Sunday, October 17, 2010

3rd quarter of October

Gecko on the wall outside our front door. Below, budding autumn squill.

buds of autumn squill, found by saddle watercourse, first and only found yet.

Saturday 16th Oct: mud dauber wasp seen in garden, hovering near french windows.

Boys had quite close encounter with
Indian porcupine, passed just few feet away.. on walk to local pool . Showed no aggression, surprising because they are usually much more timid and do not allow such close approach.

Sunday 17 Oct.

First White wagtail heard this season! Early afternoon heard from house, over street.

Gazelle: 1 female by tree line windsurfer hill, another three between dirt road off hill and small olive grove, two (well grown young ?) then another leaping, Akiva thinks he saw male horns but light poor by then.
Hyraxes by valley road boulders by forest, some juveniles.

porcupine quill on saddle watercourse trail, about third way up.. brown and white, quite short.

Budding autumn squill ! First this season.

Lots of crows on the hill, mixed jackdaws and hoodies, between 50 and 100, boiled up from the ground like ash from a fire as we approached a newly excavated archaeological site on upper western slopes. Eurasian sparrowhawk passed over mid west slopes.

Active and vocal Syrian woodpeckers, Eurasian jays, blackbird dusk alarm.

Around buildings, feral pigeons as usual, sunbird singing in Bauhinia, graceful warblers, and generally lately laughing dove house sparrows occasionally coming down to forage on garden ground for food left over from chicken and guinea pigs.

Monday 18th October

Chiffchaffs back! At least 3 individuals various places in woods, foraging in tops of pine trees.

Sunbird singing in Bauhinia tree from late morning, jackdaws and hooded crows about.
Eurasian jays about, foraging on ground, or between trees. Bulbul heard in Pistacia grove. Syrian woodpeckers active and vocal.

8 gazelle: 2 down slope by trail from valley road to north watercourse dirt road, 1 adult male across the watercourse, limping, favouring back right leg. Couldn't see any damage, could be in hoof. 4 more under edge of young pines a few hundred feet from service road, 1 more adult male just up slope from east valley watercourse just south of Pistacia grove.

Bats seen quite regularly lately at dusk, over valley road and central trail.

21st Oct
Female sunbird seen foraging outside window, calling sharply. Laughing doves foraging on ground in garden. Jackdaws heard. Akiva saw a number of white wagtails near central bus station.. there is a large roost near there, used every year.

24th Oct

Fox seen across Pistacia orchard, greyish whitish mottled, colouring I hadn't seen before but definitely fox, usual bushy tail

Birds pretty much as 25th, also Eurasian jays calling lately east woods

25th Oct

Sunbird singing in Bauhinia as usual from late morning. At least two laughing doves about foraging on ground in garden. Bulbul on cape honeysuckle early morning but quiet.

Farther off: jackdaws heard on and off all day, in woods, Syrian woodpeckers, blackbirds calling, hoodies flying to roost, about half a dozen ducks over at dusk a few days lately, about 5.30 p.m. look out corner area. Graceful warblers vocal and active by valley road and other places.

Bats and hyraxes not seen today, a bit cool and windy. today's peak was about 22.5 degrees C today and already under 20 during walk.

Only wild flowers now are the bright yellow Inula (ragwort type) growing in clumps in many places and itching our noses, and the Polygonum just below Lev Aryeh.

First rain not yet, still waiting for that. Also haven't seen any goldilocks.

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