Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Water pours onto the land

Late afternoon sun on clouds in the north east.

A white wagtail goose-steps on the grass at Sacher Park.

Not quite sure what this is though I figured one of the cotoneasters. I checked in the native flowers list and only cotoneaster has much rounder leaves. Growing at Jerusalem Bird Observatory.

Tuesday, Nov 4: Rain on and off all day and cool.

Much water in east valley watercourse , spilling into the L shaped channel across the fore part of gazelle fields, part of it surging across the field itself between the channels and the bunker rubble and another stream alongside the dirt road towards the cistern. The cistern itself is full up to the level of the drainage hole (less than a foot from the top edge) and at least one green toad was noticed swimming in the water.

Gazelle noticed, adult male, other side of owl glade.. taking the north watercourse dirt road east.

laughing dove coos in the garden again, house sparrows, jackdaw calls heard, hooded crows.
Interesting hooded call sound coming from up the slope to the east as we walked along the east watercourse dirt road. Sounded agitated, several coarse grrok type calls and seconds after we saw Eurasian sparrowhawk fly over. Sparrowhawk sightings have increased notably lately.. probably some wintering birds involved. Husband saw two fly together earlier.
He also noticed two Tristram's starlings earlier perched on roof of building at corner of Elias/Shadiker, the one with the date palm house sparrow roost.
Collared doves, a few seen flying about between lines and eucalyptus.
Syrian woodpeckers and white spectacled bulbuls heard but no stonechats and black redstart still not back. .

Wednesday Nov. 5th

Good start to the day.. clear ticking noises outside my window not long before 5.20 a.m. (still dark) such as those typically made by European Robin. I still want a decent sighting though!

Next excitement came at 2 p.m. when Moshe called me to the garden .. a group of black kite Milvus migrans were soaring on thermals high over the valley. Moshe told me he counted 14 individuals.

On our walk I found at least two gazelle grazing on the hillside a little east and up from the bat cave. Could have been more but hard to make them out at that distance (from north valley dirt road ) amongst the rocks and with their camouflage.

Apart from that, laughing doves cooing again in the garden, Eurasian jays (amongst the pines) , jackdaws (returning over the neighbourhood from foraging somewhere north west) calling and active, a few hooded crows winging their way home solitarily, calls of blackbirds and white spectacled bulbuls.

Thursday: Trip to Sacher Park, naturally the boys were thrilled. They went to the skateboard park as usual while we checked out the JBO. The lawns of the park are frequented by many foraging hooded crows, now joined by droves of white wagtails everywhere, foraging through the grass or flying about in small groups, uttering their sharp twitters. European robin like calls heard several times in suitable habitat at the edge of the park but not glimpsed. Blackbirds about, Eurasian jays and a great tit actually in SONG. First this season.

Around the house: Both melodious and harsh calls of white spectacled bulbuls and more cooing of laughing doves, though more toned down than their spring cooing.

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