Sunday, December 26, 2010

Turn of the Year

The autumn crocuses usually occur in twos and threes so I was amazed to find this cluster, just off central trail in the middle of east valley pines.

Most autumn crocuses already passed but plenty white winter crocuses about. Also asphodel foliage coming up everywhere in the woods. On the bank, right by valley road approaching the pumphouse, foliage of the wild geranium Erodium acaule (Stemless storksbill) is starting to spread.

Sunday 26th December

weather: 8-18 degrees C, no rain in last few days, winds shifted round to south easterlies all day, sky pretty much clear

however: more stuff sprouting, more purple autumn crocuses in more places, asphodel sprouting everywhere, first seed leaves of milk thistle coming out on the bank.

Gazelle: last thursday 7 seen crossing hidden watercourse just beyond bat cave, adult male taking the rear. None since.
Hyrax: plenty activity late afternoon by valley road, nibbling new thorny burnet leaves
Foxes: ?

Feral cats: one today in woods
Black redstart: none in usual places
Eurasian Jays: call near sapling field today
Eurasian sparrowhawk:one flying over central trail, look out area today
Feral pigeons: on roofs

Stonechat: song in north gazelle field about sunset
White wagtail:
Great tits: calls around sapling field area
Blackbirds: calls about sunset yesterday
House sparrows:calls in garden
Jackdaws: calls, small number flying over from neighbourhood to windsurfer hill
Hooded crows: plenty activity about valley, yesterday nine came down onto end of street to investigate small polythene bag of crumbs, was probably some kind of tasty treat, bisli or bamba or something like that, which crows love.
Laughing doves: foraging on ground in garden
Stone curlews: calls yesterday dusk, direction of north edges of forest
Sunbirds: many calls today in garden
Syrian woodpeckers: calls yesterday in pines
Tristram's starlings: calls yesterday and recently, one or two flying about over our street late afternoon

forest work lately has been more litter gathering, picking up a few saplings blown over, recent winds racing down east valley shoved down quite a few tubes in north field, the soft sapling wood had just bent rather than broken but had to be pulled back asap or they would stay bent. Akiva hammered the stakes in firmer with a rock. We also put out a brush fire by the east watercourse dirt road with rocks so that it would not spread farther along that slope.

Monday 27th December

Gazelle: 3 subadults grazing between olive grove and windsurfer/cistern dirt road. Two together, one short distance away
Hyrax: some active on boulders by valley road, cypress slum colony, some shrill calls also heard

Black redstart: none in usual places
Chaffinch: several on cypress tops near sapling field
Chiffchaff: contact calls
Feral pigeons: roofs
Stonechat: on thorny burnet, east field near small olive grove
Eurasian Jays: some calls
Blackbirds: pre roost chatter
Tristram's starlings: calls and flying over our street
Hooded crows: about as usual, and foraging on valley road
Laughing doves: foraging on ground in garden
House sparrows:chirping in gardens
Jackdaws: calls, flying over

Sunbirds: calls in garden

Sat 1 January 2011
good rain on and off last day or so

Gazelle: 4 north windsurfer where slope gets steeper, four, adult male last, moving from direction of fence to western slopes.
Hyrax: cool and damp, stayed indoors

Black redstart: seen last thursday (30th Dec) on rubble but none since
Stonechat: glimpsed on thorny burnet east field lately
White wagtail:less about lately, perhaps local population have moved toward town as temps have fallen
Blackbirds: calls at dusk off central trail

Eurasian Jays: calls
Eurasian sparrowhawk:1 flew into bunker pines, caused reaction amongst hoodies, cawing and flying about.
Feral pigeons: flocks about rooftops lately
Graceful warblers: glimpsed bank area
Great tits: calls in pines
House sparrows:chirping in gardens
Jackdaws: calls frequent but big flock moving not noticed lately on our walks.
Kestrels: call from direction of neighbourhood
Laughing doves: foraging on ground in garden

Syrian woodpeckers: calls in pines and eucs
Tristram's starlings: calls and flying over lower neighborhood. Prob still using the half built large synagogue
White spectacled Bulbuls: calls in garden

Sun 2 Jan 2011

Gazelle, hyrax: none seen today

Foxes: 2 foxes just beyond bat cave, sitting, grooming, one seemed to be drinking, rock has depressions there that can hold water. Did not see them interact but were just a couple of meters from each other and tolerant of each others presense so likely be mates. After a few minutes both had slipped from view.
Feral dogs: Much barking, several on west hill slope Hizmeh hill. Seemed to dogs lower on slope belong to one pack, 7 or 8 (hard to see, light and distance, this was just after sunset) , but three others higher up belonged to separate Hizmeh based pack and a shepherd's trail along the contour of the hill was the boundary line.. the valley pack had ventured across briefly and the hill pack were letting them know not to come higher. The upper dogs stayed on the shepherd trail, did not want to come farther down , they were outnumbered, but were holding their ground.

Black redstart: none

Stonechat: male seen on thorny burnet in east field, probably quite a few about but did not search, we were lookign for gazelle, saw him incidentally. Did not hear them
White wagtail:no calls
Eurasian Jays: calls east valley
Great tits: calls in north valley near watercourse
Hooded crows: about as usual, jackdaws, calls, and about as usual

3rd Jan 2011

Foxes: 1 by security fence, ran down road, slipped through barbed wire roll ?
Hyrax: heard chittering call but didn't see any active
Black redstart: none
Chaffinch: finches on cypress tops but didn't see which.
Blackbirds: dusk calls
Great tits: calls
Feral pigeons: flying about rooftops over road
Collared doves: 1 out in open east field SW corner, took off to trees as we approached windsurfer/cistern path.
Jackdaws: calls
Hooded crows: about as usual,

Laughing doves: ground, garden

cool, damp, sunny, our tortoise was wandering about garden again at noon.

No comments: