Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mid-week round-up

Monday and Tuesday: Weather very similar, range 15- just over 26 yesterday, 27.5 degrees C today. ~23 degrees C both days when we set out for our walk.
Also at that time (~6.30 p.m. ) Humidity: 50% yesterday, 65% today.
Winds westerly both days, 8-10 kt yesterday, 7-12 kt today, brisk and pleasant.

Hyrax activity both days esp. yesterday, two mothers nursing on boulders on the rocks just down from the north stretch of valley road- we hadn't noticed a colony there last year though the feral dogs were poking their noses into holes then, perhaps there was.

No gazelle sightings either day.

Hoopoes both days: today 4 on the path, turn-off to north valley. Amusing to watch one take a sort of dust bath. It would sit in the road, poke its bill into its feathers a bit,scratch, ruffle the dust into their breast feathers, quiver wings rapidly, shuffle around maybe a quarter turn and make another sequence of similar moves, did this a number of times. They seem to really like the stimulation of dust in their feathers.

Bee-eaters both days from look-out corner all the way to north gazelle field, at least a dozen, probably the usual two dozen but always a number perched. They often like a low dead tree for that, and company.

Eurasian jays active and vocal both days, as were collared doves, hooded crows, greenfinches (some chaffinch like singing (?) today as well as the usual greenfinch twittering), Syrian woodpeckers (some drumming also yesterday), stone curlews. Turtle doves cooing both days.

House sparrows and laughing doves around the houses both days. Husband noticed a male sunbird in the tree across the street. Jackdaws heard. White spectacled bulbul calling in the Bauhinia early this morning.

Husband heard a Tristram's grackle today from somewhere over to the east. We also heard one from that direction two days ago, forgot to mention.

In bloom at the moment: globe thistle, desert spike, capers, Israeli thyme, ragwort, broom, golden thistle, Ballotia.

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