Saturday, October 17, 2009

October heatwave notes

Pistacio grove: Leaves now turning red.

One of the buck gazelles across north valley, eyes reflecting light at many metres

Cones on trees by shortcut down from valley road to north watercourse dirt road

Channel running west-east across middle of gazelle field, draining east watercourse and taking it past the fields. The channel is so choked with Inula and old thistle you can barely see the old stone walls along the sides but still acts as a conduit after heavy rains. (view rotating 180 degrees), the channel continues east till it reaches the eastern edge of gazelle field, then drains northish.

writing saturday night: 18 Oct.

Heatwave today, 26-33.5 degrees C, 79.8-92.1 degrees F , humidity 11-25%, winds north west early morning then turning easterly and very light, no more than 2 knots but for brief veer to the north in the afternoon and rise to 10 km, dropping back to easterlies for the rest of the day.

Sunbird in song outside the window a couple of days ago, melodious calls from bulbuls
Hyraxes out in numbers late afternoon, mostly adults, one 30 feet up in cypress tree, nibbling away, another a few feet farther down, just stared at us as we walked by.

Adult male gazelle across north watercourse walking east just at the edge of the pines, stopped to graze briefly.

Also active and calling: raucous call of white spectacled bulbuls, blackbirds, Eurasian jays, hooded crows,

Sunday: Another hot day, similar conditions to yesterday.

Much activity of the Shadiker hyrax colony, one climbing over 20 feet into a pine down the slope to nibble, plenty active on the bank, all sizes.

: 3 bucks moving pretty much together slowly moving westward across north trail, two together, the other lagging behind. One head butted another that came too close.

4 gazelle heading up the hill just east of the bat cave.. two and two. Looked like two mothers and well grown young.

Bats seen at dusk again.

Sunbird singing in Bauhinia early afternoon. Melodious calls of white spectacled bulbul from about 5.18 a.m. (now clocks have changed, not summer time any more of course) , Eurasian jays, jackdaws, hooded crows seen and heard. House sparrows going to roost in those date palms again, feral pigeons building tops. Laughing doves low profile lately. Blackbirds noisier in the woods, perhaps they feel freer to be vocal now hobbies gone?

Monday: another day of similar weather conditions. Low 30s celsius for a few hours middle of day, humidity low but with much in the air, dust, pollen etc. Some high altitude clouds last couple of days, some cumulus rolling in towards dusk.

3 buck gazelle seen again heading east, this time one came out onto north valley dirt road, others nearby.

In the woods: Syrian woodpecker calls, Eurasian jays also quite vocal, hooded crows. Heard laughing dove cooing softly in the garden today. Brief view of Eurasian sparrowhawk heading from north gazelle fields to pines, Kestrel up on slopes from near lines, flew quite low towards A Ram. Bats seen again about dusk.

Millipedes, grasshoppers, moths, crickets about.

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