Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday 27

First rain of the season fell!: On friday 26th. Large drops spattered down so hard I thought they were hail! They had probably formed around dust in the air. No thunder or lightning, intermittent rain over the following twenty four hours and cumulus drifting over from the west like galleons. Even so, the stream was not flowing when we reached it late saturday afternoon, merely damp.

Saturday: 17-22 degrees C, We headed out about 5.30 p.m. when the temp. was ~20 degrees. During the time of our walk humidity ascended to 80% then 85%, wind westerly with minor changes and ~6-8 kt.
Birds definitely up and about foraging hard in the pre-dusk shift.

Gazelles: 6 today. Two heading up the slope east of stream forest path through the pines and cypress, at least four more north west end of gazelle field, not far from the pylon. There may have been more blocked from line of sight by an almond, and this was just after sunset, light growing dim.

hyrax: Active along valley road, old blonde sentry on a rock by cypress.
dogs: feral dogs active and a puppy seen just below valley road not far from hyrax dens.

Warblers on valley road apart from the graceful warblers, not good sightings to be sure which though. Whitethroat (Sylvia communis) possible, but not definite.

: 2 active and circling over lower valley road near the pistaccio orchard.
Falcon flying over north east area of gazelle field, over road, by Hizmeh hill.. Kestrel in this case I think from flight style and general impression, but didn't see top of bird in flight so well.

Hoopoe on the path by the orchard, haven't seen one of those in a while!
Hooded crows: about singly and in pairs, flying over the area, some cawing.
Jackdaws: A lot of calls heard
Eurasian Jays: much activity in the woods, calls and seen foraging singly.
Blackbirds: alarm calls and some SONG from one on upper part of bank, (was in an acacia tree I think)
Collared doves: Glimpsed but quiet.
Stone curlews: some calls from north west end of gazelle field or beyond, just after dark.
Graceful warblers:Much activity and foraging along valley road
Syrian woodpeckers: active and calling esp. by pistaccio orchard
White spectacled Bulbuls: calls in pines here and there
Great tits: some calls in the pines.
Masked shrike heard calling from east end north valley pines.

House sparrows:around the gardens, roost in next door's cypress, much activity there from about 5.10 p.m. on and more birds arriving in small groups. Feral pigeons on top of buildings as usual. Some sunbird calls, bulbul calls.

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