Thursday, April 24, 2008

More big brown jobs

Patience and persistence pays off, this marbled white, Melanargea titea titania, consented to keep its wings open for a photo.

Most thistles going to seed now

Today was even warmer than yesterday.. 26-35 degrees C range. At about 6 p.m. it was still just over 30 degrees, humidity 12%, winds 8-12 knots in the afternoon, shifting from SE in the morning to SW to westerlies in the afternoon, picking up and bringing in high altitude clouds.

A few Buteo hawks in the neighbourhood again.. the hooded crows are nesting and don't like their territories invaded. I watched one almost alight on top of a pine across north valley but it had barely put down its talons when a hoodie chased it away.

Some swifts and swallows around, greenfinches and blackbirds in song, calls of black- eared wheatears up the hill, chukar partridge spotted on top of the hill, collared doves about but relatively quiet today, Syrian woodpeckers heard. Bee-eaters heard in the distance? Not seen today. Calls of stone curlews towards dusk and one flew right over us at look-out corner about dusk.

Told off the boys because they were turning over rocks in the woods to find scorpions. These are hazardous but will generally just stay put -but sometimes there are vipers under those rocks and they may strike. When we walked to the top of the hill we noticed two large rocks had been turned over.. clear other boys were looking for snakes, scorpions and wild tortoises- (they've been quite good at finding these!) Boys will be boys but this is asking for trouble! Vipera palestinae does not like its rest disturbed. We photographed a black scorpion that had retreated into an indentation and a relatively large jumping spider, black with a bright red on the abdomen. (not dangerous). The boys contented themselves catching toads. I suggested we put a red or yellow tie around the foot so that we would know if any return to the cistern by themselves. The boys also found some spawn, in gelatinous ropes as toads lay their eggs (as opposed to frogspawn which is laid in masses). Plenty marbled white butterflies around.

No comments: