Sunday, January 13, 2008

Thurs-Sunday Jan 10-13

This shows the course of the stream through part of east valley and how grassy the area has become over the rainy season. Taken 10th December, midwinter, coldest time of our year.

A few days ago at night both husband and I independently heard stone curlew call from the valley

Thurs: Range 1-9 degrees C. ~ 4 p.m. 7.3 degrees C. Humidity 79% and rising. Wind NNW 3.5kt

House sparrows, white spectacled bulbuls, great tits, blackbirds, hooded crows, jackdaws, feral pigeons, eurasian jay.

Sat: 3 white wagtails running around foraging on an empty (primary ) school playground just down from us. Also hooded crows, jackdaws, white spectacled bulbuls, blackbirds, graceful warblers.

Sun: Range: minus 1-7 . I've never seen figures so low for here.

roof rail top of buildings: row of feral pigeons as usual, a laughing dove.

Heard from the house: house sparrows, white spectacled bulbuls, hooded crows.

Just after 4 p.m. 5.3 degrees C, humidity 47% wind ENE 2.6 kt, sky totally clear.
Going down shortcut to valley road, saw female (or immature) black redstart, and stonechat perching on the ends of some metal posts left down there. Graceful warbler foraging and calling in the scrub.

Syrian woodpecker calls from east valley woods towards pumping station.

At the bunker ruin a european robin heard tic ticking then noticed in nice clear view sitting on blackjack's favourite rebar perch, flicked and then dived down out of view for forage. 'Blackjack' (male black redstart) noticed on a boulder off to the side, perhaps feeling a touch peeved that his favourite spot had been temporarily commandeered by his fiery chested relative. Another stonechat on an old thistle head just beyond the bunker ruins. They have such similar niches I wonder about the competition. Is there any? Are robins unfazed by it and just overlap territories with them where they wish? So it seems. I have not yet heard one defend a winter territory by singing on my patch as I did in Afula, other places in Israel or in the U.K.

Blackbird in song about 5 p.m. near pumping station.
Otherwise quiet and cold, no sign of any gazelles today. Husband noticed a white wagtail running about in the street this morning.

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