A Naturalist in the Judean Wilderness

This article is a bit different from the usual fare.  A conservation biologist goes for a stroll in the Wadi Qilt (near Jericho) and details his morning’s observations.  Here’s a taste:

As I hiked through this harsh but astonishing landscape, I tried to keep my eyes on the sky in anticipation of a potential sighting of an interesting gliding raptor, as it was the time for the fall migration. Loud trumpeting, far-reaching calls, and deep and trilling “kroo kroos” emerged out of nowhere. I tried to distinguish where the sound was coming from; however, in a magical sight, the air was suddenly filled with hundreds of cranes soaring and twirling in the sky as they were carried up by the warm air currents. Like fighter-pilot squadrons, the birds adopt arrow-like formations as they are lifted by the thermals, which will eventually guide them south towards Africa. A few minutes later, they disappeared into the horizon.

The article was originally published in This Week in Palestine and is available online at the Institute for Middle East Understanding.  You can read it all here.  You can see some of my photos of the Wadi Qilt here.


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