Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Nothing particularly new down in Eyn Porat today (species noted below) so I thought I'd share another couple of pics from the Tel Aviv outing. I sent the cone shell pic and pertinent info to some local oceanography profs. to hear their comments. They might be very interested since its almost definitely an invader from the Red Sea via the Suez. We also sent warnings to some neighbourhood lists to let people know NOT to handle such shells on any of our beaches.

Typical encrustation of life on the pier rocks. The largest conical shells are limpets, the spotted snail like shells next to them are some kind of periwinkle or similar.. haven't found which genus online- both molluscs(mollusks) - both spellings are valid. Up one periwinkle from the central limpet and slightly to the right is a barnacle, you can see it's 'trapdoor' on the top of its little round shell. Though barnacle shells look a lot like those of molluscs they're actually very tiny crustaceans, like teeny shrimps with a home. There also seems to be some kind of marine yellow algae.

This cute li'l crab was found by some youngsters at the end of a short rocky pier. It's perched on Moshe's very water wrinkled finger.

Today's range: 22.5-31 degrees C, ~ 28 when we went out, ~50% humidity and rising. Winds mostly westerly 7-12 knots most of the afternoon.

We went down to the beginning part of the north valley trail today. Lots of bee-eaters around, scores, hard to determine, they were everywhere particularly in the north west end of gazelle field which they seem to favour these days.

Stone curlews also gave us a number of sightings, flying to and fro about the same area and beyond the bat cave toward the secret valley, and very vocal.

Hoopoes seen, Syrian woodpeckers, turtle doves, collared doves heard and seen. Graceful warblers and chukar partridge heard.

Gazelle crossed central trail from the south, continued on to the north valley path, ran across, traversed the flat area by the north watercourse(planted with eucalyptus and acacia) and headed for the pines just north. Parent and young. parent had very thin horns, probably a female. The adult females of this species are supposed to have very thin horns though we often seem to see individuals with no horns at all. If visibility is at all hampered, (camouflage, late afternoon lighting) they may well have very thin horns that are just not visible. The second time I sighted this one today I could not see the horns at all though first time and final time I could see them clearly. They're nowhere near as developed as those of an adult buck but appear just as very fine sticks between the ears.

Laughing doves, feral pigeons around the buildings as usual, single hoodie in flight.

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