This week I am sharing some of the birds I saw while in Israel six years ago. This post marks my six year anniversary of when I started becoming a birder. While I did not see many different bird species, I did start noticing birds and photographing them. The White Turtledove is probably the most popular bird associated with Israel as the bird of peace representing the presence of God the Holy Spirit.
It is interesting where you find these birds. Here I noticed them sitting on a ledge on the western wall of Jerusalem known as the Wailing Wall, where Jewish men and women pray for the peace of Jerusalem. People place prayer notes to God on small pieces of paper in the cracks of the walls.
The Rock Pigeon or Feral Pigeon is found all over the world including Jerusalem with the White Turtledove.
The Eurasian Magpie was a common bird in the towns and cities including Jerusalem.
This Red Kite was seen flying over the Tel Megiddo which is a famous palace site for many generations in the Valley of the Kings.
This is the site mentioned in the Bible where the last great battle will take place called Armageddon. Many of Israel’s kings including Solomon had palaces on this Tel which contains about 16 layers of history.
Another raptor specie that flew over Tel Megiddo while I was checking it out was this Red-footed Falcon, its red feet can be seen while in flight.
As I prepared to go for a swim in the Dead Sea several of these Spur-winged Plover or Lapwing flew gliding effortlessly over the water for long periods of time.
The Dead Sea Resorts host tourists who come to bathe in the 33% saline water which is suppose to have healing properties. It was quite an experience not being able to sink, and being able to lie on the water as if it were a couch. One would wonder why these birds would live in these parts.
Travelling back from the Dead Sea Resort one encounters the fortress of Masada built by Herod the Great. On a visit to this mountain fortress the appearance of Tristram’s Grackle (or Starling) has been recorded as a common sight. Here you can see them watching from the fortress.
Many of these crow like birds are seen resting and flying high around Masada fortress 440m above the Dead Sea.
On the Mediterranean coast the ancient city of Caesarea, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, built by Herod the Great was where I sighted this Western Reef Heron on white morph. This bird can be seen as a white dot on the far end of the bathes.