Nestled on the shores of the Mediterranean and Red Seas, the tiny country of Israel is not only one of the best birding destinations in the Western Palearctic, it is also host to an incredibly rich history. Ruled at various times by the Romans, Crusaders, Ottomans, Egyptians and the British, it is not surprising that it is also the spiritual epicentre of three of the world’s major religions. From Eilat and the Arava Valley in the south, to the Hula Valley and Mount Hermon in the north; we explore the length and breadth of the country’s wealth of habitats such as deserts, wadis, mountains and wetlands taking in the rich biodiversity, great history and culture.
Our tour is timed to coincide with the world famous raptor migration through Eilat, With the correct wind and positioning, we hope to witness this incredible spectacle. Bursts of raptors moving through in full migration will mainly be comprised of thousands of European Honey Buzzard, Black Kite, lesser numbers of Short-toed Snake Eagle, Common Buzzard, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Egyptian Vulture, Western Osprey, Pallid, Montagu’s and Western Marsh Harrier and Booted, Lesser Spotted, Greater Spotted, Eastern Imperial and Steppe Eagle. Aside from the migration spectacle, we will also go in search of species that have a limited distribution or simply difficult to see elsewhere in the world.
Specialties that will form the focus of this tour include Syrian Serin, the impressive Arabian and Cyprus Warbler, Sinai Rosefinch, Thick-billed, Temminck’s and Dunn’s Lark, Asian Crimson-winged, Trumpeter and Desert Finch, Hooded, Finsch’s and Cyprus Wheatear, Cream-colored Courser, Sand Partridge, Macqueen’s Bustard, Streaked Scrub Warbler, Lichtenstein’s, Pin-tailed, Black-bellied, Crowned and Spotted Sandgrouse, Dead Sea Sparrow, Barbary Falcon, Sombre Tit, Tristram’s Starling, Cretzschmar’s Bunting and Nubian Nightjar. A great infrastructure, relatively small size, a vast array of habitats and timed to coincide with the northward migration along this flyway will see that this tour will be an impressive one and remembered for years to come.