Friday, August 22, 2008

Weekly round up

It's been quite warm lately, maximum temperatures just over 30 degrees C, early afternoon, birdlife quiet, wind conditions pretty much as they've been all month. Bird life on the whole quiet

Gazelles: A couple spotted lately in the woods just east of the valley road at about 10.30 am, one grazing alone a few days ago northern slopes, well grown female I think, fresh scat by tree line between woods and east field and brief glimpse of individual running into there a couple of days ago, couldn't tell if male /female

hyrax: plenty activity on and off cypress slum and pump house colonies, shrill alarm calls.

Bee-eaters: Flock of 40+ in the eucalyptus by the dry stream trail, east valley yesterday. Haven't seen or heard them in days! Eucalyptus flowers starting to bloom so bee activity rising there.
Turtle doves silent
Hobbies: a few sightings of singles over last few days.. one day at least 3 in the vicinity, two in flight, one calling from trees, indicates successful breeding in the area this year? They definitely didn't use the nest they used last year (in the eucalyptus by the orchard). My suspicion from their movements is that they used a pine somewhere in the middle of north valley, though I also suspect use of a tree near the central ruins in east valley - though that could have been a sparrowhawk instead. Not enough info.
House sparrows: calls, some activity
laughing doves: some coos, several pairs foraging in and by our street for crumbs on pavement.
Hooded crows: heard and some seen.
Jackdaws:heard on and off during the week
Eurasian Jays: raucous calls and plenty singles seen throughout the woods through the week
Feral pigeons: plenty activity round the tops of the buildings in neighbourhood as usual
Greenfinches: some twittering calls and movements of small groups between pines
Blackbirds: some chack chack alarm calls and glimpses
Chukars: distinct chuckles
Collared doves:not cooing this week but pairs seen in flight between trees
Stone curlews:some calls north fields but intensity down
Sunbirds:one male singing quite regularly in Bauhinia in garden noon, early afternoon, plus alarm calls in cape honeysuckle and elsewhere
Graceful warblers: some calls
Syrian woodpeckers:some calls and sighted
Bulbuls: some calls but like many others keeping a low profile: heat and moulting season.
Great tits: some calls in the pines
Eurasian Sparrowhawk: sighting of large individual, female? top canopy level, trees on slopes just east of east valley trail, plus husband saw brief glimpse raptor fly into a flock of sparrows today, most probably another SH.

None of the high pitched chiming cicadas we heard so much last year but several times towards sunset a lower pitched chhhhh chhhhh chhhhh which definitely sounded more
cicada like than cricket like, from middle of Mir forest, cricket calls as usual as well as more black millipedes and a small blue butterfly this week near tree line just up east of dry stream trail, latest I've seen.. possibly responding to the re-bloom of some Podonosma? Not much else about in bloom, though some broom like low flowers still out.

No comments: