Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday's walk

Moshe came with us yesterday. We took a shortcut down into north valley and headed down the trail to the east. Syrian woodpeckers were calling and very soon we spotted a falcon flying over the valley, circling then gliding up west. From the brownish red I glimpsed on the wings I'd say common kestrel. Soon after two more falcons came into view flying together, hobbies this time, circling and ascending over the east end of north valley. Then they headed off south and east.

Nice male adult gazelle sighted ahead of us in the pines, made his way through, partly walking, stopping now and again to look in our direction, a few paces running, he did not feel too threatened, knew we were there.. we were upwind and probably audible too. He ran out of the pines, stopped a few times to look at us, and then headed at a somewhat leisurely pace up the hill, stopping now and again to look at us. He was about 100 metres off at least. We did get a few pics but none significantly better than the one we got a few days ago. Day before, two gazelles in gazelle field, one just beyond the hawthorn and another was in one of the old dry water channels, (parallel to the almond tree row) jumped out when husband advanced to photograph the first and headed east, seeking cover in the channel again. The other headed quickly north to the hill.

Jackdaws and hooded crows about, jackdaws very vocal lately as are the Eurasian jays, foraging all over woods and fields singly as usual. Some collared doves about but quiet. Masked shrike calling in eucalyptus grove area of east north valley. Wheatears melodious calls heard in the north stony area lower part of northern water course, from call and memory, more black eared.

Sunbirds song and white spectacled bulbuls in the garden, house sparrows esp, in the cypresses next door, flock settling to roost, feral pigeons on building top esp, across street (10 storey), laughing doves by the road near garbage scavenging for crumbs as usual.

Moshe took another pic of a funnel web spider in an aromatic bush and also caught a nice size praying mantis, which scampered back into the bush before we had chance to take a decent pic. As result, no pics I'm particularly happy with this time for publication, that's the way it can go!

What else was around? Blackbirds, graceful warblers also heard in last couple of days. Oh yes, pipit/wagtail like bird flew over us yesterday but couldn't get focus in time to see tail. Call and mode of flight told me one of that family though. Call not quite sharp enough to be white wagtail but could not be sure.

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