Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Summer time, and the living is easy

A favourite posture for hyraxes- totally stretched out, back legs out behind and belly to the ground. They like to do this on the tarmac of valley road too. Below, two adults in different stages of maturity and a youngster, one of many scampering across valley road.

Bee- eaters over gazelle field, silhouetted. These pics don't do them justice at all in terms of colouration and only a faint tribute in terms of the beautiful aerodynamics. In one you can just make out the elongated central tail feathers, and you can just see the slender curve of the bill.

Today's early birds: (I happened to be awake so made a note of them)
Shortly after 4.50 a.m. caws of hooded crows
4.55 a.m. chirps of house sparrows.
4.57 a.m. melodious calls of white spectacled bulbuls.
5.15 a.m. sunbird short melodious calls.
Later laughing doves added their coos but not sure what time.

Gazelle: No luck.
Hyrax: lots as yesterday in cypress slum area, some quite high in cypresses on the forest side
Reptiles: calls of geckos from buildings.

Bee-eaters: hawking for aerial insects over gazelle field, more NW towards service road area today.

Turtle doves: Coos heard

Blackbirds: Some song heard, Collared doves, coos and seen active
Eurasian Jays: calls and seen active, Greenfinches: twitters in bunker area
Jackdaws: absent, Hooded crows: small flock winsurfing up off western slopes of 'windsurfer' hill, at least double that number on the ground.
Stone curlews: not heard today amongst other quiet birds such as great tits, graceful warblers
Syrian woodpeckers: calls heard frequently through the woods.

Insects: Cicadas shrilling till sunset today and yesterday, from eucalyptus all the way to cistern but no luck finding any, may be on upper twigs. Checked out the green beetles on the globe thistles but didn't get a satisfactory pic today, I want to try again. Head neck area doesn't look same shape as the red though underparts and underwings red. My question is, same species just different morph or sex, or different species? Red type much more numerous.

Weather: 24 degrees C to 33+ degrees C ( 75.2- 91.4 degrees F )

Time of walk: shortly before 7 p.m. 29 degrees C and falling. ( 84.2 degrees F )

Humidity: 22% and rising, wind NW/W 8-12 kt

Prince the jay is still with us and likes left over breakfast cereal.

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