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.

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