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Introduction

Eilat

Wadi Shelomo

K20/K33

Nizzana

Yotvata

Species list

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The resort of Eilat isn't vast, and is surrounded by good bird habitats. Street maps are available from the hotels, and are useful for finding some of the sites. If a choice of hotel is given, ones near the North Beach are slightly better, being nearer the best birds. However, any small patch of bushes can hold migrants, such as the strip of trees and bushes on the north west edge of the airport runway, only a stone's throw from the shops.

Ofira Park. This is a small sheltered park which is good for migrants, particularly on a morning. It is situated directly behind the Howard Johnson Neptune Hotel (HJ), which can easily be seen from the southern corner of the airport perimeter. On good days it can be literally crawling with birds, many of which can be approached quite closely, including our quota of Rufous Bushchat, Bluethroat, Masked Shrike, and Wryneck.

Rufous Bushchat

Bluethroat

Rufous Bushchat

Bluethroat

Graceful Warbler

Masked Shrike

Graceful Warbler

Masked Shrike

Football Fields. On days when there has been a good fall of migrants, these two fenced fields are worth a look for pipits and wagtails. The easiest way to locate the canal area is to find the road which runs parallel to the south-east of the airport, and turn right on to Kampen (Paradise Red Sea Hotel - PRSH - on the corner) - a road which is lined with a row of palm trees. The football fields are on the left hand side of this road, enclosed by a white fence. Entry is difficult, but we had close views of flocks of Red-throated Pipits and wagtails.

Red-throated Pipit

Red-throated Pipit

Salt Pans. These are hard to miss, but have a limited number of birds. Best of the crop was Pied Kingfisher, but there were also small numbers of waders.

The North Beach. This is an excellent birding area, and is best early in the morning and during the last hour of daylight. The beach itself isn't a sunbather's paradise, so is left generally to the birders. The eastern end borders on to Jordan, although a lot of the birds on the Jordanian side are hidden unless flying. Offshore are some floating fish ponds, and it is these and the jetties and ropes between them that attract the birds. Various species of gull, tern, and heron are usually present, along with a Brown Booby that shows irregularly. While standing and chatting with other birders, it's worth checking the skies for raptor passage - we had spectacular numbers of Steppe Buzzard and others early in the week.

Sewage Canal Outlet. This runs from the beach northwards, and attracts species such as hirundines, wagtails, pipits, and various passerines. It should also be a good area for crakes, although we didn't see any. The small bridge opposite the salt pans is now no more, although there is a road "bridge" nearer the beach. Most of the length of the canal (to the date plantation) is lined with vegetation, and the area opposite the plantation also has a small amount of reeds, so it is worth checking for warblers and skulkers such as Bluethroat. The open bank between the canal and saltpans held hundreds of Wagtails early in the week, including a few Citrine.

Date Palm Plantation. This can be easily seen on the opposite side of the canal to the saltpans. Although the plantation itself is supposed to be a shelter for migrants, more birds seemed to be present in the immediate surroundings. The two lines of trees to the north of the plantation held a lot of passerines (mainly Lesser Whitethroats and Eastern Bonelli's Warbler) and others such as Masked Shrike, Arabian Babblers, and a Semi-collared Flycatcher. Half way up the eastern edge of the plantation is a good spot for Indian Silverbill, and Little Green Bee-eaters seemed very interested in a sand bank just over the border fence next to the north-east corner. The ringing station is about 100m north of the plantation, and is next to the main track. We didn't visit, but it's in operation between 6.30 - 9.00 am. Just a little further up are the two greenhouses reputed to be good for Namaqua Dove. They weren't present, but we did find Great Spotted Cuckoo, Quail, and Little Green Bee-eater there.

Little Green Bee-eater

Laughing Dove

Little Green Bee-eater

Laughing Dove

The Pumping Station is best known for the regular Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse which appear on most evenings. It is situated on the outskirts of Eilat, and shouldn't be too difficult to find. From the town centre, take Ha'tmarin Boulevard to the north, and turn left at the first traffic lights on to Eilot Street. Take the first right at the roundabout on to Jerusalem Street, and drive up and straight over the roundabout (the Palace Hotel will now be on the left  ). On the opposite side of the road to the hotel is a small wadi (Wadi Zomech  ) which held a male Rock Thrush. After the hotel, the road bends to the left. On the crown of this bend is the semi rough track to the pumping station, which can just be seen from the main road. We found the best place to sit and watch was from the rocks to the north of the drinking pool   (which is situated below the lone bush  ). The birds started to come in at twilight (7:05pm on 24th) and stayed for about 20 minutes. It is best to be in position at least 20 minutes before this - something comfortable to sit on is a good tip, as is a jacket and trousers for the drop in temperature. The drinking pool is also worth checking out at other times for drinking birds - we had Cretzschmar's Bunting, Desert Lark and Blue Rock Thrush  .

The Cemetery is good for close views of White-tailed Wheatear, as well as Tawny Pipit, Blackstart, and migrants. From the Palace Hotel roundabout, take the Sheshet Hayamin road east for about 1km. The white walled cemetery can be seen on the left hand side.

Blackstart

Cretzchmar's Bunting

Blackstart

Cretzchmar's Bunting

Home

Paintings gallery

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Content

Introduction

Eilat

Wadi Shelomo

K20/K33

Nizzana

Yotvata

Species list

Text only