• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Nizzana - BirdForum Opus

Stub.png This article is incomplete.
This article is missing one or more sections. You can help the BirdForum Opus by expanding it.


Nizzana, on the Israeli / Egyptian border, lies in a highly sensitive area with a large military presence even in the most peaceful of times.

In the past birders have been asked to leave the area or even arrested but many have visited the area and found some of the best desert birding in the Middle East. Today, with the political situation once again worsening, it may be wiser to try a less sensitive area.


Notable Species

This area is the only regular site in Israel for Houbara Bustard but there are also four species of sandgrouse and Cream-coloured Courser. Larks include Greater Short-toed Lark and Mediterranean Short-toed Lark and there are also Greater Hoopoe-Lark, Temminck's Horned Lark and Bar-tailed Desert Lark but these are much rarer. Wheatears include Isabelline Wheatear, Desert Wheatear, Mourning Wheatear and Finsch's Wheatear. Other desert passerines found here include Streaked Scrub Warbler, Spectacled Warbler and Orphean Warbler, Palestine Sunbird, Desert Finch and Trumpeter Finch.


Birds you can see here include:

Common Teal, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, European Honey Buzzard, Western Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Pallid Harrier, Short-toed Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Steppe Buzzard, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Steppe Eagle, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Lanner Falcon, Chukar Partridge, Sand Partridge, Common Quail, Eurasian Coot, Houbara Bustard, Black-winged Stilt, Stone-curlew, Cream-coloured Courser, Spur-winged Plover, Little Stint, Ruff, Spotted Redshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Crowned Sandgrouse, Spotted Sandgrouse, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Rock Dove, Barn Owl, Little Owl, Common Swift, Pallid Swift, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Northern House Martin, Bar-tailed Desert Lark, Desert Lark, Greater Hoopoe-Lark, Greater Short-toed Lark, Mediterranean Short-toed Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Temminck's Horned Lark, Tawny Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtail, White Wagtail, Common Redstart, Blackstart, European Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Desert Wheatear, Mourning Wheatear, Finsch's Wheatear, Streaked Scrub Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Orphean Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Palestine Sunbird, Great Grey Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Hooded Crow, Brown-necked Raven, European Greenfinch, Desert Finch, Trumpeter Finch, Ortolan Bunting, Cretzschmar's Bunting, Corn Bunting

Other Wildlife

To do

Site Information

History and Use

To do

Areas of Interest

Temminck's Horned Lark and Bar-tailed Desert Lark are scarce but the best area tends to be along the Route 211 towards the border.

On the approach from Telalim there is a track on the left opposite the turn-off for Kmehin on the right. All four species of sandgrouse can be seen at a series of sewage ponds close to the military camp on a hill along this track. Spotted Sandgrouse and Black-bellied Sandgrouse are the most numerous but Crowned Sandgrouse and Pin-tailed Sandgrouse also occur.

Nizzana Castle is nearby and holds Desert Wheatear and Orphean Warbler and the road to the south towards Azzuz runs through a good area for Houbara Bustard. Follow the road south until a track turns off to the right about 1km past the end of the military zone. As well as Houbara this area has Cream-coloured Courser and Finsch's Wheatear.

Access and Facilities

Nizzana is situated in the Negev Desert and reached from Beer Sheva. It is about 55km south-west of Beer Sheva on Route 40, turn west after Telalim following signs for Ashalim and the Egyptian border. Nizzana is about 40km from Telalim and close to the border.

There is an Educational Settlement at Nizzana that can offer accommodation and there is a campsite at Azzuz.

Contact Details

To do

External Links

To do

Content and images originally posted by Steve