Israel Science and Technology Directory

Birding Sites in Israel : Yizrael (Jezreel) Valley

By Keith Marsh from Bird Forum, Great Britain.

Only relatively recently has this area in the Jezreel Valley become added to the Israeli birding scene but if these two reservoirs fulfil their early promise they will regularly appear on the itineraries of a great many visitors to the country. Tishlovit and neighbouring Kefar Baruch are both very attractive to passage and wintering waterfowl and host a wide variety of species, many in excellent numbers. Large numbers of raptors pass thrcugh this valley on migration and there is a survey station 1km south of kibbutz Ginnegar.

Among ducks, White-headed, Marbled and Ferruginous are all present in winter as well as Red-crested Pochard and many of the more common species. Black-necked Grebe, White Pelican and Common Crane also winter here and a range of herons and egrets can be seen. In addition there are waders such as Avocet, Ruff and Little and Temminck's Stints, Marsh Sandpiper in good numbers, as well as Spotted and Baillon's Crakes. Highly sought-after Middle Eastern specialities such as White-breasted and Pied Kingfishers occur here.

The most numerous raptors are Short-toed and Lesser Spotted Eagles, Honey Buzzard, Levant Sparrowhawk and Red-footed Falcon but many other species occur regularly including Steppe, Greater Spotted and Booted Eagles, all four harriers, Eleonora's Falcon and Lesser Kestrel.

Tishlovit Reservoir can be reached from Route 73, turning south about 1km west of Kibbutz Ginnegar. This leads to a lorry-park and from here turn left for Tishlovit or continue straight on to Kefar Baruch village. Turn left in the village for the reservoir which is best approached from the western end. There is a track around the reservoir but the shoreline is accessible on foot, the eastern end has a reedbed and looks to be one of the most promising areas.

BIRDS INCLUDE: Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe (W), Great Cormorant (W), White Pelican (PM,W), Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Great White Egret (W), Grey Heron (W), Glossy Ibis (PM,W), Ruddy Shelduck (scarce PM,W), Common Shelduck (W), Eurasian Wigeon (W), Gadwall (PM,W), Common Teal (PM,W), Mallard (PM,W), Northern Pintail (scarce W), Northern Shoveler (PM,W), Marbled Duck (PM,W), Common Pochard (W), Ferruginous Duck (PM,W), Tufted Duck (W), Red-crested Pochard (rare PM,W), White-headed Duck (PM,W), Honey Buzzard (PM), Black Kite (PM,W), Short-toed Eagle (PM), Marsh Harrier (PM), Hen Harrier (PM), Pallid Harrier (PM), Montagu's Harrier (PM), Levant Sparrowhawk (PM), Steppe Buzzard (PM), Lesser Spotted Eagle (PM), Greater Spotted Eagle (scarce PM), Steppe Eagle (scarce PM), Booted Eagle (scarce PM), Lesser Kestrel (PM), Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon (PM), Eleonora's Falcon (PM), Common Quail (PM), Water Rail (W), Spotted Crake (PM,W), Little Crake (rare PM), Baillon's Crake (PM,W), Moorhen, Eurasian Coot (W), Common Crane (PM,W), Pied Avocet (PM,W), Collared Pratincole (scarce PM), Black-winged Pratincole (rare PM), Stone-curlew, Spur-winged Plover, Little Stint (PM,W), Temminck's Stint (PM,W), Ruff (PM,W), Jack Snipe (PM,W), Eurasian Curlew (PM,W), Common Redshank (W), Green Sandpiper (W), Common Sandpiper (PM,W), Black-headed Gull (PM,W), Gull-billed Tern (rare PM), Black Tern (PM), White-winged Black Tern (scarce PM), Whiskered Tern (scarce PM), Collared Dove, Laughing Dove, Little Owl, White-breasted Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Crested Lark, Tawny Pipit (PM), Meadow Pipit (W), Pied Wagtail (W), Yellow-vented Bulbul, Eurasian Robin (W), Cetti's Warbler, Graceful Warbler, Savi's Warbler (PM), Moustached Warbler, Great Reed Warbler (PM), Lesser Grey Shrike (scarce PM), Hooded Crow, Common Starling (W), Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Cretzschmar's Bunting (PM), Ortolan Bunting (PM), Corn Bunting.