Saturday, April 4, 2009

#409 Two for joy

A meadow amongst cypresses about half way up north valley close by the watercourse. This is roughly the area where we found several dead tortoises some weeks ago.

Two white storks today! Flock of hooded crows and jackdaws also foraging in north gazelle field, lower hill slopes. The storks seemed to be together. They were first foraging metres apart but when one flew a little distance the other flew to join it and they continued foraging farther up the hill quite close together and surrounded by the crows, which did not give them any trouble at all. The crows did however, harry a large brown bird of prey Buteo (?)passing through. The latter headed up north valley and landed in a tree on the north side somewhere.

Eurasian jays also active, one chasing a hooded crow in the young pine grove today, possibly because that crow was after a taste of jay egg. Graceful warblers heard as well as greenfinch chaws and some great tit calls. Collared doves about though quiet.

Bauhinia quite active now, blackbird singing on and off all day, much sunbird activity in there, white spectacled bulbul visits, house sparrows and laughing dove not far off cooing most of the day from before dawn to dark.

Gundelia starting to bud yellow star flowers on their pineapple like heads by path to north valley and we had some fun playing 'how far away can you tell if it's a calanit(red anemone) or a nurit' (Persian buttercup)- it has become quite easy! We also noticed the nurit buds have a definite orange tinge to them.

Gecko heard outside my window this evening, first I've heard this season as far as I remember. distinct Tack .... tack .... tack call.

Weather: range today- 12-19 degrees C, time of walk, ~ 6 p.m. ~16.5 degrees, humidity 63% and rising rapidly, winds W/WSW ~ 8kt

Bright collage of mustard flowers, pheasant's eye, cloverand other vegetation near the north valley watercourse

I'm sure you've seen this. It's called colloquially 'cuckoo spit' though it has nothing to do with either kind of local cuckoo! It's actually the protective 'home' of the nymph of a kind of bug called a froghopper,

Last thursday's pic was solved by Lesley from the U.K. It was the stinging tentacles of a jellyfish.. namely, in case you're interested, Rhopilema a kind that has made its way up the Suez canal from the Red Sea and become quite a menace on east Med coasts probably because they don't have their usual predators. Both our young boys were stung in the water last summer but we had taken a bottle of vinegar in anticipation of this problem and it helped relieve the pain.

Your mystery pic for today:

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