Thursday, October 1, 2009

Week's notes, First autumn Squill

Crescent moon between the eucalyptus

Looking west across gazelle field, just north of the cistern and pine. This shows the course of the central water channel which brings water from east valley through an L shaped course, past the large almond and hawthorns and then over to the east edge of the field, flowing north eastish a few hundred yards and then draining out of the area in the north east corner of gazelle field. Other stone walls border small fields cultivated decades ago. Green foliage is Inula viscosa, a ragwort like 'weed'

Mysterious feather found in a cypress grove by the north watercourse. Wing primary, too long to be that of a sunbird, too short to be bee-eater but with those metallic blue/green hues, what could it be? Possibly a great tit's ? 12.5 cm long. Other feathers about of other birds, evidence of a number of bird attacks which could have been due to sparrowhawks, hobbies or long eared owls. No other feathers from this bird found so could simply have been dropped in the summer moult.

Hyrax tues evening, young ones running down the bank from gardens end of Shadiker after 10 p.m. saturday, quite a number active by valley road across from cypress slum area, seen jumping out of cypress, standing on rocks staring up at us, variety of ages.

Gazelle tues adult male by bat cave, white on crown, strolled to grove, young gazelle on service road in the pine grove ran northish towards the field. Adult male seen shortly after in the grove

Sunbird singing in Bauhinia early afternoon thursday

Jackdaws, hooded crows, Eurasian jays, falcons, three near quarry area, aerial chase, hard to see in fading light and silhouette which falcons were involved. Kestrels and hobbies it seemed, some of birds probably passing through... glimpse of big brown job flying quite low over gazelle field towards look out corner.. but not enough detail.. Buteo like.

Today, saturday, the above, also calls of Syrian woodpeckrs, blackbirds alarm calls, sunbird squeak alarm call in the garden, more early afternoon song.

Shrike calls and graceful warbler near bunker ruins. Collared doves about but quiet. Still no white wagtails. Geckoes still calling middle of night occasionally as are crickets late evening, a long shrill call type. Black millipedes still about and German wasps visiting us in the Succah.

We visited Sacher Park again on thursday and J.B.O. but waterside pretty quiet today. Husband got more shots of sunbird on the sugarwater feeder and of a Eurasian jay taking a peanut off the wire. It was interesting that it pecked the peanuts within shell completely off the wire and flew off with the whole pod rather than try to open the pod at the wire. It was only pecking through the pod to release it rather than open it up. It will probably take it to some branch and open the pod in typical jay fashion, clutched under its toes. Lots of hoodies at Sacher park as usual. We looked out for Linda the raven but no luck there. Ruthie said she hasn't been seen for a while so I wonder...

A single autumn squill noticed in bloom beside the shepherd's trail, first one I've seen this season!

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