Saturday, May 9, 2009

Restharrows bloom, mammals active

Restharrows Ononis spinosa, were seen blooming by valley road today. These are low lying spiny members of the pea and bean family . This one we took almost a year ago in gazelle field but I made a zoom up of one of those pics here since they are blooming again.

A small moth resting on the side of the tiny composite. See how it's antennae, face, legs etc are powdered with pollen. You can't tell on this pic unfortunately but checking Rittner's site the moth matched best Plodia interpunctella, Indian mealmoth, family Pyralidae.

This and following pic taken a week ago.

We're seeing a lot of this right now, Cat Thyme germander Teucrium growing up and through Thorny burnet. Sometimes two entire plants of each occupy pretty much the same area, almost complete overlap.

A little field of wild cereal, seems to be a wild wheat, growing between north valley dirt road and the trees.

On Friday Moshe came back from neighbourhood centre via the upper east valley road and told me he saw the little owl that lives in the bluff there as well as some young hyraxes and a pair of Tristram's Grackle.

I've been hearing the whistle of the T. grackles quite a lot lately, heard from inside the house early afternoon and again over east valley late afternoon.

We also had a nice view of a handsome buck gazelle in east field, running and jumping down the lower slopes of windsurfer hill to the olive grove where it stopped, alert. Then it decided to continue to the woods below, partly a leisurely run, partly trotting. I always call the adult males handsome simply because I'm impressed every time I see them at their grace and beauty. It never gets old with me.

Hyraxes were also active by valley road and four feral dogs trotted by look out corner.. looked like mom, dad and two well grown pups. The adult female was brown with white patches but the others were all dingo coloured, all tails over backs.

No storks today but plenty hooded crows especially as it was becoming dark.. seemed something had disturbed their central forest roost and they were putting up a lot of fuss. Jackdaws calling and flying two and fro in singles, probably to forage for young.

Collared doves and turtle doves both cooing in various parts of the forest, laughing doves around the buildings. Sunbirds and greenfinches in the garden, greenfinches also around look-out corner, singing, twittering, chawing a lot. Bee-eaters heard over wood and gazelle field. Pair of great spotted cuckoos - 1 foraging far north east of gazelle field, came to join another in one of the row of almond trees. Much calling to each other in the foliage. Great tits heard. Much white spectacled bulbul noise in the garden lately including the coarse cha cha cha sounds which are probably fledgelings or some kind of family noises.

weather 11-just over 17 degrees C, at ~6 p.m. 14 degrees, humidity 80%, Westerlies ~8kt

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