Saturday, August 15, 2009

More Wadi Qelt Fauna

An Oriental hornet gathers nectar or pollen at one of the yellow blooms growing a few tens of metres from the water.

This white butterfly settled right in front of me as I was watching the carpenter bees. This shows off the ubiquitous blue spike flowers quite well. What is it? As usual I visited Rittner's site to find out. I found a match with Anaphaeis aurota, also known as Belenois aurota. It has a number of English names: Pioneer white, brown veined white, and (African) Caper white. As you'd expect, one of the Pieridae, the family of white butterflies.

The dragonfly above I don't yet know, perhaps one of you dragonfly experts can help? Unfortunately the rock was not the best background for its bluish colouring but if you click on it you may see it better. Below are a few finger sized fish the boys caught in a pool. These fish love to nibble the toes but the larger specimens are much more wary.

Below, a group of Oriental hornets feast on some fallen food. These hornets were very common in the wadi but they did not bother human beings, being far more interested in the flowers and ground forage.

Tomorrow I'll post more pics from Wadi Qelt. I have a number of pics of the flowers and other vegetation I really want to share with you.

Meanwhile: A quick rundown of the local area for you, it's important to check on our regulars!

No gazelle at all over the last few days. Hyrax about lately and heard various calls. One of them sounds like a large slinky dropping on the floor. Bats also seen just after dark along central trail today.

Bee-eaters: Nice flock of 60 or so seen last wednesday afternoon over the eucalyptus grove and gazelle field. Bulbul, our local bird now getting up at 5.40 a.m. Sunbirds, many squeaky calls over last few days and foraging in the Bauhinia. Laughing dove, plenty coos, house sparrows. The feral pigeons probably also up on the buildings but I don't always check.

Seen and heard in and around the forest over the last few days: Collared dove, Eurasian jay, Great tit, Syrian woodpecker, Jackdaw, hobby, blackbird, greenfinch, hooded crow, stone curlew, chukar partridge .

Greenfinches are MUCH quieter than they were, seen furtively foraging between the bunker pines and eucalyptuses, occasional alarm calls or twitters. Occasional collared coos and turtles usually quiet now. I'm sure moulting season has a lot to do with their quietness.

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