Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Snake, poppies and wild food grasses

The snake my boys found, on my 10 year old's hand. The whole snake is ~30 cm long and only about 7, 8 mm diameter. It's very delicate and doesn't bite.

Last couple of days have been quite warm! Today (Tues.) 19-29.5 degrees C,
Sky thinly overcast. Yesterday sky was totally clear, temp. 20-32 degrees C.
Both days seemed to be a heck of a lot of pollen and other particulates in the air, more of the pollen yesterday, more of the dust today.

Delighted to find poppies (Papaver subpiriforme? or similar) along the trail path.. easily confused with the anemone unless you look close and see that the poppy only has 4 petals in opposing pairs and with an obvious black spot at the base. The flowers are also much more fragile in that the petals fall off very easily if you try to open the flower. Today by the bunker ruins we found a number of little patches of wild or feral wheat, barley and oats, with poppy buds and seedpods growing by them.

Gorgeous blue/lilac butterfly spotted briefly along the stream trail, near the sapling field, quite large for a Lycaenid, at least 5 cm span, not one of your tiny blue jobs.

Great tits and graceful warbler singing enthusiastically. Blackbird song yesterday but not today (yet). Swifts between us, both days. Today however we did hear twittering and 'chaw' call of greenfinches, some Syrian woodpecker calls, flight calls and coos of collared doves. Yesterday heard brief chukar call.

Feral pigeons, hooded crows, laughing doves, house sparrows, Eurasian jays active as usual. Early this morning repeated strident call from the garden or close.. I believe a ring necked parakeet.

My preteen boys found a slender snake yesterday. We're not sure what it is exactly but most probably a variant of Coluber najadum, Dahl's whip snake, one of our most common harmless snakes we've found here several times before, though he also resembles Rhynchocalamus melanocephalus, so I really am not sure except that he's definitely not one of our venomous snakes. The other Dahl's we've found had a neck collar as well as the dark on the head but this just has a plain black head.

We've decided it is Rhynchocalamus melanocephalus after comparing it w better photos. It's known as the Kukri snake.

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