Sunday, October 19, 2008

Nutty gazelle and ragwort

Ragwort is everywhere. I had taken it for one of the Senecio genus, because of it's similarity to the British species, Senecio jacobaea, but checking my sources it much better matches Inula viscosa (tavyun davik) It seems the rains have brought on a second major blooming even though they'd gone to seed at the end of the dry season.

Today temps moderate: 15.5-27.5 degrees C. At the time of our walk.. starting about 4.45 p.m. it had dropped to a pleasant 22 degrees, humidity upwards of 80% and rising, wind 3.5- 6 kt, W/WSW

: Just one yesterday (saturday), late afternoon, a young one apparently, could not make out any horns at all and seemed relatively small size. It was foraging under the large almond tree in gazelle field and as I'm pretty sure there's almost no grazing there right now but there are fallen almonds, seems it came for them as I'd hoped. It was certainly munching constantly off the ground and walking to and fro.

Plenty active today by valley road including some young, down on the rocks just to the east of the road. It was a delight to us to talk about these and point them out to a mother and her kids who had come down for a walk. Always a pleasure to share with people we meet who want to know about the nature down there and occasionally we get this opportunity.
feral dogs. Sounded like a family barking down by the pumping station. Last night high pitched barks from across north valley indicated feral puppies that way too, by the bat cave?

White wagtail: seen and heard flying to a roof, lower part of the neighbourhood. They like to forage on rooftops, for some reason the surface attracts enough flies for them.

yesterday and today:
House sparrows:congregating in the cypresses next door from about 4.15 p.m. onwards as usual, gathering more numbers towards sunset.
Hooded crows: about the skies, over the valley as usual.
Jackdaws:Some calls over to the east.
Eurasian Jays: quite vocal in the pines in various places.
Feral pigeons: in the skies and about the buildings as usual.
Blackbirds: 'chakchak' and 'sreet' alarm calls in the pines towards dusk.
Stone curlews: single call across north valley.. quality of stone curlew but could also have been a little owl.
Graceful warblers:Heard from scrub beyond fence across the street.
Syrian woodpeckers: Heard from the pines
white spectacled bulbuls: Heard in various parts of the woods.
Great tits:some calls heard in the pines .
Some musical calls in gazelle field,

chukars, greenfinches, laughing doves, collared doves, sunbirds all quiet. Glimpses of hoopoes flying over north valley a couple of times.

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