The Jungle Babbler - Tropical Birding's newsletter
January 17th, 2017
HAPPY NEW YEAR! We have an exciting 2017 ahead, with a bumper year for tours on the horizon, and some very exciting emerging destinations for both photographers and birders...
Welcome to the latest edition of our newsletter!
Check out the tour spotlight on the NEW Israel birding tour below...
(We also have the usual tour status updates, new tours, new trip reports, and upcoming events).
ISRAEL: Migration Hotspot at the Crossroads of Asia, Africa, and Europe
The spectacular Palestine Sunbird is a garden bird in Israel (photo: Steve Arlow)
Israel has long been considered one of the most impressive migration locales in the World; each spring thousands of raptors, shorebirds, and songbirds pass through this narrow strip of a country, making it the "High Island of the Middle East". It is located at the junction of the great avifaunas of Europe, Asia, and Africa, making for a heady mix of species present during this busy season. The scenery of Israel is often cruelly overlooked, as the mass of birds on the move is always the most conspicuous highlight, but stark, though stunning desert landscapes also await. These are home to colorful bee-eaters, subtle larks, flocks of hardy sandgrouse, and a profusion of handsome wheatears, including Hooded, Mourning, Finsch's, and White-crowned Wheatears, among other species too from this stellar group, which reaches the apex of its diversity in this wonderful country steeped in religious history.
Wheatear diversity reaches its peak in the deserts of Israel (photo: Mourning Wheatear, Peter Alfrey)
As well as the Negev Desert, and visiting the must-see Dead Sea, we will also visit the oasis of Eilat, on the coast, where waterbirds are added to the desert environment too, with salt pans holding a dizzy variety of terns, shorebirds and gulls at this time of year, while the surrounding vegetated wadis and scrub are magnets for songbirds passing through during springtime. While most of the birding will be done by day, focusing on the cooler mornings and evenings, when avian activity is at its zenith; there will also be time for nightbirding, as Israel is home to some stellar species after dark too, like Egyptian and Nubian Nightjars, Pallid Scops-Owl, and the charismatic Desert Tawny-Owl. Other species to entice you to join include, the odd Namaqua Dove, desert-dwelling Pale Rock Sparrow, multicolored Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, handsome Woodchat and Masked Shrikes, iridescent Palestine Sunbird, rose-tinted Sinai Rosefinch, and, of course, a mind-boggling variety, and number, of eagles, buzzards, hawks, falcons, and kites that overfly Eilat in this incredible migration season.
Israel is home to some of the best hawkwatches on Earth (photo: Steppe Buzzard Steve Arlow)
Add-ons to the multitude of cultural, historical, and religious sites in the country can also be provided, to places as revered as Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the Sea of Galilee, or even Petra in neighboring Jordan, if desired. Birds with a backdrop of extraordinary history and landscapes are the appeal of this tour, for which we are already taking bookings for the inaugural version of this trip in spring 2018.
We will run this trip with as few as 4 people.
Israel's spectacular desertscapes are often unfairly overlooked (photo: Simon Buckell)
These are just some of the tours we offer; for the complete tour schedule, please see our website at www.tropicalbirding.com. Also don't forget that we run dozens of customized private tours every year to these and many other destinations; a custom tour can be an attractive option for groups that enjoy traveling together, for those who want to get off the beaten track, or for people whose work schedules make joining a set-departure tour difficult.
INTERESTED IN A TOUR?
Just send us an email to email@example.com or call us at (800) 348-5941 or +1-409-515-9110 to check availability and ask any questions you might have. We'll then send you a link to our online booking form. Once we receive your booking form, we'll send you invoice for the tour deposit.