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.

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