Thursday, July 16, 2009

Brief Thursday report

Above, north gazelle field now, tall seeding milk thistles is a popular venue for flocks of greenfinches, noticed also feeding on them today.

Below, the most common thistle actually blooming now, active yellow florets, present in many places at watercourse level and hillslopes. (a closer pic with ants posted a few days ago)

Fennel also flowering in many places, some plants in gazelle field and elsewhere taller than I am.

Today we headed down shortcut to north watercourse dirt road and from there, east to gazelle field, then south along east watercourse dirtroad, across sapling field and back along valley road.
Hyraxes not noticed today.

Gazelle: Four
noticed up at the tree line up the east slope from east watercourse dirt road, an adult buck interacting with a small group of at least one adult female and well grown young.

Bee-eaters: Flock of at least 30 in the Pistacio field and gazelle field area, probably more about, hard to count as groups were keeping low, some alighting on the dirt trail by the cistern and elsewhere and hawking low, and then taking off in melodious flight at eucalyptus canopy level. Always mesmerizing to watch in flight.

Turtle doves: Much cooing today in various places along north valley dirt road.
Blackbirds: Some alarm calls, both chak chak and tzreet. No song lately.
Collared doves: some active but relatively quiet today.
Eurasian Jays: active, some harsh caws in various parts of the woods.
Graceful warblers: Some calls. Great tits: some calls.
Jackdaws: Flock of at least 100 birds returning south to roost after foraging on hillsides, lower slopes to north. Hooded crows also up there working the ground, perhaps after grasshoppers and such, plenty of those to catch now!
House sparrows:chirping about houses as usual. Laughing doves: cooing, active about the street, ground foraging.
Stone curlews: calls in fields towards sunset. Sunbirds: short calls in the garden.
Syrian woodpeckers: vocal in the woods, some glimpsed.
White spectacled Bulbuls: garden and north watercourse acacias. Musical sounds from early morning, harsh calls late afternoon.

Today's range: 18-27 degrees C. (64.4 degrees F- 80.6 degrees F)
Time of walk: just before 7 p.m. , just over 24 degrees C (75.2) and falling,
Humidity: 55% and rising, wind: westerlies, 5-9 knots.

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