Thursday 31 March 2016

The Inglorious Bustards Champions of the Flyway Awards Ceremony

 The Inglorious Bustards- Me, Niki and Simon
 On the way 
 Race Day
 A few minutes later
 End of the Race looking worse for wear
Next day photo shoot (photo Jonathan Meyrav)
 Then the award ceremony
Then the awards- unfortunately we didn't win any for our Shambolic ways
Event organiser Jonathan, Yoav and Dan- brilliant job! 

We have almost reached our fund raising target- 84% there. Thanks so much to everyone who has supported us so far:

And our song from THEE BRYANS

Wednesday 30 March 2016

Race Day, Champions of the Flyway 2016

 Starting block- Nizzana looking for the MacQueen's Bustards
 Birding at the Kibbutz
 MacQueen's Bustards
 Long-legged Buzzard
 Tristram's Grackle
 Female Hooded Wheatear
 View from Mitze Ramon
View from Eilat Mountains to Eilat

We started the race at 230am and tried the fields at Yovata and Km20 where we had a Long-eared Owl. We then headed to Nizzana for the MacQueen's Bustards and other desert birds such Crowned, Pin-tail and Black-bellied Sandgrouse. Had a quick look at nearby sewage ponds and had a few waders and duck. Then we headed south to Sde Boker Kibbutz and picked a load of migrants including Collared, Semi-collared and Pied Flycatcher. It was then on to Mitze Ramon where we lucked in with Hooded Wheatear and Striolated Bunting and then onwards to Se'Afflim plains for Bar-tailed Desert Lark, Mourning and Isabelline Wheatear. We ended the day around Eilat and tried for Egyptian Nightjar at Yovata again. We called it a day at about 1030. A modest, relaxed and very enjoyable 130 species.

Please help us reach our target - almost there 83% of the way:

Here's our song from THEE BRYANS

Monday 28 March 2016

Champions of the Flyway, Scouting Days 3 and 4

 Black Bush Robin 
 Male Ruppell's Warbler
 Masked Shrike
 Bar-tailed Desert Lark
 Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse
 Steppe Buzzard
 Trumpeter Finch
 Short-toed Lark
 Tawny Pipit
 Mourning Wheatear
 Mourning Wheatear
 Northern Wheatear
 Blue-headed Wagtail
 Scrub Warbler
Eastern Bonelli's Warbler

Simon and Niki 

Been scouting over the last few days, seen a few interesting bits and bobs- race day starts tonight at 1200pm. 

Champions Flyway by Thee Bryans
A song we did with the kids over the half term to let them know whats going on out here 

Saturday 26 March 2016

Champions of the Flyway- Scouting Days One and Two

 Arabian Babbler
 Palestine Sunbird
 Yellow-vented Bulbul
 Spanish Sparrows dancing
 Brown-necked Raven
  Desert Lark
 White-crowned Black Wheatear
 Steppe Buzzards migrating over the Eilat Mountains. At least 6000 this morning, also Black Kites, a Pallid Harrier, a Booted Eagle, Black Storks, Alpine Swifts and Pallid Swifts migrating through the mountains this morning 
 Dark phase Booted Eagle
 Male Pallid Harrier
 Rufous phase Steppe Buzzard
Shoveler, Pintail and Garganey

 Eilat Mountains raptor viewpoint
 Team mates Niki and Simon 
 Evening briefing
Planning for race day

Had a great couple of days, large shambolic to be honest, scouting Southern Israel ahead of the Champions of the Flyway race day on Wednesday this week. We stayed on a Kibbutz the first night and headed to Eilat for the rest of the week. Tonight there is a major storm passing with a year's worth of rain predicted to fall in one night so it should have a significant effect on the migration. There was a big push today with raptors pushing low through the mountains and good numbers of passerine migrants concentrating around the birding centre in Eilat.

 Highlight migrants over the last couple of days included Semi-collared Flycatcher, Red-necked Phalaropes, Bluethroats, Wryneck and large numbers of Red-rumped Swallows.

Please donate to our team to help us raise our £3000 target for funding to tackle the problem of illegal bird killing on the Eastern Flyway: