Israel family vacation, part 3 - turtles, amphibians & more

Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Cyprus

Israel family vacation, part 3 - turtles, amphibians & more

Postby Kristian Munkholm » Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:47 pm

Part 1: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1377
Part 2: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1378

Turtles:
On our way north from Tel Aviv we made a picnic stop at a coastal stream where we said hello to some of the impressive inhabitants.

Trionyx triunguis
Image

Image

A couple of their smaller cousins were around as well.

Mauremys rivulata
Image

Image

The next morning I moved a rather large and very shy rock off the road before it caused an accident. The ungrateful cretin would not even show me the common courtesy of sticking its head out to thank me.

Testudo graeca
Image

Image


Amphibians:
Our stay near the Lebanese border seemed almost like home. The toads in the yard were the same species as the ones I find in the Copenhagen harbour.

Bufo variabilis
Image

Image


... and that's it for the herps. Those of you only here for them can stop now. For the rest I've compiled a few pics of a bit of the other wildlife seen, along with a bunch of landscapes / habitats and a couple of the crew.


Mammals:
Living in the river alongside the turtles we found these invasives.

Myocastor coypu
Image

Road cruising didn't provide any live snakes but it did at least provide an assortment of mammals. The only one I got a photo of was this slow fellow.

Erinaceus concolor
Image

First mammalian lifer of the trip was a little guy hanging out on a rock in the Golan Heights. It seems so weird that these are some of the closing living relatives of elephants.

Procavia capensis
Image

Nubian ibex were a common sight in the Negev.

Capra nubiana
Image

Image

The past decade has been unusually dry so food is increasingly hard for them to come by causing them to forage in the gardens in the small towns spread about the desert.

Image

It was mating time and the display of the large males involved the rather less than elegant practice of sticking out their tongues while stretching their necks forward and down.

Image

Other mammals seen included a lot of foxes, an assortment of rodents, cape hares, both native species of gazelle (Gazella gazella & Gazella dorcas, both lifers) and a couple of species of bats. The final mammal of the trip was a lifer Egyptian fruit bat flying around and at one point landing on the wall next to us inside the departure hall of Ben Gurion International Airport as we were standing in line waiting for a security check. Nice end to the trip :)


Inverts:
Gustav loves scorpions so I've got quite a few pictures of these as we saw plenty. Here's just a couple.

Leiurus quinquestriatus
Image

Buthotus judaicus
Image

Buthacus sp.
Image

Henriette was, let's say, surprised by this mantis sitting in the dark atop a trash can into which she was about to throw some paper :lol:

Image

Birds:
There was, of course, a plethora of wonderful birds as well, from small and colourful bee-eaters and kingfishers over large flocks of black and white storks to short tailed eagles and impressive griffon vultures soaring just 10 meters over our heads. I have, however, long since acknowledged I have neither the gear nor the patience to photograph birds so I made just this one poor attempt, at a couple of long overdue lifer greater flamingoes.

Phoenicopterus roseus
Image


... & finally, I leave you with an assortment of pictures of landscapes / habitats with a kid or a wife thrown in here or there in no particular order.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Habitat of Montivipera bornmuelleri
Image

Image

Though travelling in Israel is pleasant and one feels safe, reminders that peace is not to be taken for granted are rarely far away.

Image

At times, it feels very peaceful, nonetheless.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
Kristian Munkholm
 
Posts: 450
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 2:04 pm
Hometown: Copenhagen
country: Denmark

Re: Israel family vacation, part 3 - turtles, amphibians & more

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:41 am

Kristian Munkholm wrote:Henriette was, let's say, surprised by this mantis

:lol:

Very nice series again!
Jeroen Speybroeck
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3156
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:18 am
Hometown: Merelbeke
country: Belgium

Re: Israel family vacation, part 3 - turtles, amphibians & more

Postby Paul Lambourne » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:13 pm

Kristian

Normally I would worry if somebody posted a picture of an easily identifiable location for a very rare viper.. but having been there, I cant think of a safer area for any reptile :D miliatary occupation tends to do that... :D

Another great trip report to cheer up rainy nights..

Cheers

Paul
User avatar
Paul Lambourne
 
Posts: 590
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:47 pm
Hometown: London
country: England

Re: Israel family vacation, part 3 - turtles, amphibians & more

Postby Bobby Bok » Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:17 pm

That's an amazing family holiday, chameleons, Trionyx, Cerastes,cool furry critters and even flamingo's, well done ;)
User avatar
Bobby Bok
 
Posts: 954
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 7:11 pm
Hometown: Heemskerk
country: Netherlands

Re: Israel family vacation, part 3 - turtles, amphibians & more

Postby Kristian Munkholm » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:07 pm

Thanks for the kind words, guys :)

Paul Lambourne wrote:Normally I would worry if somebody posted a picture of an easily identifiable location for a very rare viper.. but having been there, I cant think of a safer area for any reptile :D miliatary occupation tends to do that... :D


I know.

I often wonder just how much is hiding in the minefields of the Golan Heights. I suppose that must be where the Discoglossus holed up for more than half a century...
Kristian Munkholm
 
Posts: 450
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 2:04 pm
Hometown: Copenhagen
country: Denmark

Re: Israel family vacation, part 3 - turtles, amphibians & more

Postby Martin Romanov » Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:53 am

That's the most fat tail on a Leirus i've seen
User avatar
Martin Romanov
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 7:27 pm
Hometown: Sofia
country: Bulgaria

Re: Israel family vacation, part 3 - turtles, amphibians & more

Postby Kristian Munkholm » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:13 am

Yeah, well... not really being a scorpion guy I was a little in doubt about that ID, also because of its sheer size. After googling some pictures of similar looking specimens I ended up deciding that really is just what they look like when they get that big.

Here's a smaller, perhaps more typical specimen:

Image
Kristian Munkholm
 
Posts: 450
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 2:04 pm
Hometown: Copenhagen
country: Denmark

Re: Israel family vacation, part 3 - turtles, amphibians & more

Postby Martin Romanov » Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:57 pm

The first picture reminded me of Androctonus.
User avatar
Martin Romanov
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 7:27 pm
Hometown: Sofia
country: Bulgaria

Re: Israel family vacation, part 3 - turtles, amphibians & more

Postby Kristian Munkholm » Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:22 pm

Martin Romanov wrote:The first picture reminded me of Androctonus.


"That's not an Androctonus, that's an Androctonus..."

Image

;)
Kristian Munkholm
 
Posts: 450
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 2:04 pm
Hometown: Copenhagen
country: Denmark

Re: Israel family vacation, part 3 - turtles, amphibians & more

Postby Martin Romanov » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:40 pm

And a beautiful one too. I was thinking of getting one but I found myself short of cash at the last moment :D
User avatar
Martin Romanov
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 7:27 pm
Hometown: Sofia
country: Bulgaria


Return to Near and Middle East

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests