Saturday, March 21, 2009

Another riddle pic, riddle answer and gen obs.

Riddle answer - young male mandrill baboon face:) (no rear end at all!) Yes, baboon fossils have been found in Israel though not sure if mandrills lived here. Yes it was a bit tricky. I deliberately did not give you the adult male as his bright red and blue face colour might give the game away! This one was very friendly and tried to kiss the boys! Next riddle pic at the foot of the page.

Today we had a number of small Sylvia warblers foraging in the willow and Bauhinia for much of the day. I was hearing their 'tik' contact calls incessantly, no idea how many, they seemed to be all over the trees. One I could make out fairly well looked like Orphean warbler, S. hortensis. Black colouring on head came down to just below his eye and no obvious red eye ring, (that a Sardinian warbler would have) Orpheans are common passage migrants here this time of year so this I.D. very reasonable. Whitethroats may also have been involved.

Sunbirds, house sparrows and laughing doves were also using the tree today, blackbirds and white spectacled bulbuls also visited.

In the woods, greenfinches and Syrian woodpeckers calling, some kind of Buteo being mobbed by a hooded crow over north end of gazelle field. Another large brown job glimpsed low over owl glade which may have been a Buteo or a long eared owl, but too brief to be sure. Stone curlews heard calling last couple of evenings. Great tits and graceful warblers active and vocal, collared doves cooing. Gazelle and hyrax not seen active last couple of days, damp.
Swifts heard screeching over east valley. Great spotted cuckoo heard in east valley somewhere.

First poppy today! Near the east valley bridge close to watercourse. Nearly missed it since size and colour so similar to the red anemone but did double take, four petals and the 'shower head' like central parts different from the dark cone of the anemone. Nice big one, most probably Papaver subpiriforme, had nice edged black blotch on petal base. Checked the anemones still blooming but no other poppies.

Some white milk thistle blooms out, plenty mustard, forked catchfly, dead nettle, viper's bugloss, broom and butterfly orchid.

Weather : 6 degrees to just over 15 degrees, time of walk ( approaching 5 p.m. just over 12 degrees C, humidity ~ 70%, winds westerly 4-8 knots

A plant bug Moshe wishes to share with you.. yes a genuine bug. Most arthropods are technically not bugs but this qualifies.

I just threw in this Syrian bear from tuesday's pics because he's cute! Bears are called Dov in Hebrew and the most famous mention in the Bible is a pair of she bears that attacked some youths that were mocking the prophet Elisha. Whether one chooses to believe that story or not, there were definitely bears in the woods here in those days!

Now what is this? A little easier perhaps and CAN be found in Israel, if you're very lucky!

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