Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Heatwave gives way to a cooling before rain

Middle ground on the left, bank part of the Shadiker hyrax colony territory which continues down below and around the hillside facing north, many square metres and possibly a larger colony than the cypress slum colony. A minute after taking this picture a number of hyraxes of various ages scrambled down the bank (they had possibly been raiding gardens up the hill)

Pic taken from north west corner of loop of valley road. Below.. valley road continues before turning again roughly southward. Here grows a little Ailanthus (tree of heaven) surrounded by Inula, Aleppo pines behind nd farther down. Pines and cypress on the hillside beyond.

Vandalism (?) on lower slopes of windsurfer hill. It's possible these thorny burnets were burned just because some kids like the snap, crackle pop sounds .. we've seen this behaviour. Apparently whoever did it got bored after about a dozen bushes. Not to worry, this is all finished growth. they will likely start up again next year from the base.

Tuesday: Heatwave conditions still prevail

Glimpse of Sparrowhawk over north valley. Yes, we're seeing them more again now the hobbies are not competing with them directly. Eurasian jays also about and vocal. Hooded crows heading for roost and jackdaw calls. Blackbird chakking calls at dusk. Syrian woodpecker?
In the gardens, house sparrows and white spectacled bulbuls more active and vocal.

Wednesday: Weather took a definite turn for the cooler. Max about 26 degrees C today and cumulus clouds drifting over fast by dusk but not bringing immediate rain.

Gazelle? Not that I remember check with Akiva.

Large flock of jackdaws returning home to roost from north towards Pisgat Zeev.. over 100 birds.. much smaller group of hoodies in the rear and some ahead.

Akiva heard whistle of Tristram's starling earlier in the day. Syrian woodpecker heard, Eurasian jays, blackbirds.

Mud dauber wasp found in opened up mud capsule in the garden. (Boys were cleaning up dead leaves before the rain and I am not sure if they broke it accidentally, found it broken or what). There were two wasps, fully formed but seems quite dead. Both ~ 2.3 cm long, with black abdomen and yellow 'neck' connecting thorax to abdomen. Legs are striped yellow and black as you see. I need to get pic from the side. There was also a dark brown pupal case nearby from which it seemed one wasp had emerged. Perhaps they were unable to escape from the concrete additions to the capsule.

Also saw a Bath White (Pontia daplidice ) white butterfly and a small blue type within last couple of days fluttering about north valley.

Thursday: Similar observations to those all week with exception of buck gazelle sighted alone on hillside just east of the bat cave, call over the lowest edge of neighbourhood sounded distinctly like white wagtail but we didn't catch sight of the bird.

Temps down another notch to about 16-23 degrees C and rain forecast but still not fallen.

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