Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Pigeons vs Sparrowhawk

part of north valley looking north west. A Ram on the hill top.

Weather: range 6-12 degrees C. ~ 4 p.m. ~10.5 degrees C, humidity >70% and rising,
wind SW ~8kt, partially cloudy.

Neat observation my husband made today (Wednesday 2nd Jan) just coming onto our street. An adult Eurasian sparrowhawk passing over was seen off by the local feral pigeons! A group of 10 or so pigeons got up from the rooftops and started harrying the sparrowhawk. As it moved away from them toward east valley, two more groups of pigeons, a dozen birds and about another ten birds from further rooftops joined the fray till the sparrowhawk headed to the pines.

Black redstart active foraging at the bunker ruins today and yesterday. Perches on the blocks of concrete and dives down into the scrub like a shrike though with a little more deft wing action. Stonechats and black redstarts foraging in gazelle field, stonechat also seen on the edge of valley road as we came down a shortcut. Blackbirds chakking toward dusk in the pines. Syrian woodpecker call near the pumping station.

A group of chaffinches in the tops of cypresses and pines at the centre trail crossroads.

Heard from the house- much house sparrow activity early afternoon as well as Hooded crow and Jackdaw calls. White wagtail heard from the street and white spectacled bulbuls and laughing doves vocal in the garden, latter cooing.

I noticed a 'savyon' in bloom yesterday. It's a small relative of a dandelion that grows here. One of the local pet donkeys seems to like me! I was busy watching out for stonechats and black redstarts in gazelle field when suddenly felt rough fur on one side.. he'd walked right into me, though gently. Two boys were riding their donkeys but this one headed to us, no doubt sensing people who love animals. I petted his head briefly, such beautiful large lashed eyes they have.

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