Sunday, October 3, 2010

Obs first half October.

I found this caper stem interesting because I have not seen this kind of flat form on any other bush. See how it bears prickles on its surface as opposed to the usual opposite pears. The caper flowers are finished now but many still bear green leaves. Caper bug infestation does not appear to be as heavy as last year though there still is some. I notice the leaves are significantly smaller on many bushes this year, perhaps a response to the infestation. Does it have any protective effect? Make the bush less desirable or even recognizable for bugs?

This is the only specimen of prickly pear (Opuntia) I have found growing spontaneously anywhere in the forest and just found it today, just up from east watercourse on the western banks, south of the pumping station. Possibly sprouted from a Sabra fruit seeds dropped on some picnic- ( evidence of campfire site in vicinity).
Prickly pear is not a native.. it was probably introduced from Arizona in the 19th century for natural fencing. There is at least one large mature plant on our street.

3rd Oct: Small flock of hooded crows windsurfing off the upper western slopes of windsurfer hill and later flying over to roost. Jackdaw calls from Hizmeh hill slopes, calls. Falcon like calls, probably hobby. Syrian woodpeckerTristram's starling from direction of 'hood.

Around house, sunbird in Bauhinia, house sparrows, graceful warbler call.

16th Oct: Saturday

gazelle: a couple, females, up on hillslopes imm. east of east watercourse dirt road, near tree line.

fox: I found one today about sunset, low bushy grey one passing behind cistern pine, going to and fro, sniffing ground, searching. Akiva found one a couple of days ago foraging north watercourse, seen from shaft, a dark one.

hyraxes: some activity, couple of adults corner sapling field near pumping station. lately quite a bit of activity in warm dry late afternoons boulders across from cypress slum, none on cooler windier afternoons more frequent now.

Syrian woodpeckers heard as frequently as usual lately, jays also heard east woods, . Masked shrikes heard a couple of days ago about sunset.

large flock hooded crows up on windsurfer hill, calls, also jackdaws, both about last few days, crows seen going to roost. Jackdaws vocal, crows much less so.

Sunbird still singing in Bauhinia mornings and early afternoons, flitting between cape honeysuckle and there, very active.

evenings getting much cooler, light cotton blouse not enough, but days still warm, friday was almost 33 degrees C at noon. A two minute rainfall a week or so ago but otherwise still dry.

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