Sunday, February 3, 2008

Small stuff

Sat 2nd Feb: Blackbirds, (1 in magnificent song at dusk on top of pine by the southward bend in valley road), also in the garden occasionally last few days, laughing dove (rooftop), syrian woodpecker, stonechat (by valley road, looked to be an immature), hooded crows, great tits, graceful warblers.

Two collared doves broke out of the pines at the bunker rubble about dusk and headed over to the giant pine by the cistern with a whistle of wings.
'shhhh let's shift over to the other tree when the humans aren't looking, over their heads, count of two, one, two..' whoosh! 'do you think they saw us?!' 'nah, I think we're ok now'

Flock of at least 30 small finches between buildings and north valley close to sunset.. from the way they were moving and calling, probably linnets.

Sunday 3 Feb: Temperature back up to spring like norms, very pleasant out.
Range 7-13

From the garden: house sparrows, white spectacled bulbuls; from further off: hooded crows, jackdaws, white wagtail

at ~ 5.45 p.m. (just after our return) was still 8.9 degrees C, humidity 69% and rising, wind 1.7 ENE

Down in the forest: Eurasian jays about, some calls, graceful warblers, calls of black redstarts but none spotted.

In the field by the saplings: mats of a small flowering bright orange composite quite extensive as well as numerous savyon. Broom like flowers still blooming alongside valley road. Pile of fresh gazelle droppings out in the open, quite a lot of gazelle tracks as well as feral dog tracks. Fresh gazelle hoofprints and dog prints noticed on most of the trails which were pretty muddy today.

We saw a group of 5 feral dogs arrive at look-out corner from north valley. The dhole coloured dog took it upon himself to thoroughly mark a small tree at the crossroads, the others moved on ahead a little, leaving that job to 'boss', then continued when he was ready.. they then headed out to east field. Another separate group of feral dogs up on the slope above the pumping station.

Several hooded crows along valley road perched in various cypress, probably already on the look-out for good nesting trees and staking out their breeding grounds. Great tits active and vocal. White spectacled bulbuls very vocal and active lately, some near look-out corner and at the ruins in the middle of Mir Forest. Feral pigeons on buildings and in flight here and there.

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