Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The "famous" local owl

I was delighted that husband managed to get some shots of "Owl" mid/late morning on the back-road up by east valley. Seeing his face mask now he does look like the Little Owl, (Athene noctua), no doubt one of the local races, likely indignea or perhaps lilith. Husband reckoned it stood about 10" tall max, kept bobbing forward and stretching up alternately. This bird is called 'Koss' in Hebrew and well known to all who take this route. He also 'posed' briefly on top of a nearby lamppost. He seems somewhat used to people looking at him.

Weather seems to have changed its mind about the brief upward trend. Westerlies blew pretty much all day, range 16.5-24 degrees C, ~21 degrees when we headed out about 6.30 p.m. Humidity between 45-50%, wind blowing between 8 and 10 kt.

From the house the usual crew, house sparrows, sunbirds (husband saw male with female in the cape honeysuckle. Now we're on the watch out for a family group) , white spectacled bulbuls heard and jackdaw and hooded crow farther off. Laughing doves heard cooing.

In the valley turtle doves cooing nicely, collared doves quite active and cooing, greenfinches calling, singing, twittering, a group of bee-eaters over gazelle field toward sunset, always a delight to watch in flight. Graceful warblers very vocal and active, Syrian woodpecker calls, Common swifts on the wing over east valley. Over by the cistern a group of three Hooded crows, one seen feeding another which solicited for food. Pretty much same area that hoodies were nurturing the cuckoo last year.. same pair? Did they learn this time around not to fall for the cuckoos nefarious schemes, or just lucky this time? Quite a few other hoodies foraging on gazelle field for food, (probably large invertebrates such as mole crickets, grasshoppers/locusts) as well as Eurasian jays. Blackbirds also about.

Ripening fig in one of the dozen or so fig trees, east end of olive orchard to the north. This pic was taken late last week on our longer hike, most of the figs still green at the time.

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