Thursday, June 11, 2009

Drying landscape

Landscape view: For a change we walked around the eastern edge of the pine grove east of the cistern. This is a view towards north gazelle field from these slopes.

Greenfinches were twittering incessantly in the pines to the left together with the calls of fledgelings of some small birds, possibly greenfinches, great tits or others. Great tits were flying about between ground, pines and the nearest pomegranate tree. A stone curlew called quite near up to the right, possibly beyond the fence or close to it. Bee-eaters were also heard calling over gazelle field and the woods to the west beyond. Collared doves were also cooing and active, visiting the cistern, flying between pines. Syrian woodpeckers also heard calling several times and hooded crows were about, a noisy group of twenty seen flying from the fields to the north back to the east valley trees as it was getting dark.

Many hyraxes were active by valley road today, all ages. Here's an adult atop a boulder, handy look-out points. This pic captures their typical stare at passersby.

This is the a shot of part of a clump of the new growth all over the south facing slopes across north valley watercourse (yesterday), almost succulent leaves with a pungent minty aroma.

Blue seems to be the colour of June.. globe thistles finally filling out with long blue petals, Erygium still blooming everywhere and thyme cushions in many places. Also a very low growth with tiny purplish labiate flowers and miniscule leaves spreading in a low mat by valley road.

The above is a Pontia daplidice, a Bath White. My shot of a few weeks ago was a little clearer but this also shows some of the upper wing with its black spots. Found fluttering amongst ground vegetation about centre of the landscape above.

The landscape is really drying out now and I'm picking up more burrs now than ever, if that could be possible- it takes me ten to fifteen minutes to pick out one sock later!

Garden: Lively calls of house sparrows, white spectacled bulbuls, sunbirds and coos of laughing dove for much of the day. Feral pigeons also seen.

Weather: 10-20 degrees C, time of walk: ~6.45 p.m. ~25 degrees, ~32% humidity, W-NW, 6-9+ knots

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