Thursday, December 9, 2010

Second quarter of December

Coming down windsurfer hill lower slopes dirt road leading to cistern, facing roughly north east. East field to the right.. this is where the gazelle herd prefers to graze lately.

Thursday 9th December

late afternoon, between ~4 p.m. and 5 p.m. cool, mild. Sky, lots of altocumulus

Gazelle: 8 1 group of 3 sub adults just beyond top of shepherd's trail staring down at us, then a lone adult female grazing down towards the fence near where we saw the small herd yesterday, then two more sub adults on the olive grove side of hill dirt road, then one adult male by himself farther down, then another female in the lower field between the olive grove and cypresses.

Hyrax: a bunch moving quickly oh hillside up from pumhouse
Foxes: 1 heading up shepherd's trail, greyish flanks, reddish head and tail, redder than the individual we've been seeing around the cistern.

Black redstart: none noticed in the two places we've seen them.

Chiffchaff: contact call

Stonechat: glimpses (?) in thorny burnets lower north windsurfer slopes
White wagtail:calls

Eurasian Jays: 1 flew over valley road

Feral pigeons: street, roofs

Great tits: calls in pines

Hooded crows: about, and again, a number perched on tops of cypresses along tree line up from east valley dirt road

Jackdaws: calls

Laughing doves: gardens

Sunbirds: in *song* in Bauhinia midday , sun shining
Syrian woodpeckers: calls
Tristram's starlings: calls
White spectacled Bulbuls:

Saturday 11 December

Gazelle: 15! All in east field. First noticed an adult male grazing in the olive grove area. Shortly after another adult male with slightly longer horns farther towards windsurfer hill, with female not far away. These two moved towards the hill to join a group- now 12 in all, ran down closer to the fence to graze. Shortly after two relatively young gazelle emerged from the woods near the top of shepherd's trail and moved in the direction of the herd.

Black redstart: none in usual places but not surprising since whether windy, probably too much for winged insects to fly or come out at all.

Strangest bird of the day was coo of a *
turtle dove.. we both heard it, close by central trail in the pines. Akiva thought he heard an answering call farther off but I missed that. It's possible some remained due to the long warm autumn.

Chiffchaff: contact calls

Great tits: calls in pines
Jackdaws: overhead about sunset, calling
Hooded crows: milling about over us, disturbed, after sunset as we approached pumping station. Akiva theorized that they were unhappy about their roosting trees, blowing about a lot in the breeze.

White spectacled Bulbuls: melodious calls near pumping station shortly after sunset
Sunbirds: some song in Bauhinia midday
Syrian woodpeckers: some calls
Laughing doves: some cooing.

Wednesday 15 December

cold winds and intermittant rain of the last couple of days has cleared up, sunny day with altocumulus and slightly warmer.

Gazelle: 15 today: first, 12 including adult male with long horns, grazing near fence foot of windsurfer hill again. Adult male with slightly shorter horns grazing in olives again, female appeared in his area and they both headed off down through Pistacia grove. Interesting.. though probably the loser of the sparring match and herd, he still gets company. A third adult male then seen north east field beyond cistern on slopes near fence there.

Black redstart: none about in usual places
Chaffinch: at least two about, tops of trees.
Chiffchaff: contact call about sunset
Stonechats: several about, on tops of thorny burnets in east field, active
White wagtail:several calls

Hooded crows: small flock about, perching tops of trees or flying about, cawing

Jackdaws: flock of 100-150 flying about near road or perching on olives, very active and vocal

Laughing doves: garden
House sparrows: garden,
Sunbirds: 4 in cape honeysuckle, prob family of this year

Vegetation: More asphodel sprouting, one winter crocus seen near top of shepherd's trail, also a 3 spot dianthus amongst thorny burnets same area. More autumn crocus on hillside and shepherd's trail,

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