Viker Lookout – Mishmar Hasharon Reservoir – Visitors Guide

Viker lookout

Viker Lookout (Mishmar Hasharon Reservoir) in Emek Hefer is one of the best places in Israel to see pelican migration.

Update: my latest visit to Emek Hefer was on 16.10.2022. There were pelicans at Viker Lookout. However, I did not see pelicans at Agamon Hefer.

Note: for additional info about animals and wildlife, check out Zoos and Aquariums in Israel‎.

Viker Lookout

Viker Lookout

Map

Viker Lookout is situated in Emek Hefer, between Beit HaLevi and Olesh. It is also not far from Agamon Hefer.

Some access roads can be closed from time to time. Thus the easiest way to reach this lookout is by using this Link to Waze.

Note: any car can reach Viker Lookout, but the dirt roads leading to this place are not in good condition.

Directions for drivers: Link to Waze and Link to Google Maps
Directions for public transport: Link to Moovit

Interactive map of the area:

Offers:

  • Hotels, hostels, and appartments in this area:
Booking.com

Usually, Waze takes me along road #5711. And before turning to Haniel, I continue straight on the dirt road until I reach a three-way junction. At the T intersection, turn left, and after about 1 km, you will see the lookout to your right.

Entrance Fee

Free.

Opening Hours

There are no limitations regarding opening hours. But since there is no artificial light and the roads are not that good, visit only during daylight. Moreover, since the main goal is to see pelicans (who stay for the night), it is best to visit in the morning or about one hour before sunset. From my experience, there are more chances to see pelicans in the mornings. Thus, visit before 10:00 and preferably before 9:00.

Are there Migrating Pelicans Now?

Let’s start with the most common question: when and where can we see migrating birds? Bird migration occurs during fall and spring (usually March – April and October – November). And the best way to find out whether pelicans are visiting is by checking Birdsbase.com. Using this link, you can see the list of recent pelican observations.

For more info about pelican migration and pelicans, see Pelican Migration in Emek Hefer.

At Viker Lookout

Viker Lookout is named after the Viker family that donated the money. It is a lookout point at Emek Hefer and one of the best places in Israel to watch pelican migration. And I found out about it only in 2017 through social media. Since then, I have visited this area many times, and now I will share my findings.

My first visit was in the middle of October 2017. We arrived around 9:30 am, quite late, but there were still many pelicans.

Viker lookout and Alexander stream
Viker lookout and Alexander stream

As you can see, there is no big parking lot. Thus, people park cars along the roads. Therefore if you arrive late, there is a big chance there will be no nearby parking. Moreover, most pelicans that stay here for the night will leave in the morning. Therefore, I suggest visiting early.

Viker lookout
Viker lookout

If you come during migration peak, you will see thousands of pelicans after climbing to the lookout.

Pelican migration at Emek Hefer
Pelican migration at Emek Hefer

Many of them were already leaving on their way to Africa.

Pelicans
Pelicans

And many people enjoyed the view:

Pelican migration at Emek Hefer

Of course, there are many photographers 🙂

Pelican migration at Emek Hefer

There is a viewpoint on the other side of the pool. And what I found during all my visits is that you will be closer to the pelicans on the other side. You can either walk there or drive there.

The second lookout
The second lookout

The view from the other side:

Viker Lookout - Mishmar Hasharon Reservoir
Viker Lookout – Mishmar Hasharon Reservoir

The other side is covered with a wired fence, with half a dozen holes you can photograph through.

Pelican
Pelican

The second visit in 2017 was at the beginning of November. And there were much fewer pelicans. As you can see, there are about the same number of cormorants as pelicans.

Pelican migration at Emek Hefer

Another shot from the other side:

Pelican migration at Emek Hefer
Pelican migration at Emek Hefer
Closeup of a pelican
Closeup of a pelican

I visited on the 13 of October 2018, and there were many pelicans. But it was not the peak.

And here are several photos from October 2022:

Viker Lookout
Viker Lookout

Pelicans were closer to the viewpoint on the other side of the pool. Thus I took all photos from there. Also, if you visit in the morning (like I usually do), the further lookout is the best spot to photograph. On the lookout on the other side, in the morning, the sun will be at your back, and it will light the pelicans and give you good colors of the birds and the sky.

Thrust
Thrust
Pelican landing
Pelican landing

Mid-October seems like the best time to visit, but this can be affected by climate and other factors.

Note: I took all the photos above with Tamron 200-500 mm on Nikon D610.

Additional Birdwatching Places

If you love birds, check out the following places:

Additionally, see Zoos and Aquariums in Israel‎ – Full Review (Overview of 30+ places)

Food

If you are looking for a place to eat, there are two popular nearby places. They are Jacobs Dairy Farm and Agadat Lechem, and Arthura Cafe in Ruppin Academic Center.

Summary

Viker lookout is one of the best places in Israel to watch pelican migration. And it is free. The only downside is the road. Or actually, the lack of road. My tip would be not to wash the car before visiting. Because of the dirt, you will need to wash it after your visit.

Moreover, you can combine Viker Lookout with a visit to Agamon Hefer or Turtle Bridge at Alexander River for an excellent half-day experience.

Have you ever been to the Viker lookout? And what about Agamon Hefer? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!

Stay Tuned!

To find more about animals in Israel, see the birds category and animals category.

   

Additional Resources

Here are several resources that I created to help travelers: And if you have any questions then check out Useful Information For Tourists To Israel.  
Did not find what you were looking for? Leave a comment below, and I will do my best to answer your questions.

Lev Tsimbler

Lev from israel-in-photos.com. You can contact me at hi@israel-in-photos.com

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