Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Yom Kippur to end of Succot obs.

A late blooming thistle type found on the hillside. Notice the petal straps are much wider than those of milk thistle, which finished already months ago.

Yom Kippur: that was Saturday 18th Sept- usual sunbird, laughing dove, house sparrows, also jackdaws about. Twice in the late morning heard clear near calls of Tristram's starling, at least one, probably at least two individuals on next door's building or high vegetation, didn't see, just heard.
When I went out to look for them, noted Salmon Arab butterfly in garden.

Graceful warbler also heard around the garden lately and sunbird singing much of second half of morning and early afternoon.

Akiva noticed many ants on the female pumpkin flowers, hardly any on the males.

Monday 20th Sept: 4 gazelle in view grazing on ploughed area beyond almond trees towards sunset. Also around: hoopoe on eucalyptus near pumping station, great tits seen and heard on acacias and other trees in that area. Syrian woodpeckers heard. Jackdaws about and vocal, hooded crows and jays also about but very quiet. Two falcons over windsurfer hill, seemed to be flying together, no details made out but not kestrels, may be hobbies or other.

Dusk ducks still about, some low quacks and flying from A Ram to Hizmeh but no details.

Last night took dog for walk down snake path end of Abir Yaakov about 10.30 p.m., geckoes about on wall and by path. heard several chitterings of Geckoeshyrax alarms in the fragrant bushes , Akiva glimpsed a young one. That snake path is a frequent haunt for hyraxes.. upper part of pumphouse colony or perhaps a separate colony. No activity before sunset on our walk.

No more shrikes heard and many other birds quiet. Collared doves about but only noticed when they break from a tree and move to another.

Saturday 25th September
3 gazelle crossed east valley dirt path by Pistacia grove near look-out corner end.. Looked like female adult, well grown young and young adult male who was not necessarily the father of the kid but probably following the female out of interest.

Tristram's starlings heard almost every day lately, any time from 10 a.m. to early afternoon, calling. Akiva saw four. I didn't see them but seemed to be up in neighbour's cypresses or palm for a bit.

Blackbird alarm heard, some bulbul calls, graceful warbler calls, hobby calls in woods just west of gazelle field, jays vocal, jackdaws vocal, hoodies around but not vocal.
In gardens: house sparrows, still laughing dove coos, sunbird song in hot hours.

There has been something of a heatwave in last week or so, peak temps from 30 to mid 30s degrees C and with humidity at 50% minimum, feels hotter.

Another heatwave at the end of Sept, beginning of Oct, again temps reached into mid 30s at peak.

2nd Oct: Gazelles: In east field, an adult male just south of small olive grove. Farther south towards slopes of windsurfer hill, group of four gazelle, from sharpness of head markings and small horns would guess a young group, 'teenagers', individuals of a couple of years old.

Lots of hyrax activity by valley road by cypress slum colony including a litter of four young 'uns just down from, I assume their mom, guarding near the road edge.

Tristram's starlings heard again, from direction of 'hood somewhere. collared doves region of bunker, hoopoe flew over us there, heavily, towards look-out corner, graceful warbler around garden, also around bare patch service road woods, Syrian woodpeckers heard, sparrowhawk sightings lately and hobbies though they are relatively quiet now. Peregrine/s ? unconfirmed.
Jackdaws, hooded crows, blackbirds, great tits. chukars?

House: House sparrows, sunbird almost every day some song late morning, early afternoon, some bulbul calls this norming (3rd) , laughing doves about, foraging on ground.

Monday, September 6, 2010

September, around Rosh Hashanah

Sunbird singing in Bauhinia outside my window. Lack of sharpness due to the mosquito screen between. This can just be made out in the lightest patches. Pic doesn't do justice to iridescence. Emerald feathers on neck stood almost on end on neck as the bird sang. ~10% enhancement of brightness and contrast to counteract the artificial gloom caused by tree shade.. thus bringing the pic close to brightness perceived by human eye.

It's Tuesday 7th September
Quiet time of year.. time for a quick catch up of the past week. Late summer is a very quiet season. We've been listening out for masked shrike but not a

: adults on boulders by valley road, just sitting there looking at us until we take even a fraction of a step in their direction, in which case they scamper off down. At a distance we see them crossing the road ahead of us
: Not heard or seen over these days.

: some calls heard from gardens on the street
Sunbirds: regular song/subsong from 10 a.m. and onwards, over hottest time of day.
Laughing doves quiet coos many times today. House sparrows quieter than usual. Hooded crows and jackdaws about as usual, large flock just off south west slopes of windsurfer hill. . Jays active various parts of the forest.
Syrian woodpecker some calls
Collared doves about, active, not cooing but usually seen flying between trees when something spooks them.
Blackbirds some alarm calls heard
Graceful warblers still quite active and vocal about street, gardens

13th September

Shrikes heard from east valley dirt road on the 11th- at least two individuals, one towards the Pistacia orchard, at least one from across the watercourse in an open sapling planted area between the watercourse and pines. Akiva also saw a few (masked shrikes) in a brushy area near the central bus station on the 12th, mid afternoon .

Sunbird: in the last few days the sunbird has been getting earlier and earlier.. moving his start back to around 9 a.m. then between 8 and 9 and today rather abruptly some alarm squeaks and hardly any song at all.

I seem to be missing some of recent records, accidental deletion of material between 7th and 13th but there was not a great deal in it.. (great tit call, syrian woodpeckers, jackdaws, laughing doves, bulbul, house sparrow, jays, hooded crows, feral pigeons, ) much was repetition apart from the mention of some kind of waterfowl flying over cistern area and heading east shortly after sunset. Seems they came from north or north west. Deep grating quack like sounds, some kind of duck but not malllard. Gadwall, garganey and pochard are common passage migrants this time of year. No detail seen, in silhouette above in poor light and quite quick flying.. vocalising as they went, as a group but little attempt at a V.

young adult male gazelle crossed east valley road ahead of us near Pistacia orchard on 11th.