Droves of migrating birds strike a remarkable sight as they swirl above head in flocks of some 5,000 birds at a time over the Judean Desert. There are about seven hundred million birds flying over Israel twice every year during migration season, 600,000 of them white storks, explains Noam Attias.
Attias, a birdwatcher for the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, is perched atop a rocky hilltop overlooking the Jordan River Valley. She is also a former air force air traffic controller.
“When you see a pack of storks, even if it is small, or very, very big you see this mass of birds which are going up. Pelicans will do it in a very nice order. Storks will do it in all kinds of directions as they go up. And when they get to the top of this thermal that’s when they begin to glide. That is when they are in a really nice order and I can count them really easily and I can count them 10, 20, 30, 40 and so on,” says Attias.