (2 were reported) .

Arabian Babbler Turdoides squamiceps
2 Ringing Station 18th, 1 Ofira Park 19th & 1 Date Palms 20th.

Palestine Sunbird Nectarinia osea
1 female (& male reported) Cemetary 18th, 1 male Wadi Etek 20th & 1 singing male Yotvata 21st.

Great Grey (Northern) Shrike Lanius excubitor
2 K33 21st. & 1 Nizzana Pools 23rd.

Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator
1 Ringing station 18th, 1 Switz Park 20th & 5 Date Palms 24th.

Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus
2+ recorded every day inc. 1 regular in Hotel (Moon Valley) gardens (the second recorded bird of holiday!). Max day count 6.

House Crow Corvus splendens
4 over Canal 18th, 2 Cemetary 18th, 5 Canal 19th & always recorded around North Beach.

Hooded Crow Corvus corone cornix
Only seen around Nizzana on 23rd in ones & twos only.

Brown-necked Raven Corvus ruficollis
Regularly seen in desert areas inc. 2 Amram Pillars 19th & 1 which showed v.well Wadi Etek 20th.

Tristram's Grackle Onychognathus tristramii
13 Eilat Lagoon 18th, 28 Date Palms 22nd, 18 over Ofira Park 24th.

House Sparrow Passer domesticus
Abundant with many in Eilat Town Centre & around ringing station.

Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis [domesticus]
As above but in smaller numbers, good counts were made at Switz Park & Ringing Station (20+ birds).

Dead Sea Sparrow Passer moabiticus
1 North Resr. 18th, 6 Date Palms 19th, 6+ Canal/Ringing Station 21st.

Indian Silverbill [White-throated Munia] Lonchura malabarica
Pair nest building in the Date Palms nr. Ringing Station 22nd.

Syrian Serin Serinus syriacus
1 male in wadi between Cemetary and Pumping Station (Eilat) 24th feeding with 2 Trumpeter Finches.

Trumpeter Finch Rhodopechys githaginea
2 Cemetary (wadi) 24th (see above).

Desert Finch Rhodopechys obsoleta
5 Switz Park 18th, 1 K33 21st & 1 Switz Park 22nd.

Sinai Rosefinch Carpodacus synoicus
5 (3 females, 1 imm. male & 1 stunning male) Amram Pillars 19th coming down to feed on orange segments.

Cinereous Bunting Emberiza cineracea
1 male Dung Heap 18th showed v.well briefly.

Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana
Just 1 on South Fields 18th.

Cretzschmar's Bunting Emberiza caesia
Many recorded with up to 30 counted in single field near Jordan Border crossing 22nd but regularly seen around Lagoon, Ringing Station & South Fields (Eilat)

Ian J. Faichnie.
Other participants:- Maria Guy, Terry Atkinson, Terry Mcevoy & Susan Hepton.


For further information please email Ian Faichnie now or later at:-