Monday, September 22, 2008

New camera debut

Today husband's new Nikon D 40 single lens digital reflex arrived, Hurray! Now we can take pics again! Today we had some fun getting used to the settings etc.

This beautiful little pink flower was the only flower we found blooming on the south facing slope of north hill, every thing else was dry and gone to seed. It's a member of the pink family, Caryophyllaceae, one of the Dianthus I'd guess, flowers which bloom in high summer, but didn't ID it closer than that. Called 'tziporen' in Hebrew.

There was still some ragwort in bloom by valley road as well as the low broom like plant and spitting cucumber still making flowers and pods.

We spotted this handsome buck gazelle in the flat eastern area of the north watercourse - a little blurred, had to zoom in on the pic here, but you can just see his horns.

Range today 20 to just over 30 degrees C, at time of walk ~28 degrees C, at that time humidity rising from 27 to 37%, wind ENE and very light.

Flock of 70-80 jackdaws way up on the wall /fence near to A Ram, apparently foraging up on the hill there, toward sunset, as well as a few hoodies on the line. A number of wheatears foraging and occasionally calling on the hill crest amongst the rocks and in the scrub. Based on the pale buff and white plumage and dark mark through the eye I'd say they were Isabelline Wheatears, Oenanthe isabellina, fairly common passage migrants. Farther down the slope we spotted a pair of pipits foraging along the ground but I could not get enough detail to I.D. them unfortunately.

Eurasian Jays foraging in woods, fields and north watercourse eucalyptus grove, Syrian woodpeckers about, masked shrike heard.

We headed over north into the olive grove and there, while admiring the spreading surface roots of an old olive found a wild tortoise nestled into a nook! I didn't want to disturb it, it looked so comfortable so we just took a pic (below). You can just see the two back legs and triangular shaped tail

Altogether a delightful outing for the new camera and ourselves!

Small flock of house sparrows by our street, several pairs of laughing doves at crumb corner, feral pigeons on top of buildings. Sunbird heard singing in the cape honeysuckle

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