We woke up very early in order to find larks and other birds at Meishar – a plato i the Negev Desert. The rain had stopped, so desert birding was again possible.
It didn’t take us long to see several flocks of Spotted Sandgrouse. We decided to get better views of these stunning birds. Mostly it is not easy to get close to such birds, but we had a lot of luck today – eventually we got the see them down to a few meters distance.
But the larks were our primary target, but there was not much to see. Maybe it was due to the rain in the past days. But after a while we same some movement in a bush and seconds later we enjoyed supreme views of two Asian Desert Warblers. Without looking specifically for them we saw four different birds during the day.
A little later Emin spotted a small bird on the ground. As we got closer no less than 5 Temminck’s Larks were foraging on the ground – finally the first target-lark was found.
And the good luck continued as we found first one and then several Bar-tail Larks – our second target-lark. But we really couldn’t find more gold at Meishar.
So we went south to Yotvata. On our way there we saw a male Hooded Wheatear, but upon arrival we didn’t find neither Oriental Skylark or Hoopoe Lark. But we decided to stay untill after dusk in order to see a Pharaoe Eagle-Owl that is possible in the area.
The Pharaoe Eagle-owl didn’t appear, but after a while Emin located some nightjars. We managed to get good views and eventually we got some bad pictures. Pale underwing, pale appearance – wow, they were Egyptian Nightjars. A lifer for both of us. And a real surprise as they according to local israeli birders are “really rare” before march. A nice surprise no matter what!