Magical Moments 2013 #1
by Martin G.
This is the first in what will be a little eclectic set of birding memories from 2013. No way will I get all of the special moments of 2013, in before the New Year cometh. These are a just a few. As much as anything it’s the sense of gratitude I feel for the people in our lives, the opportunities I have and the ongoing wonder of nature that still grabs me (especially with a biggish birthday looming). My memories are nearly always the birds and the people…
Who: Yael Lenhardt. Running across the dry scree-like terrain in clear excitement. What on earth had she retrieved in ringing bag from a nearby copse of trees. Her first loud, breathless words were… in Hebrew. Which left Mick Cunningham and Sander Bot and I, even more on the edge of seats. Finally the word came through Radde’s!
Where: Mt Hermon, Northern Israel, as part of the Hula Valley Bird Festival
When: 15th November 2013
Why: I have never seen any rare Accentors before. So apart from book illustrations and photos I didn’t really a have a sense of what, say, Siberian and Black-throated Accentors would look like. Now I do! Radde’s is closest to Siberian in appearance but with white (not yellow) supercilium and grey (not browner upperparts). Very cool! Sander was also keeping a world bird list during 2013 and he was on 999 when we arrived in the very early hours at Mount Hermon that morning. The Radde’s had been seen few days earlier coming to drink at the pool. It was an outside chance. A very cool 1000th bird species for the year for Sander.
Yoav Perlman tried hard to get us the Radde’s first time around on his excellent Mount Hermon tour. Here is his cool-as-you-like James’s Bond impression on the Mount Hermon chair lift. He is also a friend I am grateful to know.