Monday, December 9, 2013

BIRDS of ISRAEL

Aside from food, I am blogging on birds in Israel.

I was on my way to Israel in Nov/Dec 2013 and enroute on Turkish Airline I was watching the movie, The Big Year starring Steve Martin.   It was about two bird enthusiasts who left everything aside for their BIG YEAR to spot the most birds competitively.  This led me to try to watch some birds during the two weeks that I am in Israel.  Israel recorded about more than 500 birds in a small country and given Israel's geographical location meeting three continents there are certainly a lot of birds watching to do...and it became my first attempt to capture some birdie shots here........



(1)    NIGHT HERON at SEA OF GALILEE
After lunch of St Peters fish at Tiberias of Sea of Galilee
(largest freshwater lake in Israel and the lowest freshwater lake on Earth),
Keith was calling out to me and excitedly pointed out a stooped looking bird on the edge of the water.
Unlike the typical heron family, these night herons have shorter legs, beaks and neck and the body is more stocky.


(2)    WHITE THROATED KINGFISHER at JORDAN RIVER
I spotted this at Jordan River (which is 251km long) in the north near Sea of Galilee.
It has a white breast and red beaks and feets.
I was attracted by it bright blue wings.



(3)  PIED KINGFISHER at JORDAN RIVER
This bird locates fish whilst hovering in the air over Jordan River.


(4)  GOLDEN LIGHT GREAT BLUE HERON at JORDAN RIVER
Saw this amongst the reeds wading in the water of Sea of Galilee.
(5)  SPECTACLED BULBUL at JORDAN RIVER
It has distinctive yellow undertail !!!
(6)     HOOPOE (pronouced hupu) at NETANYA
Spotted this bird a few times at Netanya beach and it's the
new national bird of ISRAEL since year 2008
announced by the President Shimon Peres after securing 35% votes nationwide.
Its long beak is used for foraging  and it penetrates deeper into the ground for its food?
I watched the bird in action and this is perhaps 3/4 of the beak only.





(7)     GREAT COMMORANT at JORDAN RIVER
You learned in school that commorants are good at catching fishes for the fishermen in China.
Well, I spotted this (again a not so clear pic) at Jordan River.
They can dive deep and long.





(8)   LITTLE  EGRET at SEA OF GALILEE
The Little Egret has yellow feet whilst the Great Egret has black feet.
A pure white plummage and a slim slender accentuated body in start contrast
with the surroundings makes it easy to spot.





(9)   COOT at JORDAN RIVER
Medium sized mistaken for a duck waddling in water,
the Coot has a white bill and forehead contrast with black plummage.



(10)  I thinks this is the  INDIAN ROBIN at JORDAN RIVER




(11)  COLLARED DOVE at JORDAN RIVER
Conspicuous Black Stripe on its nexck spotted along Jordan River




(12)  ROSE RING PARAKEET at JORDAN RIVER
Perched too high on the tree I could only snap a silhoutte of this bird.




(13)  SEAGULL at SEA OF GALILEE
The ever loved birds whilst you are on the Sea of Galilee.
They will swooped on the breads crumbs you throw into the air of the sea
and the flights of birds will follow.



(14)  CHIFFCHAFF at NETANYA
Dark legs unlike other leaf warbles in Israel.
This pic was taken along Netanya (means GIFT OF GOD) beach walkways which stretches 14km long.



(15)  YOUNG RING-BILLED GULL at NETANYA
These are young gulls and they scavenged for their food.




(16)  COMMON MYRNA at NETANYA
Common in Singapore they are the ones who makes the most noise !




(17)  LAUGHING DOVE around JERUSALEM OLD CITY
Spotted at the old City, it is anointing to see a dove.
It's pinkish brown in colour and has a chequered rufous (means reddish) neck.




(18)    PIED WAGTAIL at NETANYA
Along Netanya beach walkways in the morning when I went for my morning walk starting at 6am.
Given the name as when not standing it is seen frantically wagging its tail UP AND DOWN !!!
(18)  PIED WAGTAIL at MITZPE RAMON



(19)  MALLARD (Wild Ducks) at JORDAN RIVER
Large ducks.  Feeds in fields and in water and I snapped them at Jordan River.
The Males Birds (drakes) have glossy green head whilst the females have brown-speckled plumage.
Two males accompanying a female here  !!!



(20)   SPARROW-HAWK at EILAT
These poor sparrowhawk was chased by the ravens or blackbirds and it took shelter
near the pot close to the swimming pool at Leonard Hotel of resort city EILAT which is the most southern tip of Israel).





(21)  COMMON HOUSE SPARROW at MAKHTESH RAMON VISITOR CENTRE
Spotted this at Makhtest Ramon Visitor Centre and these are common birds in Singapore too  !!!
The commonest birds in human habitation.





(22)  PIGEON  at GRAND COURT HOTEL, JERUSALEM




(23)    GREENFINCH at the GARDEN TOMB, JERUSALEM
The beak is yellow and conical and if it is a male, it has green wings.








A LARGE FEATURE OF A SEAGULL PERCHED ON A PILLAR along NETANYA BEACH WALK   !!!!





AND A HANDMADE BIRD AT THE CARNIVAL IN NETANYA  !!!








                  HAPPY BIRD WATCHING

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