Wednesday, October 15, 2008

North valley stroll

Temps down on yesterday. During our walk only about 19 degrees C and not exceeding 21 degrees all day, humidity 75% and rising, wind W/NW 7-12 knots
Today we headed up north valley a short way.

We found autumn squill, the yellow aster, plenty ragwort and also some more pink three spot dianthus growing on and by the path and just up from it on the north facing slopes.

Here's the common oregano scented spiny scrub that grows in cushions all over the place. Old berries and new leaves visible. The old spines are grey whereas the newer growth is yellowish

Mother and young gazelle seen up on the north (south facing) slopes.. the pair made their way down ahead of us out of view because a few minutes later we saw a mother and young heading UP the slopes just south of us.

A good size falcon headed up towards the top of a triple residential high-rise, putting up a group of feral pigeons on its arrival. It did seem darker than a kestrel but I would hesitate to I.D. a falcon as a peregrine or other (such as Barbary falcon which also occur here) without a really good view. More raptor sightings heading down the valley, much faster, had the wind with it that time, and around and over the trees. Again, too little info in silhouette and poor lighting but Eurasian sparrowhawks and common kestrels most reasonable. Frustrating.

Plenty Eurasian jays, high calls which may be redstarts, Blackbirds heard, hooded crows about, jackdaws heard.

Moon rising behind owl glade shortly after sunset.

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