It’s only the start of August and still we had some nice surprises at the Bird Sanctuary this week. The first surprise was an Egyptian Nightjar that was seen a number of times by the park staff in daylight. This enigmatic bird is generally seen here early spring in the Yotvata fields and occassionally in the late autumn. Now that we know they are breeding in the Dead Sea area perhaps we have a bird from there or maybe they are breeding under our noses in the Arava? One evening I went to look for the bird and another surprise floated across in front of my nose, in full sunshine…a Nubian Nightjar! I’m sure it is the same one that was here last year, where he’s been since then we can only wonder. What is for sure is that we will be giving him plenty of space and quiet to help him feel at home. We also had a young Rose-coloured Starling most of the week and two very early Icterine Warblers also turned up in the park. The number of passerine migrants is still low, mainly Eastern Olivaceous and Reed Warblers, some Eastern Orphean Warblers plus the occasional Lesser Gray and Masked Shrikes. Lots of regular waders can be found at all the salt ponds with some groups now in the hundreds, more White-winged Terns coming through and the first Garganey arriving. Yotvata was very quiet during the weekend with just a few Blue-cheeked bee-eaters but the fields are in good condition to attract migrants when they arrive. North Beach is very quiet, 3 Bridled Terns were hanging around at the start of the week, plenty of White-cheeked Terns and little else. I am off to Portugal this week so hopefully nothing will happen while I’m gone…but I wouldn’t count on it! Have a great week!