Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Gazelle action

oday's range: 21.5-29.5 degrees C. When we went out at about 6.40 p.m. just under 26.Humidity ~63% again, winds WNW.

I was scanning the far end of north field when Moshe called our attention. Beautiful! 3 gazelles, probably a family. Adult male was running after a female in the Pistaccio orchard. It was really amazing to watch, they ran from the direction of the north end of east field and into the orchard, ran across its length a number of times. Following not many paces behind (and just 20 feet from Moshe at one point) was a well grown young, about three quarters the size of the buck. That one did not run the whole time but sproinged beautifully like an impala for whole sections of its transit. Then the female, still hotly pursued by the buck, ran through the eucalyptus behind look-out point, leaped the dry stream bed about fifty feet from us, and continued across central trail and into the pines beyond, just to the west of gazelle field.

What else was around today?: Flock of hooded crows foraging on the hillside far north end of gazelle field. Plenty bee-eaters, mostly north end of gazelle field, calling incessantly and perching low or skimming over the field between acacias and cistern. Stone curlew calling now and again from just beyond the bee-eaters, Calls of Syrian woodpeckers, small group of greenfinches flying between trees, collared doves seen but they and turtle doves quiet today. Blackbirds, song and some alarm calls. Quite a few sunbird calls in various places, central trail crossroads and other spots in the forest. Seems the young males of this year are already old enough to make territorial issues with their dads. Graceful warblers also active and vocal. Moshe is proving a quick apprentice with all the different calls, knows how to identify most of the usual birds already by sound.

Plenty hyrax active along valley road. White spectacled bulbuls heard there too.

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