zaterdag 31 maart 2012


We spend our last day in Tel Aviv at the Carmel Market yesterday. It was just a market with all kind of food and other stuff. Then we went to the Central bus station for a bus tour to Jerusalem. From the bus we saw Short-toed eagle, hoopoe and a green landscape what we never saw before. The trip lasted only 40 minutes.
In Jerusalem it was quite cold and we had to walk to the New palm hostel near the Old City half an hour away from the bus station but it took us the double time with our baggage.
In the Old City we had a quick look at the Western Wall. Every Friday evening it’s Sabbath party for the Jewish people. It’s not a party with alcohol and other things that you can use like we have in The Netherlands but it was quite impressive with some hundreds of Orthodox Jewish people singing in front of the Wall.
In the hostel we have a dormitory room with ten other people from all over the world. When I was in bed I thought that there was an earthquake but it proved to be a snoring man… First it was only one man but after some sleepless time the second and third man began also. It
sounded like a competition between them, it was really terrible but we had a lot of fun about it.

Today was our first ringing day at the Jerusalem Bird Observatory in the big park in the middle of the city. We were a bit late because of the snoring night. When we arrived we saw Carmel Zitronblat photographing a very nice 2nd CY male Cyprus warbler! A ringing tick for us, good begin, but we missed already a Common Rosefinch.
Carmel showed us the ringingstation. It’s a really nice education center and I’m happy that we can stay here for a week. The rest of the mourning we caught some Sylvia’s. Most of them were Lesser whitethroats but a Eastern orphean warbler as well. Near one of the nets I saw a Nightjar chilling on a branch. We tried to flush it in one of the nest but we failed.
After ringing we spend some birding time in the park. The park was quite full with migrants, most Sylvia warblers including a male Ruppell’s warbler and a Eastern oprhean warbler. Also a Masked shrike, Hawfinches, Nightingales, Redstarts and a Serin were present. We had five Israeli ticks today. Now we will visit the Old City, bye.

Afbeelding toevoegen

vrijdag 30 maart 2012

The first Israeli tick

We walked a half marathon trough Tel Aviv yesterday. We walked more than 20 km to the park in the Northern part of the city. The quality of the girls was better than the birds with less migrants but still we saw some nice things. We saw all the three species of kingfishers that you can see in Israel; Pied, White-breasted and common. Also Little egret, Cattle egret, Night heron, Glossy ibis, quite a few hoopoes, yellow-legged gulls, spur-winged plover, a ringed Crestmars bunting, a Cetti’s warbler, Spanish sparrows, some Chiffchaffs, White wagtails, Blackcaps and a Lesser whitethroat were present. A singing male Blackbird was a real Israeli tick for us, the first one! In the afternoon we walked back through busy streets full of people with machineguns and very interesting smells everywhere. Most of them were not really nice.
we ended the day with a photo shoot of Tel Aviv’s skyline.

woensdag 28 maart 2012

We arrived at Tel Aviv!

The 27th of March Teun van Kessel and I flew to Tel Aviv with Jetairfly from Li├Ęge Airport in Belgium. The control at the airport wasn’t very strong and everything went very smoothly unlike last spring. At 23:00 we arrived at the airport in Tel Aviv and around 01:00 in the night we were on the central station.

We have created the tradition to stay awake the entire night when we arrive to Tel Aviv. Also this night was a long night. We walked through almost the whole city with 25 kilo of baggage, met some very friendly people but we didn’t find a sleeping place. Finally we found a very nice hostel around five in the morning close to Old Jaffa , the most beautiful part of the city but that isn’t very hard because the rest of the city is more like a garbage dump.

04:00 in the night, searching for a sleeping place...

After a night without sleep, we went for a walk and some birding in Old Jaffa. There wasn’t any migration but we saw some nice locals including Palestine sunbird, Pied kingfisher, Syrian woodpecker, Laughing dove, Sardinian warbler, White-spectacled bulbul and our first swallows and swifts of the year.

We are now very tired on the nice roof terrace of the Old Jaffa Hostel with a beer and quite a nice overview over the Mediterranean sea and the city!

vrijdag 16 maart 2012


Welcome in my new blog! I Will try to write all my updates in English but that’s quite hard for me, so sorry for the mistakes that are present in my blog for sure!

After a long and a very boring winter, spring arrived slowly last weeks but he arrived! It is so nice to wake up with a concert of Blackbirds in my city Nijmegen and temperatures above 15 Celsius after wintertime.

Spring migration is started now with the first wave of Chiffchaff arrived this week. Everywhere you can hear singing males. I saw already my first White wagtails, Garganey , Storks and Stonechat of the year. Finches, thrushes, ducks and other wintering species are also on the move up North. Last week I heard some Wigeons flying over my house in the night.
The 6th and the 7th of March were the best day’s for Crane migration over the Netherlands this spring. Most of them pass West of the Netherlands over Germany but with Eastern wind that we had in the beginning of March you can see them in South and Eastern Netherland. On the 2th of March I saw a single bird from my garden and the 6th I had a group of 36 and a group of 25 over my ringing site with two Red kites.
More breeding species will come soon but Teun van Kessel and I will miss them but we don’t give a fuck about that because we’ve booked our flight to Israel again! We leave The Netherlands on the 27th of March. I’m so happy with that and I really can’t wait! Spring migration is totally on in the South of Israel. It is one big party with lots of songbirds and very cool and sexy species! We will visit Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to volunteering at the JBO and after that we will stay five weeks at the IBRCE and help with the bird ringing project with Yotam, Itai and Tzadok. My ringing friends Fabian Meijer and Christian Brinkman are already there for a couple of weeks and they have a great time there!

The next update will be from Israel I guess!