Monday, February 1, 2010

February begins

Blooming Jerusalem spurge, Euphorbia hieroscolymitana present in varied sized cushions usually next to boulders or thorny burnet. I read a little about this genus on wiki.. very fascinating.. chili hot sap and related to Poinsettia.. Linnaeus named it after an ancient Greek who used it as a purgative, hence the name.

Below, a vetch which is commonly found festooned about thorny burnet.

Below, a caterpillar common on thorny burnet right now. The red streak is similar to the red colour of the female flowers of the burnet.

Monday 2nd Feb:

Temps from 7-14 degrees C , slightly warmer this (monday) night than last.

Salvia viridis
, also called Annual Clary, found in bloom, about half way up the south facing hillside amongst the limestone tiers, about same region we found and photographed it last year. Many of the pale monkwort types, lots of Buckler's mustard, cyclamen, roman squill.

Stone curlews more vocal, great tit calls, blackbird, sunbird calls.

Male adult gazelle seen ahead of us as we climbed/trekked up the south facing slope towards flintstones area and hidden watercourse.. this has happened before. We crossed the watercourse, noted that some thorny burnet already has berries while others are still in flower. We crossed the hidden watercourse and headed up to ridge between that and the sage vale.. more like a saddle at that point, a stretch of flat, partly grassy area, more soil than rock with many hoofprints.. I believe this is the location of the gazelle rutting arena for this reason.

Hyrax last few days have not been very active as far as we have seen.. has been clear last couple of days but following an overcast rainy few days.

Tuesday 2 Feb: 7 gazelle seen northern slopes of windsurfer hill including adult male.

Birds included Syrian woodpecker, stone curlew , this time from hidden watercourse area, great tits, graceful warblers, chiffchaffs, jackdaws, blackbirds, sunbirds and laughing doves about houses,

Now starting to bloom, some chamomile daisies by valley road last few days, not far from pumping station, a low purple headed small thistle has been blooming for a couple of weeks now, a pale vetch again draping itself over thorny burnet.. we noticed this also last season.

Wednesday 3 Feb: Cold, rainy, just walked down valley road.. two hawfinches on top of cypress, second time seen about here. Kestrel flying over low part of neighbourhood. Blackbirds, graceful warblers, white spectacled bulbuls active.

Saturday 6 Feb: 5 gazelle grazing north of the row of almonds, grazing, one mother and young, no adult male visibile.

Blackbird in the garden at dawn, also graceful warblers, laughing doves, house sparrows, jackdaws, in woods, 2 chaffinches on top of cypresses, Syrian woodpecker calls, hooded crows.

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