Lotan is a very tempting venue to see the birds of the southern Arava desert away from the hustle and bustle of eilat. Lotan and its immediate surroundings are full of many exciting desert and migratory species. Visiting birders can benefit from Lotan‘s excellent strategic position and fine facilities in the relaxed confines of a friendly community.
Situated just 50 km north of Eilat, Lotan offers good food and lodging, up-to-the-minute advice from the local guide, a nature trail and its own impressive bird reserve (complete with hides and pools). A range of natural and artificial habitats can be visited within comfortable walking distance of the kibbutz.
Birds are often extraordinarily tame on Lotan, making it a photographer’s delight. Common daily residents such as Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis, Pale Crag Martin Hirundo fuligula, White-spectacled Bulbul Pycnonotus xanthopygos, Crested Lark Galerida cristata, White-crowned Black Wheatear Oenanthe leucopyga, Blackstart Cercomela melanura, Arabian Babbler Turdoides squamiceps, Palestine Sunbird Nectarinia osea and Brown-necked Raven Corvus ruficollis, and an abundance of migrants led by Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca, Blackcap S. atricapilla and Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita ensure a constant supply of good birding.
Located close to the border with Jordan, the kibbutz grounds are neatly tucked away, just east of Quetura junction, where route 40 from Beer Sheva meets route 90 from Eilat, and just beyond km post 62. The approach road to the kibbutz is 1.5 km long and lined with some very productive Mesquite and Acacia bushes where migrants often include Woodchat Lanius senator and Masked Shrikes L. nubicus, Balkan Warbler Phylloscopus orientalis, Olivaceous Hippolais pallida and Orphean Warblers Sylvia hortensis. Later in spring, Barred S. nisoria and Olive-tree Warblers Hippolais olivetorum are seen, and an IsabelIine Shrike Lanius isabellinus can be seen in the later spring, usually in April.
On entering the kibbutz grounds, please park in one of the two car parks provided and explore the grounds on foot. Spur-winged Plover Vanellus spinosus is often the first bird you will encounter, in the car park followed by Little Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis, and Hoopoe Upupa epops. From here, proceed directly to the tourism office to receive information on what is around.
From the tourism office progress north into the kibbutz residential area and swimming pool. The lawns and gardens can harbour 100s of migrants, especially in spring, including Quail Coturnix coturnix, , Wryneck Jynx torquilla, Tawny Anthus campestris and Red-throated Pipits A. cervinus, Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava (many races), Rufous Bush Robin