Saturday, November 29, 2008

Saturday report

White wagtail: front view- Ruthie Schueler

Rain on and off last couple of days, especially at night, though didn't hear any thunder. 9.5-15 degrees C, ~12 when we headed down for a walk. ~67% humidity, winds W/NW, very light, up to 6 kt.

White wagtail
: It does seem more have arrived lately, I've been hearing them many times from my room over the last couple of days. There have been a few showers and husband noticed up to half a dozen foraging in the street on friday.
black redstart: looked like a young male foraging on the ground and between the boulders just down from the pumping station.

White breasted kingfisher was around look-out corner again today about sunset. Though we could hear exactly where it was.. up in the eucapyptus, it stayed out of sight. We were approaching from lower valley trail and by the time we reached the pistaccio orchard he was 'laughing' his head off. Sounded like he was just on the other side of the eucs. That 'sik' call has an almost ventrioloquial quality, sounds as if it's coming from several metres away from the laugh almost every time. Made me wonder if a second bird wasn't doing that. When we rounded look-out corner the kingfisher had headed back south over the stream.
House sparrows:around gardens and building as usual. Feral pigeons, on top and between buildings as usual.
Hooded crows: heading south from foraging in the hills north towards sunset, generally as singles/very loose flock
Jackdaws: A flock calling and flying south to roost over Hizmeh, towards hoodie hill and Pisgat Zeev.
Kestrel: flying over east valley just south of pumping station, circling, gaining height. watching.
Blackbirds: heard in the garden on friday, in the woods chakking towards sunset on saturday
Graceful warblers: Heard calling from the house late afternoon, either in the gardens or nearby.
Great tits:Heard calling from the trees on the bank between valley road and houses.. (mostly aussie acacia)
While I was watching that young black redstart male by the pumping station husband noticed a Buteo (long legged) up over hoodie hill, brief, the crows started mobbing it of course, then it flew down and out of view.

Vegetation is flourishing in the stream bed, fresh green shoots of grasses, milk thistle leaves and all kinds of other growth thrusting up everywhere. That spitting cucumber has definitely spread at the beginning of valley road and that short broom like plant with dark leaves by valley road is still putting out flowers. Ragwort still going.

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