Nizzana and Ezuz

MacQueens Bustard displaying - click to enlarge

MacQueens Bustard displaying – click to enlarge

All the rain in the south made us change our plans and go north to Nizzana and Ezuz – an area know for its MacQueens Bustards. Israeli birders have been extremely helpful in the process of planing and helping after arrival. And at Nizzana local birder Shachar Alterman took us out.

MacQueens Bustard in the landscape

MacQueens Bustard in the landscape

Actually he told us to meet at a certain point on the Nizzana – Ezuz road (near a fallen water tower). We arrived a little before him around 6:30 in the morning and 3 minutes later I spotted a MacQueens Bustard dancing east of the road. Shortly after Shachar arrived and we enjoyed prolonged views of the bird while it was dancing. Is was not within photo distance relly, but it was really special to observe the dancing through the scope.

Flying MacQueens Bustard

Flying MacQueens Bustard

While watching the bustard about 150 Spotted Sandgrouses flew over. So after enjoying the bustard for about an hour we went to some sewage ponds, where the sandgrouses use to drink. But as there is fresh water all over due to the recent rain no birds came in. We only saw some Bluethroats (a male gave supreme views), some Chuckars and a Southern Grey Shrike.

Northern Bluethroat

Northern Bluethroat

After that Shachar took us around the area and both Emin and I got Arabian Babbler as a lifer as a family gave really put on a show in a wadi.

Arabian Babbler - ad. and juv.

Arabian Babbler – ad. and juv.

Arabian Babbler

Arabian Babbler

Other good birds include Great Spotted Cuckoo, Little Owl, Speckled Warbler, Palestine Sunbirds, Little Green Bee-eaters and the best Chukars that I have ever seen.

Chukar - note the ear tufts!

Chukar – note the ear tufts!

Chukar

Chukar

All in all a fantastic day – and thanks for helping Shachar!

Little Green Bee-eater - I never get tierd of this one!

Little Green Bee-eater – I never get tired of this one!

Silas Olofson

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