Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The big boys are back!

Always worth blogging soon after a hike so that the info stays fresh.. now it's a day later and I may miss a few details but here we go with Monday's walk- mainly just down valley road and along the east valley lower trail by the dry stream which is messed up with effluent from the pumping station at the moment. Looks like a layer of papier mache! Not toxic I don't think though I sometimes wonder how that affects the eucalyptus trees.

I also noticed a white water line on my skirt from the wadi Qelt water (farther 'downstream' )- husband reckons it's just pure calcium (carbonate) from groundwater though I didn't have that at all last time we were there

Most notable observation yesterday were at least half a dozen buzzards (we may have seen same individual twice, or 7) at about sunset, they'd probably come down to roost on passage and we spooked them from their resting places in various pines.. they just flew up, wheeled around and found another place to settle, at this time of year most likely honey buzzards, Pernis apivorus but light dim, hard to tell. Likely there were quite a few more about settled that we didn't spook.

Hyrax: Many active in cypress slum colony.. including many young, often run across road as we approach, since safe dens under boulders on the forest side of the road as opposed to mostly exposed bank on the other side. chittering calls heard quite a lot.

Hobbies: dramatically tried to divebomb a jackdaw.. jackdaw tried to reach it but both stand off last moment in mid air as neither wants to get damaged in flight. Lots of jackdaws about up on the hill, at least 70,80

Jays: calls, foraging in the pines
Greenfinches: small groups in pines
Blackbirds: some vocalizations
Sunbirds: In Bauhinia tree, squeak calls, male
Graceful warblers:Very vocal in pines near valley road
Syrian woodpeckers: calls
Bulbuls: calls near valley road, around pumping station
Great tits:calls
White spectacled bulbul - calling musically in the Bauhinia outside my window as I write

Up to 3 ring necked parakeets also about lately, between our neighbourhood and Pisgat Zev's 'villa hill' , they've learned to appreciate suburban gardens over woodland- more water amongst other benefits.

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