ISRAEL, PART 11: WILDLIFE

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“Birdgirl” – It was easy in Israel to stay true to this name a fellow India traveler gave me and I was also thrilled to find other unexpected creatures during my stay.

Let’s start with the ubiquitous and as you seem quite expressive hooded crow, who nailed the side eye look. As mentioned before, crows are not only very intelligent but also have long memories, so I am always sure to show respect to them – I don’t want to be dive-bombed upon a revisit someday. I also got questioning looks from these two grackles who gave me the once over at Masada:

You never know when a bird will alight in the most unusual places – like this spur-winged lapwing who was standing in the middle of an excavation site in Magdala:

This Palestinian sunbird was flitting around the many plants, trees and flowers in the lush gardens of our hotel in Tiberius.  Unfortunately it moves around quickly like a hummingbird so I only was able to get one clear shot at the top of a tree:

My bird photography pièce de résistance may very well be this next series of a black crowned night heron manipulating his fish catch so that it could slide down its throat. Our  group was on its way to board a boat to cruise along the Sea of Galilee when something caught my eye.  Though not close by, my zoom lens helped me to capture this series:

Then, when I was actually looking for birds one morning, I instead came upon this very, very large snail.  I don’t know if he realized how lucky he was that I came upon him and stayed with him for a long while, for hovering right above me was a crow who thought he had found some fine fresh escargot for breakfast:

Finally, the last beastie fits my face my fears category.  I don’t know if it can fly, but just a look at its pincers made my heart beat faster.  Incidentally this was not take with a zoom setting – this was quite a large bug, I am assuming a beetle of some unknown  classification:

Where is that night heron or crow. when you really need them?

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