Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spring Birdwatching in Jordan

Driving together from Mafraq to Amman yesterday, Tatya warned me (paraphrase), "You're going to cause an accident, between looking on the ground for flowers and looking in the sky for birds!"  Yes, I used to watch watch only for flowers, but now I am noticing the birds as well. Jordan is a great place to birdwatching, and Dear Husband and I have taken up the hobby.

From an Exploring Jordan blog:

"Birding has become a truly international pastime, inspiring an increasing number of enthusiasts to travel the world in pursuit of rare and exotic species, often in fragile ecosystems.

Jordan is an exceptional place for birdwatching. Its geographical position means that it is a hub for migratory species from Europe, Africa, and Asia. The bird life of all three continents pass through Jordan twice a year on their passage between seasonal habitats and sometimes it is possible to see specimens from each at the same time."

Since it is wildflower season, I rarely leave home without my camera. Thus, I've been able to photograph a few birds this week as I've been out and about. I don't have a telephoto lens with the reach I need for most really good bird pictures, but capturing even a slightly blurry image feels like a great accomplishment--birds are hard to photograph! A birding friend helped me identify this first one as some kind of Wheatear.

near Jerash

I'm learning that the bill is the first feature to notice when trying to identify a bird. This bird's beak guided my friend to identify the next bird as a Shrike, and Dear Husband identified it as a Woodchat Shrike.

Woodchat Shrike

I've spotted an number of Hoopoes in Mafraq, but I've never had the chance to photograph one until Friday.


I told Dear Husband that spotting AND photographing this pair of Kingfishers felt like winning a treasure hunt.  We were driving along a country road together--looking for wildflowers--when we spotted the birds on an overhead wire. Dear husband pulled over but we were afraid to open the car door as it would probably scare the birds away. I quickly changed my camera lens, and Dear Husband attempted a few pictures from the driver's seat. Meanwhile I climbed to the back seat and then Dear Husband passed the camera to me. I shot several pictures before the birds flew away.

Nearly all the pictures were blurry beyond recognition, a few had one of the birds, but I was thrilled to find that we had managed to snap one recognizable image of the male and female pair.

White-throated Kingfisher
male and female
Wadi Shu'aib

1 comment:

Emilio Fernandez said...

Good morning, how are you?

My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys travelling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because trough them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately, it is impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are very small countries with very few population, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

For all this, I would ask you one small favour:
Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Jordan? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Jordan in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

Emilio Fernandez Esteban
Avenida Juan de la Cierva, 44
28902 Getafe (Madrid)

If you wish, you can visit my blog www.cartasenmibuzon.blogspot.com where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

Finally, I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

Yours Sincerely

Emilio Fernandez