Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December begins

Coral gum fresh growth.. by east watercourse dirt road.. several little coppices of new growth sprouting around the trunks of felled trees.

First Jerusalem autumn crocus! Found near the top of the shepherd's trail, where it emerges from the shade of cypress and pine onto the hillside. I saw no others anywhere but I had a feeling I'd find one there, seems to be a relatively rich patch, reliable for autumn squill, orchids and clover variety.

Wednesday 1st December:

Another utterly clear sky, no sign of rain, air cool/mild. 14-24 degrees C, winds extremely light, E/SE, humidity 10-25 %

Gazelle: 3, grazing at treeline up from east watercourse dirtroad,
Hyrax: some activity on boulders by valley road

Black redstart: 2nd sighting, male again hawking on boulder rubble, bobbing, flitting about at sunset.
White wagtail:many calls throughout day heard from house and on walk, definitely seem more numerous than last year
Chiffchaff: contact calls

Eurasian Jays: glimpsed in pines

Feral pigeons: over street
Graceful warblers: call in gardens
Great tits: calls in pines by valley road
Tristram's starlings: calls from up slopes west of pumping station
Jackdaws: calls and flying over heading to roost
Hooded crows: calls and overhead heading to roost
Sunbirds: song and activity in Bauhinia

Saturday 4 December

Weather continuing dry- another clear day, no clouds, winds SE light to non existent. temps 14-23 degrees C. humidity, low, generally under 20%

: 4 - 3 grazing down by fence east field, amongst long dry grass and Inula
Hyrax: a number active on boulders by valley road today and thursday
Foxes: 1 coming from dry stone wall near fence, small olive grove, made its way quickly into field, disappeared into scrub or watercourse

Black redstart- none since wednesday but probably arrived too late.
Stonechat: 1 on long hard stem emerging from thorny burnets, east field
White wagtail:calls heard throughout day

chiffchaff: contact calls in pines thursday, didn't notice today
Blackbirds: alarm calls dusk

Hooded crows: heading over to roost, calls.
Great tits: calls in pines
House sparrows:chirping in garden
Jackdaws: large flock heading over windsurfer hill about sunset

Laughing doves: foraging ground garden
Sunbirds: garden
Syrian woodpeckers: calls various parts of woods
Tristram's starlings: 2 flying from neighbourhood to Hizmeh early afternoon thursday
White spectacled Bulbuls: calls garden

Sunday 5th December.


Gazelle: At least 4 gazelle grazing around almonds and hawthorns in north field around sunset, including adult male.
Hyrax: not out today, though we went by cypress slum area at the usual time. Perhaps it's a little chill.

Black redstart: we arrived at bunker rubble just after sunset, light fading fast so probably just missed him heading up to roost.
White wagtail:many calls
Chiffchaff: some contact calls in pines, less than usual.

Blackbirds: alarm calls at dusk

Eurasian sparrowhawk: Akiva saw over east valley woods, crows putting up a racket there, perhaps because of the raptor
Feral pigeons: over street
Graceful warblers: calls
Great tits:calls in pines

Hooded crows: over as usual and windsurfing off the hillside, south west slopes, now a building site. At least three tiers are being prepared below the level of the houses on villa hill and extending onto south west slopes of windsurfer hill, this development straddles the saddle watercourse so that may be disrupted, hopefully most of it will be spared.

House sparrows: garden
Jackdaws: over valley
Laughing doves: garden
Syrian woodpeckers: calls

White spectacled Bulbuls: calls by Pistacia orchard/look out corner area

Monday 6th December

Rain by 7 a.m.! Skies overcast and drizzling then, ground somewhat damp, hard to know for how long it had been raining.

By late afternoon no water still flowing in east watercourse but plenty evidence it had. Air heavy with scent of eucalyptus oils, cool/mild. Sky partially overclouded, large cumulus.

Gazelle: none seen in north field
Hyrax: calls heard

Black redstart: too late again

Chiffchaff: contact calls in pines
White wagtail: many calls throughout the day

: 1 in *song* somewhere past the bridge

Feral pigeons: cooing and active
Graceful warblers: calls
Great tits: calls

Hooded crows: active and vocal up in eucs and other tall trees by east watercourse dirt road

House sparrows:active and vocal in gardens
Jackdaws: active and vocal over hills

Laughing doves: active in garden and cooing earlier

White spectacled Bulbuls: harsh calls heard toward sunset

Wednesday 8 December

autumn crocus of the season!, and only one I found, near the top of the shepherd's trail.

Damp, and eucalyptus aroma still strong along east watercourse dirt road

Gazelle: at least 11 in east field: at least 8 grazing close to fence near north foot of windsurfer hill, another four between the hill dirt road where we were, and the other gazelle.
Hyrax: calls, but not seen out and about

Black redstart: none at bunker rubble but one male on dry stone wall in east field, just beyond the cypress grove, I would assume a different male, territory too far from bunker.

White wagtails:calls heard

Great tit heard in *song* up somewhere in trees on slopes beyond pumping station
Hooded crows: much calling, birds heading over to roost
Blackbirds: calls heard
House sparrows:chirps in garden
Jackdaws: flock betw 100 and 200 birds fanning sky, heading over from neighbourhood toward Hizmeh
Syrian woodpeckers: calls
White spectacled Bulbuls: calls
Laughing doves: garden, but now it's wetter the sunbirds are keeping relatively low profile.

Asphodel foliage coming up in some places, fresh coral gum growth in many, most Inula gone to seed.

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