Friday, September 14, 2007

Daily Photo: Birds at Aswan

I'm still in my Aswan 2007 folder, so here are some photographs of birds seen at Aswan in March 2007.


Pied Kingfisher


Little Green Bee Eater

I've looked these up in Patrick Houlihan's excllent The Birds of Ancient Egypt (1986). Three of the birds represented here are known from ancient Egyptian art. The osprey is not represented in art, although it has been identified in mummifed form. The bee-eater is only known from one artistic representation, at the morutary temple of Hatshepsut in Deir el Bahri, in one of the Expedition to Punt scenes, where it appears to have been regardes as an exotic. Egrets (of which there are four species), and not to be confused with Ibis, are commonly depcted in Egyptian art from the Fifth Dynasty onwards. Pied kingfishers are frequently depicted in Egyptian art, and Houlihan shows a lovely example of a bird in a dive, wings outstretched, from Amarna. Like the Egret, they are found in Egyptian art from the Fifth Dynasty onwards. Houlihan lists over 70 species, and comments that in Gardiner's Sign List, 63 of the standard hieroglyphs represent either birds or parts of birds.

If bird watching is one of your interests, I have put the full set of bird photographs that I took on Lake Nasser and in Aswan on this page on another site. Some of the photos leave quite a bit to be desired, but others seem to have come out alright.

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