Monday, February 4, 2008


Asphodel bloom

Beautiful clear skies today. Range 7-15 degrees C,

~4.30 p.m. 11.8 degrees C, humidity 42%, wind ENE 0.9 kt

Heard from the garden: House sparrows, white wagtails, white spectacled bulbuls, senegal dove 5 note coo, though quite low volume, great tits very vocal, calling, a little singing, jackdaws.

Heading down to the valley.. black redstart immature male on a low wall right by an apartment building, graceful warblers vocal on the bank betw. buildings and valley road, beautiful blackbird song near the pumping station at 4.45 p.m. Group of greenfinches seen to land in the top of a cypress, Eurasian jays, between the bank and east forest, one lurking in the depths of an acacia on the bank. Great tits active in the pines and more black redstart heard
Rock hyraxes active foraging and vocal along valley road, hearing quite a few calls in their repertoire from the pumping station hillside colony, the low slow rhythmic bark and high squirrel like chatter amongst others.
Flock of at least 70 hooded crows up on windsurfer hill, either settled or in low milling flight over the hilltop from time to time, not windsurfing today though of course, wrong conditions.

Jordan rift valley quite clearly visible, late afternoon sun lighting the west face of the Jordanian escarpment a rosy hue. We tried to get some pics but our camera does not adequately convey the panorama at this distance, sadly.

Asphodels still putting out only one or two flowers per spike, most buds closed and dark, plenty savyon still out and in gazelle field noticed quite a lot of flowering shepherd's purse, tiny collections of white flowers.'s_purse
I've made extensive use of this herb in the past after childbirth to limit bleeding after delivery.

We went to check on the almond trees, now in bud but still not quite ready to bloom.
Heard and briefly glimpsed stonechat there.
Noticed a few gazelle hoofprints but they weren't showing today.

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