Begin at the beginning

The Hotel Driveway

(answer to the mystery Wheatear at end)

Having arrived around lunchtime on 25th March, Neil Glenn and I stepped out to check the little bit of habitat in front of our hotel– the ‘Prima Music’ in Eilat. Not much habitat really, a driveway c 100 metres long lined by trees with 2 thin strips of grass and some flower beds. To say we were suitably impressed probably understates it. Virtually first bird seen was a stunning male Semicollared Flycatcher. Wow! This wasn’t just a hotel. Its was a superb migrant trap. Joined by Richard (who was also at the festival) we soon found a Bluethroat, 2 Tree Pipits, male Quail leisurely walking along a wall, an Eastern (icterops) Whitethroat, a tricky large locustella warbler which was most likley an Eastern (fusca) Savi’s Warbler, but its cold grey-brown uppers and suggestion of throat streaking was disconcerting to say the least. The petrol station ‘bit of grass’ below the hotel held a Masked Shrike, Tawny Pipit and the wheatear sp. below. White-spectacled Bulbul and Palm (Laughing) Doves were backdrop birds and distant Pale (Crag) Martin and Steppe Buzzards overhead. I haven’t named all the species present then or the other stuff seen there through the week. Not a bad beginning for first hour or so!

all photos (except the bulbuls) taken outside the Prima Music Hotel, Eilat








Mystery Wheatear

Thanks for the responses. Certainly one of the ID challenges in Israel is with female Wheatears. The warm and plain brown upperparts and lovely warm peachy wash below, both obvious in the filed quickly lead to ID as female eastern Black-eared Wheatear, which I still think is what it is- actually one of the easier ones!

Almost every day I said hello to this girl as I walked back and forth between my accommodation and the festival venue at the Yam Suf (Isrotel), 5 minutes away:

female Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Petrol Station forecourt, Eilat, Israel, March 2012


About Martin Garner

I am a Free Spirit
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One Response to Begin at the beginning

  1. Pingback: Birding In and Around Eilat – An Overview :  Laura Kammermeier

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