The car of the Israeli-Palestinian birding team arrives at the salt marshes north of Eilat with the sound of spitting gravel and a cloud of dust. The Palestine Sunbirders, as they call themselves, started the race at 3:30 a.m. in chilling desert temperatures, always a good omen for a morning happily chirping with birds.

Twelve hours later after sharing information with some other teams, they are surprised to discover that they have a good shot at winning Israel’s first ever “Champions of the Flyway” international birding competition.

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