White WagtailThe Champions of the Flyways Bird Race was organised by the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel. The whole thing was steered by the energetic and all around nice guy Jonathan Meyrav with the help of his colleagues. The race featured 24 competing teams of birders from Israel, Britian, Georgia and the US racing around Eilat and the surrounding Negev Desert trying to identify as many species as possible over a 24 hour period.
To cut a long and sweaty story short, my team ended up with a very respectable 140 species. The winners were The Palestine Sunbirders on 169. Second were the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology e-birders on 165. Third were The Digital Stringers on 165 - the highest ranking British team.
The Media Birders - (L-R) Stephen Moss, Tim Appleton & TUB
Assembled teams awaiting an evening visit from Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse coming in to drink.
Eilat is an amazing region for birding and the cause for this brilliant bird race is also very very worthy.
Please donate here: - http://www.champions-of-the-flyway.com/ to help protect migrant birds from illegal hunting.
My Eilat and environs bird list
Western Reef Egret
Little Ringed Plover
Greater Sand Plover
Lesser Black-back Gull (fuscus)
Little Green Bee-eater
Yellow Wagtail (flava & feldegg)
White-crowned Black Wheatear
Pied Bush Chat
Eastern Orphean Warbler
Great Reed Warbler
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler
Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler