Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Brief report

Not a whole lot to report lately.. it being moulting season and most birds keeping a low profile, looking rather messy and being quiet, none in song any more. Moulting takes its toll.

We did head south past the pumping station for a change yesterday, moving parallel to the dry stream bed.. saw a gazelle mother and young under the pines and cypress, moving away from us up to the west, farthest south we've seen them though we can reasonably assume they go all the way up to the sapling covered slopes by Pisgat Zeev, there's still plenty forage in that direction, and we know from the droppings they go as far as the slopes below Neve Yaakov pool.

Heard chukar partridges somewhere in the valley, a kestrel up hill slopes to west, some strange short parrot like calls in the eucalyptus , ring necked parakeets? Didn't actually glimpse them. Eurasian jays, many looking quite messy.

House sparrows not so much in the gardens any more.. now they're done breeding they don't need the buildings so much and are roving about in small flocks, foraging. I did hear them a little early morning but nothing like the din of just a few weeks ago. Sunbirds in Bauhinia tree lately, squeak calls and some song. Bulbuls also ranging farther to forage.. harder now so much is dry. Laughing doves still heard cooing from time to time and Jackdaws heard in the 'hood this morning. Hooded crow calls and seen flying up and down valley in singles, or in flock up on the hill. Just heard a caw now as I write! Blackbirds also quiet, some low chacking yesterday at dusk.

Hyrax by contrast very active and about, climbing into cypress, lots of young, saw two mating on a boulder, heard them first, repeated high pitched calls, also found a (second) dead individual a few days ago on valley road last thursday.. (not far from where we found the other) another fight or traffic accident? Hornets swarming the orifices/injuries, we didn't touch it then but that evening I kicked it under an aromatic bush and wedged it in, hoping to retrieve its skeleton at some future date. A day later it was gone, possibly taken by fox.

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