We arrived too late to do any birding on 23rd, and just drove to Eilat. The 24th saw myself, James and Tim head to Holland Park early morning to try and catch up with a reported Black bush robin, but unfortunately no-one knew anything about it, and despite extensive searching. That said, Tim and James had wracked up half a dozen lifers before I'd even got my scope out of it's case, and after a few hours, I'd seen a fair few new birds myself. Holland Park was a fantastic start, absolutely dripping with migrants as well as some of the resident specialities.
|Eastern bonelli's warbler|
|Male Ruppell's warbler-at least half a dozen of these beauties in Holland Park alone|
|Wrynecks were common throughout the trip|
|Groups of these were easy enough to find once we worked out the whistling call|
|Little green bee-eater cyanophrys-perhaps the best looking subspecies?|
|Right in the centre of Eilat|
The next morning we left our hostel at dawn to do some early morning birding in the Eilat mountains before the raptors got started. We came across this female Hooded wheatear, as well as a couple of more flighty males, as well as several White-crowned black wheatears
|Tim and Rael trekking in the Eilat mountains|
We spent the afternoon birding around Km20 and the IRBC, getting highlights like Namaqua dove and Pallas's gull.
The next morning saw a very early start as we made for the vulture feeding station near S'de Boker. No sign of the hoped for hyaenas, but a pair of distant wolves made up for it, as well as flyover Richard's pipit and spotted sandgrouse and an impressive number of vultures first thing.
|Distant pair of wolves|
|This jackal ran across the track on the way back to the main road|
|Southern grey shrike aucheri|
|Part of a family group of 4 CCC with juvs|
|Eastern black-eared wheatear|
|We flushed these feeding out in the desert on lush growth|
|Desert lark- a very washed out individual|
|Roadside Mourning wheatear|
More highlights to follow.