Friday, March 30, 2012

Spectacle in the sky

While riding my bicycle today out in the desert, I discovered a wonderful spectacle in the sky: hundreds of huge birds where rotating in the air.

„Spring… migration period… they gather for their flight to Europe“, were my thoughts. So fascinated was I, that I got off my bike to watch their ado. Out there, between the Inner and Outer Ring Road there is kind of a tree nursery and above it, the birds were rotating. So there I got off my bike a second time and walked a few steps into the plants to see the birds better. Some of them were gliding softly and silently over the bushes, apparently searching for food. I was impressed by their wingspan which reminded me of the eagles and condors I’ve seen before. More and more of those birds gathered in the sky, they danced unsystematically round and round, while other groups joined them. I stood still for a long time, listening to the reed’s swoosh and watching the birds.

My knowledge about birds is rather limited – a lack of knowledge that I’ve wished to eliminate for years -, although sometimes I’d prefer to be a bird myself. Thanks to some research in internet I am 95% sure that it is about the Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus), a raptor. The size and the rust-red/rust-brown colour of the wings and its black edge fits. An internet source says that the Marsh Harrier hibernates in Egypt along the Nile valley (elsewhere south of the Sahara and in Southern Africa). So have they made a stopover today in Hurghada above the tree nursery?

Here is a link for more information about the Marsh Harrier and some pictures. Unfortunately, I haven’t had my camera with me, but I’ve memorised the spectacle in my mind.

Monday, March 19, 2012

PlanetSolar in Hurghada

Facebook informed me that a very special boat is supposed to be anchored in Hurghada for some days. A boat operated by solar energy only!

I absolutely wanted to see it and on my day off I went to the Marina to take some pictures. And of course because I like the Marina: it’s a quiet and neat place.

So there she was, the PlanetSolar: she looks like a huge utopian bird on the water and was surrounded and marvelled at by other on-lookers. The PlanetSolar stopped over in Hurghada for five days on her trip along the equator and endowed Hurghada with a touch of the big, wide world.

I looked at her in amazement and secretly felt a certain pride and sense of home seeing the Swiss cross and the Swiss flag – although I am not a Swiss citizen… Here are some of my photos. There is also the link to PlanetSolar’s homepage for those who want to know more about the boat, its team, the log book and more…