Saturday, February 13, 2010

First orchid, Irises, gazelles

First orchid I've seen this season.. found on mid west slopes of north windsurfer hill, just above the tree line. Pink butterfly orchid I think, Orchis papilionacea

First Iris of the season. Vartan's?

Another Euphorbia.. parts larger than E. hieroscolymitana.. and less yellow.

Some kind of interesting unfamiliar fly on a buttercup.

Saturday 13th Feb: New caterpillar by valley road , must find again, black with several neat even rows of orange spikes, orange spot base.
Jackdaws, call could have been great spotted cuckoo back? over in direction of shaft, owl glade.
blackbirds, graceful warblers.

Sunday 14th Feb: dawn: sunbird calls, then laughing doves, white spectacled bulbuls, house sparrows. Chiffchaff, both today and yesterday in the garden or next door's garden, in song, on and off.

That caterpillar was in the same place! This time I photographed it.. see above.
Walk: SWIFTS over east valley, 4 counted. Husband heard chukar partridges earlier. On tops of cypresses, 1 hawfinch, at least a couple of chaffinches, jackdaw flock up on the hill, hooded crows dispersed about forest, definitely breeding territories now. European Robin calls farther down into forest from valley road in lower tier
stone curlew as it became dark.

3 mountain gazelle heading up windsurfer hill, three more at least grazing beyond almond tree line in north field. Hyraxes active by valley road on forest side, on the boulders.
Most of forepart of gazelle field now planted with saplings

Monday 15th Feb: North watercourse, ascended south facing slope, lots more clary, anemones, cyclamen and also first irises (Vartan's?) No luck on gazelle today.

Tuesday 16th Feb: 6 gazelle around north slopes of windsurfer hill, running, spooked by two feral dogs sniffing up after them. No adult males noticed. Perhaps a 7th. Chukar partridges heard again.

Lots of finches about, green and chaffinches, blackbirds, graceful warblers also vocal and active. Sunbird calling melodiously since before dawn.

Purple orchid seen just above tree line next to thorny burnet on our way up, see above.. first of season. .

Heat wave of the last couple of days may have broken. Temps nearly 80 yesterday, mid 70s today

Wednesday 17th Feb: dawn, melodious sunbird calls again. Some other bird a little farther off, continuous pleasant almost lark like twittering song.. not like greenfinch or sunbird and I remember hearing this song last season too.

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