First day in Eilat, southern Israel

I’m in Israel at the behest of BirdLife International Israel and others to compete in the Champions of the Flyways Bird Race to raise money and awareness for the plight of million of migrants that run the gauntlet of the many hunters that kill them in North Africa and the Mediterranean.
Along with several other teams from Israel, US and Europe the idea is to see as many species as possible in this amazing region over 24 hours this coming Tuesday. 
 Great scenery

Two minibus loads of birders were shown the lay of the land today in order for individual teams to work out their strategy for the day of the race.

 Some of the rabble

The terrain ranges from urban to out and out desert.

 The Negev

The possible birds to be seen is mind-blowing. Today, despite being in a big crowd we collectively managed to connect with Crowned Sandgrouse, Little Crake, Masked Shrike and even a vagrant Pied Bush Chat.

 Steppe Buzzard
 Lesser Whitethroat
A male  Ruppell’s Warbler 
 Spur-winged Plover
A very brown looking Common Swift
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