Places to visit in Israel

Agamon Hefer is migratory birds stop in Israel.


Agmon Hefer is a small closed lake ecosystem in the centre of the country. Migratory birds stop here. At the specially arranged points along the park paths, you can watch and hear the noise of pelicans, the chirping of cranes, and even the high flights of storks. The best time to see the wonders of nature is dawn.

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Evgeny Praisman (author)
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Two groups of Ashomer HaTsair from Poland and Belgium established Kibbutz Ein a Horesh in 1929. Unfortunately, the pioneers mistakenly translated the Arabic word Hawara as Horesh. The term concerned a nomadic tribe from Sudan, who ended up in these places at the invitation of the ruler of Akko, Ahmad El Jazar. The lands were swampy, and only the tribe had an innate immunity to malaria. By the way, the descendants of this tribe inhabit Jisser El Zarka today.

Lake Hefer is an artificial reservoir created based on the fish breeding ponds of Kibbutz Ein a Horesh. The Alexander creek supplied water to the ponds. In the second half of the nineteenth century, the Alexander creek was the only transport artery for Hefer Valley. Rafts with watermelons were floated along the river. Watermelons were supplied to Egypt from a small bay near the village of Jisr El Zarqa.

There are several versions of the name of the creek - the Alexander creek. One version mentions the Hasmonean ruler Alexander Yanai; the other is about the Arab watermelon merchant Iskander.

For reasons of profitability, the kibbutz stopped fish farming. However, the ponds were left unattended and posed an environmental threat. Not wanting to convert agricultural land for development and prevent multi-storey buildings in the pastoral line, the kibbutz transferred the land to the national land fund, which decided to arrange a stop for migratory birds.

The most frequent guests on the ponds were pelicans. Pelicans migrate south from the north of the Caspian Sea.

Flocks of pelicans can number up to six hundred individuals. An adult pelican eats over ten kilograms of fish per day during the migration stop. One of the reasons why the kibbutz stopped raising fish is the lack of ability to prevent the pelican from eating the fish.

The best time for bird watching is early morning. At dawn, awakening from sleep, the birds begin an essential exercise in preparing for flight. They carefully look after their plumage and conduct training flights at low altitudes, warming up the body after the night.

The most convenient way to watch birds is from a specially equipped structure that allows you to remain invisible. This mode enables birds to be relaxed, not afraid of humans and be in their natural habitat. In addition, this construction contains posters with explanations and stories about different birds, their habits and characteristics.

The arrangement of the protected area formed an internal ecosystem. Now foxes, jackals, mongooses, hedgehogs live around the lakes. At dawn, nature comes to life, and the animals are visible and very well heard. A whole orchestra of sounds accompanies the sunrise.

You can combine the walk through the reserve with a walk along Alexander River Park. This 10 km trail runs along the riverbank and is suitable for cycling, hiking and leisurely walking.

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