Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Daisies and brown jobs

Flower and (below) leaves of the beautiful Crown daisy, Chrysanthemum coronarium. At first I had taken this to be an escaped garden flower because of its size (betw 2 and 3 feet tall and blooms ~~4"across ) and was delighted to learn it is in fact a wild flower found in many parts of the country. I also read that its leaves are edible and used in oriental cuisine. Look in closer at the ring of little flowers within the main petals.

A large kind of clover Trifolium found growing just about and beyond the tree line on the south facing slope of north valley. Blossoms were all either pure white or white with a pinkish purplish tinge. Leaves below. No match found to my satisfaction yet. Blooms at least twice as large as T. repens, at least 2" across.

Quite a few Buteo types seen today, Akiva reckoned over 20 soaring on thermals over the hill to the north in groups of half dozen each or so. Too high for I.D. for my level of expertise with these types. Some of them looked like long legged buzzards but I don't think all were and unfortunately our pics were not good enough for I.D.s. Hardly any distinguishing marks to go by, all rather patchy dark with no noticeable barring.

Still some white storks about though not so many, half a dozen perhaps more but we did not stay long enough to really watch pre roost arrival. We must do a proper count again soon. Settling in random trees throughout new pine grove and central areas of the forest.

Great spotted cuckoo heard from direction of almond trees, greenfinches heard in woods and also in next door neighbour's cypress. Eurasian jays heard, Hooded crows and jackdaws about, stone curlews heard. Akiva glimpsed a hoopoe flying quite low just north of the new pine grove.
About a dozen bee-eaters flying quite high over gazelle field. Flocks of feral pigeons seen aloft, plenty collared dove coos. Brief chukar calls.

Garden: blackbird in song, house sparrows, some chicks audible from window, likely sparrows. Laughing dove coos.

Fire uphill just south of the pistaccio orchard but we suspect spontaneous. There was a lot of accumulated ground litter there and though quite a few people about in the woods again today none seen with cigarettes or any sign of malicious intent. Area of fire was also not on a route of a frequented trail. We collect any cast away plastic bottles to remove litter and prevent possible focussing of rays and glass rarely found. It's possible the sun can focus through beads of pine resin that sometimes exude from trees. A firetruck arrived as we left, someone had called, concerned.

Weather: Time of walk: ~6.10 p.m temp 23.7 degrees C, humidity 24%, winds WNW ~11 kt (which didn't help in photographing that daisy!) Today's range 19-27 degrees C. Warm!

Re mystery geometrid moth of last post.. reader Honeybee noticed that Lythria cruentaria (the purple barred yellow) comes quite close and I believe she's on the right track. Could be another Lythria or a variant. Still looking!

How about this?

No comments: