Monday, April 14, 2008

Warm spring day

Delicate butterfly sipping from a thistle. Melanargea titea titania, also known as Marbled white. Back is quite strongly marked black and white but would not keep its wings open long enough for a pic. Looks like one of the white butterflies but is in fact a Nymphalid

A white squill type flower, very similar to the bluebell but pure white and growing in many locations in fields and woods over last few weeks.

Temps warm today, reached ~30 degrees C (~86 degrees F) and was only a little below that when we headed down for our walk. Humidity 19%, wind light and ENE. Plenty fine dust noticed in the air last few days, casts a light haze in the sky at times.

Gazelles: No show today
Rock hyrax: A number active on the slopes near the pumping station including juveniles (born past winter)

Summer birds: Bee-eaters: As yesterday- we could see them lined up on the wires over the hillside to the north, at least 60.
Swifts: Quite a few aloft, hunting bugs and chasing each other.
We're listening out for turtle doves which should be back very soon now.. none heard yet though.
Rose ringed parakeet: Heard as we came down shortcut to valley road, he was up in a pine. Nice long tail visible on this one so clearly not the same individual as the one which visited the garden.
House sparrows: Very active around the houses
Laughing doves: Cooing and active in the gardens and street.
Hooded crows: All over the place, foraging, flying about, perched on treetops, generally singles or pairs, not as flocks. Jackdaws: Some calls.
Eurasian Jays: Plenty activity over forest and trees, also singly, not in groups.
Feral pigeons: Some activity, Blackbirds: song, some activity
Collared doves: coos, some activity
Sunbirds: Calls and activity, especially around the cape honeysuckle which has grown quite thick again and likely has a nest. Graceful warblers: Quite vocal
Spectacled Bulbuls: Quite vocal and active in gardens and generally.
Great tits: Vocal and active

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