Monday, November 10, 2008

Stroll to the bat cave

Young gazelle.. one of the south Jerusalem population. Ruthie Schueler.

Stroll to the bat cave

Today's temps: 14-21.5 degrees C. About 18 degrees C at about 4.30 p.m. when we set out.
Humidity 65% and rising, winds NW to N, 3.5-7 kt

Today we went down into the north valley, and turned east, then decided to strike out north for the bat cave region. We picked up some litter along the way, mainly some plastic bags that had blown down into the valley, so that they won't get entangled around vegetation and smother it.

Gazelles: two noticed running up a trail towards the north ridge from gazelle field, quite distant on the hillside.

immature (or female) black redstart foraging from branches of a bare acacia in the more open part of the north valley watercourse.
House sparrows:gardens as usual. Hooded crows: in flight overhead. Jackdaws: calls
blackbirds: song in east end pines of north valley at about 5 p.m. alarm chaks later from at least two individuals as we passed through. We took the d service dirt road which leads from the twin pylons in that newer section of pines.
Chukars: calls from cypress and pines across north valley, not far west of bat cave. Jay calls.

Around the batcave.. some of the round dimples in the limestone were filled with water, I'm sure very useful for the local wildlife. Maidenhair fern still green inside the cave. Podonosma flowers mostly withered though still many green leaves. Some ragwort, and the yellow aster still in bloom, some crocuses and the mysterious spike plant still had a few whitish flowers, but much of summer vegetation now withered. Sprouts all over of lily family plants.. probably most of them will turn out to be asphodel, but always worth watching in case some of them turn out to be something else. The oregano scented spiky cushions are slowly filling out with new leaves.

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