Sometimes rarity hunting works and sometimes it doesn’t Exploring the N Negev region with Yoav and Tristan, we headed for some excellent habitat. Plenty of ‘expecteds’, but no hoped for Asiatic vagrants. Shachar Alterman went to the very same spot the next day and found a juvenile Rufous Turtle Dove. The imponderables of birding! Had we missed it or did it only arrive the day after our visit?
juvenile Rufous Turtle Dove, ‘meena’, N Negev, Israel, November 2012 by finder Shachar Alterman
Twists in the Tail
A couple of days later at the Hula Bird Festival, Jonathan Merav took Tris and out exploring the southern edge of the Agamon Park. Leisurely checking roadside fields and ditches Jonathan clocked a dove atop a dead branch- scaly all over! Tris and I locked on just as it took flight only a few metres away, close full view. A weighty bird with rows of obvious thin white wing bars traversing the upperwing, deep dark rump and white-tipped tail. A Rufous Turtle Dove! We watched it fly away , across the road, over a ridge and out of sight. Dang! Close but brief we were convinced. Couple days later I found a European Turtle Dove (by way of some comparison) in the Agamon Park and every day after scrutinised Collared Dove flocks. The bird was reported again, briefly in the middle of the festival.
Elated and frustrated. Tris and Jonathan point to ‘the spot’ at the southern end of the Agamon Park, Hula Valley.
Would have loved more views. At very least got me a chance to review Turtle Dove identification again. Here more photo of the N. Negev bird in full juvenile plumage. We have covered the subject of Oriental Turtle, Rufous Turtle and European Turtle Dove previously here, here and here.
juvenile Rufous Turtle Dove ‘meena’ (above), N Negev, Israel, November 2012 by Oz Horine
juvenile Rufous Turtle Dove ‘meena’ (above 3), N Negev, Israel, November 2012 by Rami Mizrachi.
Thanks very much for different things (obvious above) to Jonathan, Yoav (sorry) Shachar, Oz and Rami.
We also spent an excellent day with Amir Ben Dove watching gulls, but he made sure he showed us this spot by an urban freeway in Ashdod where he found this stunning more adult-like Rufous Turtle Dove.The potential for finding rare birds in Israel is considerable.
Sorry – couldn’t resist pretending to be Swedish Birders but we were caught in the moment!