13 Apr 2014

13 April 14 - Mount Gilboa

It was another dawn start as we were heading off to look for Long-billed Pipit at Mt Gilboa on the hills to the West of Beit She'an. The site turned out to be a great grassland site with rocky, vegetated slopes next to the grassy areas. Soon after we arrived, we heard a Long-billed Pipit singing & after a bit of looking, saw it sitting on prominently on the rocky slopes. After a bit of a clamber up the slopes, I was able to get some closer views & photos of this Western P tick. I had looked for it on my first trip in 1994, but without success.
The Mt Gilboa site: Looking from the Long-billed Pipit slope back to the lower grassy base, where the others were scoping from the lower slopes. Note, in the far background, it's possible to just see the Beit She'an fishponds indicating how high up the Mt Gilboa site is
The Mt Gilboa site: The Mountain Gazelles were on top of the opposite hill
Stone-curlew: On the flatter fields near to the car
Long-billed Pipit: This is the captus subspecies which occurs in Lebanon, North Israel, Syria & West Jordon
Mountain Gazelle: A pair of Mountain Gazelles which occur in mountains, foothills & coastal plains erratically in Turkey, Israel & the Arabian Peninsula
Mountain Gazelle
I'm not quite as agile as a Mountain Gazelle on the hillsides (Photo copyright Simon Ingram)
As we were driving back down the road, we saw this Syrian Woodpecker showing how it liked to keep its plumage white!
Syrian Woodpecker: Male. Like Great Spotted Woodpeckers, it's the red on the nape that indicates this is a male: females have a black nape
We were back in time for the filling breakfast which was included with the accommodation.
Another update on the car: The Desert Hedgehog deserved a place on the car's ticks list