Wednesday, November 17, 2010


There's something wonderful about sitting on a balcony in the early morning with the sun on your back - probably linked to a time when we clambered down out of the trees and sat around in convivial groups looking for fleas on each other.

This morning from the balcony I finally saw an exotic bird: a hummingbird I think: small, delicate, turquoise and with a curved beak, it was sitting in the walnut tree outside the flat. I was thrilled, but there are still not many birds, probably linked to the lack of insects mentioned earlier. They're even noticing the lack of water too, as yesterday I watched two sparrows flitting around the steel water-tanks that every house has on its roof, looking for water.

I put a plastic bowl of water out onto the quieter of the two balconies, but to date not one bird has come close. Probably treated water, and birds aren't stupid.

On the way to Tulkerm I did see a small flock of black waders - is there such a thing as black egrets? Anyway, I would assume they'd normally be near water, but as the wadi is dry and there are no pools, lakes or rivers here, the birds are suffering too.

Why did I just think of a Don McLean song then?

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