Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sunday report and the mysterious bundles

There are a number of these bundles of dry sticks about 10 feet (+/- couple of feet) across scattered on the west facing hillside just east of the lower valley path. How did they form? I wondered if the shepherds had been keeping them as stockpiles for campfires and husband theorized they might have gathered naturally as rain brings dried wood down the hillside. We also had a few rather less serious theories about porcupines thinking they're beavers and activities of gnomes....

Today we walked south along valley road, around the loop over the bridge, north along the lower valley path and then struck north east along a shepherd's path toward the open hill, looking out for 'Limpy' the injured buck.

Temp range: 19-30 degrees C, at 7 p.m. it was down to 25 degrees, skies totally clear, humidity 60% and rising, winds westerly to northwesterly 6-8 kt.

Gazelles: No sign of 'Limpy' today but did see small herd of 7, probably the same herd we saw yesterday in the north field. Today they were in the east field making their way gradually south, almost in single file, not far from the security fence. They were females and pretty well grown young, at least one young of this year, led by (probably the alpha) female, had very slender horns, hard to see unless against just the right kind of background. This was about 7.45 p.m. light quickly failing by then. Saw another gazelle down in the pines on the way back just down below the turn of valley road to the south.. didn't get good view if buck but didn't appear to be limping at all.

hyrax: Quite a few adults active around the rocks just down from the pumping station/edge of sapling field.

Bee-eaters: heard, and seen around look-out corner area, though not in swarm.

Hooded crows: about, flying over valley in singles, flock, not large, up on windsurfer hill.
Jackdaws: heard calling, Eurasian Jays: Spotted amongst pines, foraging, relatively quiet today.
blackbirds alarm calls heard, glimpsed.
stone curlews: calls from north end of gazelle field and also from the east end of pistaccio orchard,
Syrian woodpeckers: A number of calls heard throughout pine woods.
White spectacled Bulbuls: Musical calls heard in eucalyptus south end of sapling field.
laughing doves:cooing around houses. Sunbird 'squeak' call from Bauhinia though not the frantic repeated squeak that signals cat, this was more of a contact call I think. Sparrows gone off foraging grass seeds? very quiet lately. Husband saw ring necked parakeet 7.45 am in flight, a little higher up in the residential neighbourhood,

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