Bird migration is everywhere, making it a universally accessible, constantly changing wonder of nature – and if you’re lucky enough to live on a coastal flyway at the edge of a continental landmass (well, it was more about planning and sacrifice than luck), then the possibilities for a migration junkie like myself are almost endless.
Better still, when you position yourself at the axis of various topographical, geographical and coastal features, there are different ‘subgenres’ of bird migration that open up to you – meaning that during the right season, there are different choices, depending on prevailing wind and weather conditions.
Bird migration is an endlessly fascinating phenomenon that taps into a variety of our basic impulses and desires. There's the sensual, animalistic connection it nurtures and strengthens with the cyclical changing of seasons, and the subtle sub-seasons within them;
the odd but very human urge to install order and a sense of control over the relative chaos, by meticulously counting and recording each and every bird - getting our 'ducks in a row' (often literally).
Birdwatching in the stony deserts of southern Israel
The desert of Israel with its vast landscapes initially seems very barren and empty, but if you learn to understand it and follow its rules, all of its diversity is revealed. Bird watchers especially get their money's worth.
They will encounter many unusual and mysterious animal species. They can observe that each bird species follows its own rituals. Noam Weiss gives us an insight into a very special habitat for birds.