Saturday 17 November 2012

Top birding destinations for adrenalin junkies

A week ago, perhaps ten days but certainly no longer than that, I was very seriously contemplating going to Israel next February. The dates were picked, the flights were picked, and I was just waiting on a few others to see if they wanted to come too. Surprisingly nobody has yet replied saying that yes, they would love to come on what promised to be a superb birding rocket-dodging trip.

One day before I was going to book the flight, one bunch of people that live there decided to blow up one of another bunch that people that also live there. This caused friends of the blown-up person to launch a series of rockets that they happened to have lying around towards random areas where the first lot of people lived. Some of them have now been blown up too, and that cannot stand, so they are now blowing up more people in retaliation. Looking at the map of my potential birding sites, and the range of the rockets, I have concluded that booking a trip that requires passing through a war zone where both sides have what some may conclude are "irreconcilable differences" is a bad idea. I make no comment on the rights or wrongs of it, my knowledge of history, politics and religion in the area is negligible. But it reminds me yet again how much I hate organised fundamentalism, of which both sides are massively guilty. Religion has a lot to answer for.

A great shame, as though I am not hugely into Western Palearctic listing, there are apparently in excess of 50 new birds that live there. Or maybe it's now 49 and a bunch of feathers? Anyway, for now I'm going to leave the lunatics to it and take my Shekels elsewhere. Morocco is the likeliest destination. I'm sure there are problems there too, but to my knowledge they don't involve airstrikes and missiles. If anybody knows different, please let me know. There are lots of very good birds in Morocco, including lots of Wheatears. Some of them are very approachable by the sounds of things, especially Desert Wheatears, which will be nice as I've not had decent views of one of them for, like, ages....

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