Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A swing towards warmer weather

A familiar sight now, patches of blooming globe thistles. This one by valley road near the pumping station. Still swarming with the green and red beetles and I must remember to check if head of the greens is just like that of the reds on its long 'neck'

I wanted to find which plant was 'guilty' of being the 'caterpillar burr' plant which I pick up so many every day. This seems to be it but I must pay closer attention next year to observe which plant it WAS in terms of flowers before it developed burrs. I'm really not sure! That and the thorny seed pod, mysteries yet to be solved.

As for Prince, the name the boys gave the jay, he seems to be settling in nicely and since our vet is paying a visit soon for the dog I want his advice on the jay too, in terms of worms and such. He shows no signs of ill health but shows no inclination to fly away. The boys tried to free him this morning but he was clearly not ready to leave us yet. I have not examined his wings, I'd rather give him time to settle in and get used to us all first. He is eating and drinking. Below, shots the boys took of his fancier wing feathers and his face.. watch out, he will try to peck!

Gazelle: No luck today. Hyrax: Lots and lots all ages.. on valley road scampering down from the slum cypress slopes across the road to the boulders on the forest side where evidently they feel much more secure.
Reptiles: Geckoes heard on buildings after sunset.
Bee-eaters: Lots of bee-eaters whirling and whickering in the air over gazelle field and eucalyptus grove area as yesterday.
Turtle doves: Coos heard various parts of the woods.

Hoopoe also seen flying from gazelle field area towards woods. Tristram's grackle whistle heard a few times from direction of neighbourhood but we didn't spot the bird or birds.
Blackbirds: Some song heard in the pines
Collared doves: Coos, activity, a few down by the cistern, flying in to drink (there are some rocks and stones they can perch upon in the large cistern which is why it was a mystery why the jay floundered.
Eurasian Jays: About as usual, and perhaps it was just my imagination but a couple came down to perch within plain view near the bunker and stared at us, curiously? reproachfully? as if they knew we'd taken one of them.
Graceful warblers: Calls heard. Greenfinches: calls heard, small flock flew from bunker pines to over look out corner
Hooded crows: I think we saw them, didn't see any jackdaws lately, perhaps they've gone off following goats again. We have seen goat herd activity across to the east and we know they do follow them.
House sparrows:Around neighbourhood as usual, also seen at bunker rubble.
Laughing doves: Around buildings and street as usual, cooing.
Stone curlews: Brief call around sunset
Sunbirds: short melodious calls just after 5 a.m. in the garden as usual these days.
Syrian woodpeckers: husband glimpsed and heard a couple while I was looking at vegetation near the cistern
White spectacled Bulbuls: again, started up in the tree just before 5 a.m. this morning.
Weather: Range: 26- 34.5 degrees C. (78.8 -94.1 degrees F )

Time of walk: ~6.45 p.m. ~31.5 degrees C ( 88.7 degrees F)

Humidity: ~27%, wind NW ~6kt.

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