Monday, May 31, 2010

Hot days

This small moth found on my skirt hanging in the bathroom today (wednesday), I don't recall seeing this one before. Not much more than 1 cm across.

Monday 31st May

Today Akiva was not available for the walk, he had business concerns in town so I went with Avremi. We left earlier (5.30 p.m. ) while it was still bright and quite hot, in the hope of seeing Agama lizards at the bunker ruins No luck with that but we did hear cicadas. He was interested in capturing a green toad in the cistern so I sat and watched the gazelle and the turtle doves while he searched. At first he had no luck but did see tadpoles which gave him hope. I headed back to relieve Elisheva of house watch duty .

He got back soon after with a toad in hand.

: 1 adult male grazing north west gazelle field not far from pines, by rock shelves there. 2 more, probably a female and well grown young, a little farther to the east behind the almonds. Soon I saw two closer to him but no interactions between them.

Hobbies: some calls, brief sights
Turtle doves: plenty coos around cistern area, vocal and active between there, across gazelle field and pine grove to west. also foraging on the ground near there.

Graceful warblers: quite vocal today
Blackbirds: some song
Collared doves: coos, flight calls, quite active.
Eurasian Jays: some activity
Great tits: some calls.
Greenfinches: twitterings beginning around look-out corner cistern area
Syrian woodpeckers
: frequent calls in woods

A pair of Tristram's starlings flew, calling into gazelle field from direction of north watercourse, settled briefly in a pine just outside of the grove, then flew off east towards the bipass road. Funnily right after we got back I found an I.M. from husband, he'd just seen another pair of Tristram's over by the central bus station.

Jackdaws: some calls, flying over valley
Hooded crows:, some calls, flying over valley

House sparrows: chirps in garden all day, sunbirds: calls in the Bauhinia.
Laughing doves: cooing in garden on and off, White spectacled Bulbuls: melodious calls in garden on and off

Tuesday June 1st.

Again, husband not able to come with me and Avremi (my home schooled son) otherwise occupied. Today definitely warmer, peaked at about 36 degrees C mid afternoon but had dropped to about 30 degrees by the time I headed out for the valley. First priority was to return the toad to the cistern. We had him in a bucket in the garden overnight but at the moment we do not have the materials to remake the pond we used to have. We really must! We had fish and a little waterfall, with papyrus, terrapin and such but we let all that go, sadly.

After releasing the green toad, (which was pinkish white with multiple amoeba shaped greenish blotches) , I headed along the bed of the north watercourse - soon heard calls of young (great spotted) cuckoo. I found him near an acacia- first noticing a hoodie that was foraging for him, then noticed his dark crown behind a rock, Finally it emerged and flew into the acacia. They are stunning birds! Scanning in direction of nearby young pine grove with binocs suddenly encountered a young gazelle, quite close, looking right back at me. Hello! Looking around a little found two more grazing in the area, both seemed well grown young. (3 gazelle)

At least two Tristram's starlings in gazelle field again, wolf whistling repeatedly , flying about then again heading for the bipass road. Turtle doves cooing everywhere, collared doves also vocal and active, some blackbird song, great tit calls, short high squeaky call of hobby about sunset. Jackdaws seen foraging on gazelle field and lower hill slopes as well as hoodies, Some greenfinch calls, graceful warblers, occasional Syrian woodpeckers. Nothing from stone curlews, swifts or bee-eaters again today.

Wednesday June 3rd

Another hot day, though not as much as yesterday, didn't get over about 31 degrees.

Garden: House sparrows, sunbird, many calls, bulbuls, not far off, also laughing doves and feral pigeons.

The fields and woods were similar: collared doves, turtle doves, jays , singing blackbirds, calling Syrian woodpeckers in the trees, out in the fields foraging hooded crows, nice size jackdaw flock crossed low over north slopes of windsurfer hill from east to west.

Good day for gazelle- 7 in all, First, a mother and young spotted on upper western slopes of windsurfer hill, then noticed three grazing in the small olive grove.. one, a young one, in a very frisky mood would seem to try to interact with the others then run in a wide circle. Looked playful but couldn't get the others enthusiastic. One of the others bounced on all fours briefly but soon lost interest, perhaps just irritated and went back to grazing. Another two grazing behind almond tree row.

Yet again Tristram's starlings calling from bipass road area at about level of the pine grove, just past the olives, Stone curlews heard from north gazelle field later towards sunset.
On our way back a bunch of young local boys were excited over a tail poking out of a crevice near the top of a cinderblock wall at the top of the bank. They thought it was a snake. Husband tried to gently pull out the reptile with two long sticks, using them like tongs. It soon became obvious that it was alive and clinging on hard inside so we decided to let it be. It soon dawned on me what I was seeing. It was the striped tapered tail of an agama lizard. (Agama/Laudakia stellio) The boys showed us the way round to the other side of the wall where we could look over and see it clearly. I was quite pleased because it was the first one I've seen this season and right next to human habitation- (the wall surrounded the balcony of a small synagogue looking out over the valley)

1 comment:

Susan said...

Haven't had the chance to look at your blog for a while. So glad I took the time today. Interesting that you mention the Tristram's Starling. I have been seeing them on my side, especially noticing the light part of the wing as they fly, but didn't know what kind of bird they were. Haven't seen bee eaters, but since you mention them I will keep a lookout from my window. They usually cluster on the power lines below my house.
Bad fire this afternoon in the forest below us. My neighbors and I called the fire department repeatedly, and finally they came. I can't tell how many trees were damaged. Maybe you will notice it when you go out to walk.