So there we were, in the spectacular Ein Avdat canyon, a part of the great wadi Nahal Tzin!
Having water all year round, Ein Avdat is a real oasis in the hot dry desert, a watering spot for birds and other animals and a magnet for hikers.
The path in Ein Avdat National Park is part of the Israel National Trail.
Our group had come for Shishi Zioni, the monthly program at Midreshet Sde Boker; and last Friday guide and bird expert Meidad Goren lectured about migrations and led us into the canyon.
We watched two fledgling humming birds in a bush and flocks of rock pigeons flying around.
We listened to the Tristram's Grackles' shrill cries.
One small chutspah-dik bird flew so close past by head I instinctively "ducked."
But most exciting was when a big Bonelli's Eagle, aka Hieraaetus fasciatus or עיט ניצי
hopped off the cliff and took to the air!
Then two other big raptors joined it in flight!
Click on the photo once and then once again to see all three.
With binoculars we could soon see them above Kibbutz Sde Boker.
They had caught a thermal and were circling upwards in the column's warm air.
(See also my post about ibex in Ein Avdat.)
(Linking to Camera Critters and Weekend Reflections.)