Thursday, December 1, 2011

December

lots of mole rat activity lately, notably this, north watercourse dirt road as it approaches look-out corner. 15 Dec.

House centipede, Scutigera

Thursday 1 December

4.30 p.m. to sunset:

2 white wagtails on tv antenna on Elias calling single high notes, adult male gazelle up from north watercourse trail, stonechats
calling from various locations by north watercourse. Hooded crows returning singly from forage, feral pigeon flying between Shadiker roofs, House sparrows in gardens.

Sunday 4th December

Ah lovely invigorating walk back through the cool forest dusk , a waxing moon, Jupiter and Venus shining in the sky. Pretty quiet walk.. stonechats, Syrian woodpeckers, chiffchaffs, (latter, glimpsed foraging in pine canopy but no good views.. lots of contact calls) hoodies, (gathering in eucalyptus canopies near look out corner at dusk) jackdaw some calls, collared dove (left euc canopy, possibly because of hoodies, and headed across fore part of gazelle field to younger pines) , white wagtails (a couple on Elias near their favourite tree). Laughing doves and sparrows in the garden after the chicken chow.


No black redstart at rubble, no gazelle seen in usual places unless too dim to see by then.

Shabbat similar but glimpse of probable sparrowhawk over north watercourse area, and graceful warbler heard.

Monday 5th December

Just under 16 degrees C just after 4 p.m. hooded crows returning home from forage, a couple of sparrowhawk sightings, one from bat cave trees to eucs by north watercourse, then across the dirt road towards owl glade as we have seen many times about sunset, other seen flying over Pistacia orchard a short while later.. could have been same bird or another. 5 gazelle, females and well grown young, grazing on the hillside to NE, stonechat calls in field near look-out corner. Contact calls probably chiffchaffs, brief chaffinch call probably.

Tuesday 6th December

Clear skies again. Garden: laughing doves, house sparrows, sunbird calling in cape honeysuckle. Street: hoodies, jackdaws. Akiva heard Tristram's starling fly over. Woods: graceful warbler, Syrian woodpecker.

Gazelle . at least 8 today: Buck gazelle with esp. long horns euc. grove by north watercourse, Gazelle heading into Pistacias, the usual buck there. Then, as we approached the bridge on east watercourse dirt course group of at least half a dozen gazelle crossed dirt road from pumphouse end of sapling field and headed up hill.. good grazing there now. Lots of winter crocus on the shepherd's trail. No stonechats seen or heard on field today but sparrowhawk seen flying from low east field to woods.

Wednesday 7 Dec.

We found several Dianthus, in singles, by north watercourse dirt road. Most Varthemia gone to seed but I did find a flower still. Ragwort, Inula, some still flowering, some in seed. Polygonum still flowering esp. below Lev Aryeh.

At the quarry a black redstart was using a 30 m high hopper for flycatcher like tactics and Tristram's starlings were using a derelict building as home base, whistles echoing inside. We heard a kestrel, saw hyraxes amongst the rubble .. also Syrian woodpecker on tree up slope, Prinias, calls, a covey of chukars, at least 10 in file, some calls, (third way up opp. slope north watercourse) and a blackbird calling alarm in the advancing dusk below end shadiker, in pines.


plus house sparrows, (street, gardens) white wagtails, (flying over to roost) chaffinches,(calling in pines by north watercourse, and glimpsed) sunbird,(calling in cape honeysuckle, contact calls) jays, (calling in pines) jackdaws and hoodies, calls and glimpsed.


Thursday 8th December

Cold front coming in from the west late afternoon, splatters of raindrops on walk.

gardens: house sparrows, jackdaw calls. Akiva heard Tristram's starling heading over, higher.

gazelle: At least 5 bachelor males grazing near north watercourse just west of bat cave, at least 10 females and well grown young with one adult male not far east of bat cave, lower slopes.

white wagtails seen and heard flying over , building top level or higher, calling, heading to roost.

Hoodies about in singles.

Sunday/Monday 12 Dec.

up from east watercourse dirt road, treed slopes windsurfer, alarm calls, sounded like 2 European robins, two locations about 100 feet apart. A few gazelle, chaffinch call, then seen on top of cypress though white bar on wing looked very like that of hawfinch, still, chaffinch head. Do they hybridize?

House centipede
on wall in house, one of Scutigera, prob. S. coleoptrata.

Tues. 13 Dec

4 gazelle: 2 adult males in pines up from north watercourse dirt road, betw. their and owl glade. Male and female in Pistacia orchard, two grazing by coral gum, gazelle field, female and young or two well grown young.

hoodies about, haven't seen jackdaws last few days, flock moved off to better foraging grounds probably. street: house sparrows, feral pigeons. Sparrowhawk fly over shortly after sunset bat cave to owl glade area, as seen in past numerous times. No stonechats or black redstarts.

Wed 14th Dec

Overcast but mild. Watched a chiffchaff forage all over an acacia, calling every now and again while a European robin bobbed silently in the middle, so I waited a while to get a good view of the latter. (first actual sighting this season though several calls heard) . Later, more chiffchaff calls in various parts of the pinewoods, an alarmed robin down by the east watercourse just upstream from look-out corner, probably territorial, prob. a second robin vying for territory there, hoodies, Prinia, sparrowhawk's usual sunset flyover.

Thur 15 Dec.

From house: afternoon, numerous white wagtail calls, some jackdaw calls, so they're back from whatever foraging excursion took up the first half of the week, house sparrows of course. Ring neck parakeet calls.

Hoodies about. On walk, other side north watercourse adult male modest horns followed, a few metres behind by one with impressive horns. Syrian woodpecker calls numerous. As we walked up dirt road to windsurfer, cypresses on our right, high pitched call 'teee teee teee' I thought maybe goldcrest? Haven't found matching call. Suitable habitat though they are relatively rare winterers. Chiffchaff calls. On the way back along valley road dusk.. 'chick chick' calls of robins, two individuals from the sound of it.

Sat 17 Dec.

From house: day: heard, for first time in a while, laughing doves cooing.. also house sparrows, calls of ring neck parakeet and jackdaws. Akiva heard sunbird/s. In valley: Syrian woodpeckers, 2 adult male gazelle, one up on ridge to north(east), another in pines near owl glade, sparrowhawk, heading from direction of hidden watercourse to pines, over north dirt road, again over Pistacias a little later. Blackbird heard chakking near pumphouse, farther south. Stone curlew from direction of hidden watercourse. Chiffchaff contact calls.

greenfinch SONG briefly midday.

Thur 22nd Dec

Today walked up to butterfly saddle betw. north watercourse and hidden watercourse, at least 9 adult male gazelle in the area, between east watercourse and ridge to NE. Two with best horns sparring for a few mins in pines betw. just down and east of butterfly area..

relatively quiet lately. Robin very brief view in cypress on slopes near gazelle today, silhouette but Akiva also heard the call. Also in last few days glimpses of Sparrowhawks, Syrian woodpeckers active and vocal, jackdaws, hoodies. In gardens: house sparrows, brief visits by ring neck parakeets pretty much every day over this week, some bulbul calls but not very much in evidence. sunbirds heard esp. in cape honeysuckle.

That castor oil plant now has multiple spikes and a few inches taller than I am!

Sat 24th Dec.

After several days of mild temps , 15 degrees C and over.. winds in afternoon , clouds coming in from west about sunset, rain in dark continuing into small hours thank God!

On treed hillslope up from east watercourse dirt road, a little south of shepherd's trail, a group of gazelle in file along contour trail to south, females and well grown young. Out on east field crossing dirt road up windsurfer hill.. 6 gazelle trailed by adult male. Has that (east field/windsurfer hill) herd split then into two distinct groups? Will be watching.

Chaffinch heard, seen close to pumphouse, top of cypress. Hoodies about, one mobbing a kestrel flying over west slopes of windsurfer hill.. which they probably see as their airspace. Chiffchaffs heard. From house, house sparrows, a greenfinch twitter early afternoon, ring neck parakeet later.

Sun 25th Dec

drizzling .. valley road.. small chat like bird hopping on ground on valley road.. as we approached flew up into acacia... and perched quite out in open middle upper branches, good view .. grey head, dull orange red underparts, dark back, general jizz robin/chat, I'd say first winter male common redstart.. first common redstart I've found in our area but probably not first here, just most prob. keep themselves better hidden.

Mon 26th Dec.

Sunny, sky pale blue, house sparrows chirrupping, ring neck parakeets by a little earlier.. Just over 10 degres C at start of walk, shortly after 4 p.m now. Feral pigeon flock over Shadiker.

3 bachelor gazelle grazing near north watercourse, an adult male by Pistacias and a group of 5 well grown young/females in field just beyond, threading their way between thorny burnet and ragwort gone to seed, jumping onto and along dry stone walls..

hooded crows over area and about, feral cats hunting amongst the hyrax rocks, latter keeping a low profile,

white wagtails were calling as small flocks of them passed over to roost, calls of bulbul and Prinia. (earlier part of report and pic below this on my profile page), Slim shining crescent of the New moon of Tevet in the western sky on our return.

Tuesday 27th Dec.

11 gazelle in east field 1 well grown young which ran into lower east field as we came through Pistacia grove.. then the rest grazing near fence, between the olive grove and NE foot of windsurfer hill, adult male off by himself closer to the hill, chaffinch call, chiffchaff contact calls, white wagtails calls as they flew over, graceful warbler near large almond, bulbuls in neighbourhood, hoodies, jackdaws and a group of some melodious brown jobs in east field, larks I think but didn't get good views but probably crested.

Wednesday, Thursday 28th, 29th Dec.

Gazelle active , a number of bucks by north watercourse, several in the new pine grove by the service road for a change. Other gazelle in east field, four young ones head of shepherd's trail. Two adult male gazelle seen sparring betw. butterfly saddle and bat cave but don't recall exactly which day. 19 altogether seen one day.

Pick-up in bulbul calls and laughing dove coos heard in last few days in gardens. More ring neck parakeet calls.

Saturday 31st Dec

Most extraordinary, as walking along east watercourse dirt road saw raptor weaving fast betw trees below canopy level, falcon, dark grey, darker head, from what we saw matches peregrine falcon best!

When we reached top of shepherd's trail Akiva saw brown bird take off from ground and fly with abrupt turn and out of sight.. from what info we could gather fit snipe, which I've seen on Jerusalem hills on winter on other occasions. Unfortunately both above views very brief for better confirmation.

gazelle and hyrax not seen though hoofprints of course, but did hear syrian woodpeckers and blackbirds, and probably chiffchaff contact calls.

Found blooming Golden drop by wall at edge of neighbourhood.. don't think we've seen them so early before but sheltered location.



Monday, November 7, 2011

November 2011

Winter crocus, Crocus hyemalis, found blooming along saddle watercourse trail, midday on 28th

Monday 7th Nov.


Rain with thunder and lightning a couple of days ago, a fair fall. Temps have dropped a lot to just over 10 degrees C at night, today up to 18.5 degrees max. (1.30 p.m.)

Sky almost clear of clouds! Sparrowhawks at least two.. calls and fly byes.. one from trees by bat cave.. heard calls, then it crossed north watercourse and headed towards east valley, other , Akiva believed not same one, skirted edge of east field, At any rate we heard calls from north field somewhere after first had flown south so def. at least 2 in area if not three or more.

Syrian woodpeckers, calling and seen in eucalyptus grove by bunker rubble, stonechats heard around cistern, seen in fields by dry stone walls betw. us and small olive grove.. in one, male with female ,

jays active and vocal various places, jackdaws several score around open ground, buildings south end Hizmeh hill, hoodies passing over from north to south in singles, some calls, returning from forage likely, collared doves at least four up on lines over near where the watercourses meet, , some very vocal Prinias by dry stone walls by small olive grove, several gazelle, two in the Pistacia grove and other places in the valley, and the sunbird in the cape honeysuckle STILL singing.


Still no black redstart by bunker rubble , sad. None seen by dry stone walls either.

Sunbird heard singing in cape honeysuckle quite a lot lately.. house sparrows about garden, laughing doves foraging on ground quite regular and the occasional bulbuls passing through gardens, various calls. Occasional ring neck parakeet calls.

Akiva has heard occasional stone curlew call lately but not so often now.

Sunday 13th November

quite mild.. sky pale porcelain blue with scattered altocumulus, gazelle were up grazing on the western slopes of 'windsurfer hill' 2 in sight, rest probably around out of sight on western face (we were looking from north) Syrian woodpecker call, great tit churr and
and chaffinch calls in the pinesnear descent to dirt road, chiffchaff (?)high contact calls (by central trail) , stonechat calls just after sunset as light fails out in the east field field, hyrax barks from their colonies, sparrowhawk glimpsed over north watercourse, and the usual jackdaws and hoodies
calls from a covey of chukars over across the north watercourse yesterday as well as most other birds as today.


Garden: house sparrows, laughing doves, sunbirds, bulbuls usual most days lately.

Monday 14th Nov.

Walked back from Pisgat Zeev mid morning, via saddle watercourse. a mature shaggy coated hyrax on sentry duty near pumping station, where, to my amazement, some mullein still blooming, or blooming again, second wind due to rains. Jerusalem autumn crocus many places western slopes of windsurfer and in one place, a little blooming thyme
stonechats calling in fields, sunbirds, bulbuls in gardens, white wagtails over street, jackdaws, laughing doves and others about
.

quite a few white butterflies seen, surprisingly also a salmon Arab right by foot of stairs to our entrance.

Afternoon: chaffinch calls near pumping station, east watercourse flowing, had reached about level with ascent up shepherd's trail when we got there.. jays, jackdaw flock up hill, hoodies,
15 Nov. Tuesday

Cooler today, misty in the east, Max 15 degrees C today, just over 12 degrees for most of walk, humidity about 50%.

street: house sparrows, laughing doves, bulbul
woods: Jay, Syrian woodpecker, those high pitched contact calls again but still couldn't get a glimpse, but clearly seasonal.

gazelle: At least 3 well horned bachelor males euc. grove/bat cave north watercourse area.

Hooded crows mobbing large hawk, mid/pale even brownish mostly rather than barred but not good view.

East field no gazelles noticed, whistle calls of small jobs but not seen, prob stonechats but didn't hear the chak chak call, covey of chukars filing away from us on one of the trails, towards the hill

Wednesday 23 Nov


4 p.m. and it's about 16 degrees C, up on yesterday


some gazelle behaviour at least 6, group lower north hill slopes, at least one buck but most females and well grown males.. one female looked very skittish, running about, nervous, several high back kicks.

Two more near bridge treed slopes to east of east watercourse dirt road.. both snorting, clear view of one, adult male, other presumably also, snorted in turn.

sparrowhawk seen and heard calling in trees by bat cave, chaffinches calls, chiffchaffs, presumably high contact calls, stonechats in fields by north watercourse, hooded crows tree tops and flying over, singles, jackdaw flock again absent. Stone curlew heard about 5.20 p.m. already dark.

House sparrows seen and heard in the garden, prob also laughing doves but not seen. Bulbuls or sunbirds not heard at all last couple of days. Feral pigeons on roof tops, still, just perched.

lots of autumn crocus

Thursday 24th November

Black redstart - on a dry stone wall in the east field.. not many metres from the cypress grove. first definite sighting of the season, finally! Also, several gazelle, (one buck in field betw. olive grove and cypress, other with the longer horns over near fence. Stonechat on shrub mid field, and song heard, hoodies singles , passing over, another perched on wires post, wing lifting, soliciting? , jackdaws calls over neighbourhood, Prinias calls, white wagtails calls heard various places, Syrian woodpeckers calls near cistern and Pistacia orchard, collared dove flew from pumphouse into dense eucalyptus.


Tristram's starling heard calling from house a few days later.

Monday 28th Nov

clear skies, temp ~12 degrees.

singing great tit heard! Late morning Pisgat Zeev, by 'tayeret haducifat', a major road along the edge of the neighbourhood.

Most significant and sad today.. shortly before noon fox found lying in east watercourse (dry), just 'upstream' from bridge.. still but breathing, yellow staining on thighs, upper tail.. saliva noticed coming from mouth but not foam.. then we saw it have convulsion as in strychnine poisoning.. sometimes put out for stray dogs. We had noticed a pack a few days before and wondered if they had been reported and poison put down for rabies control. Unfortunately we didn't have a good means available to put it out of it's misery and hoped it was ''out of it'' enough not to be suffering too greatly and would die soon. We all felt horribly helpless and frustrated and sad we could do nothing for her. On our return about 4.30 p.m. she was gone from former position but had managed to drag herself several feet under the bridge, into the concrete tunnel. She was also still alive, poor thing. It occurred to me then that she could be in final stages of rabies infection. On our return Akiva called our vet who referred us to city vet. Our vet said rabies was indeed a possibility. Instinctively neither of us had got close to her so we had no significant exposure. About forty minutes later he was in the neighbourhood .. Akiva took him down to show location. The vixen put up a surprising amount of fight and resistance for her condition but was clearly unable to flee. Vet took her away for testing. He said no rabies in neighbourhood. We shall be in contact to find out result of tests and post here when/if we learn something.



House sparrows, calling sunbird, laughing doves, bulbuls in gardens, also graceful warblers, Syrian woodpecker calls, a sparrowhawk over north watercourse later afternoon, hoodies, jackdaws, white wagtails on Elias about their favourite tree and on rooftop, various small unidentified jobs about.

Tuesday 29th November

sparrowhawk flew over north watercourse to mid woods.. regular! , several gazelle north field, lower hill slopes 1 buck, two females.. watched female scratch herself on side of neck/chin area with her left back hoof, other licking her flanks.. common gazelle thing, , black redstart about 10 ms up on spikes on one of power pylons in that field, blackbird alarm calls in woods.. as also yesterday, forgot to mention him above, sunbird calling in cape honeysuckle, jackdaws .. and the coral gum saplings have been hit by some kind of infection. Below.. notice exit holes.. some kind of insect. Most leaves hit relatively low on the saplings, higher leaves could be clear or almost clear, lower leaves entirely covered with reddish purple discoloration.



Lots of purple crocus in those fields, no white, some autumn squill in parts.

Wednesday 30th November

8 gazelle, 2 groups, 4 bachelors eucalyptus grove by north watercourse near bat cave, grazing, 4 females/well grown young about foot of twin pylons, male black redstart at the bunker rubble, hurray! First seen in that location this season, stonechat calling near the bachelor gazelles, hoodies flying over in singles, sparrows about gardens, feral pigeons about roofs, white wagtails, Akiva noted flying over edge of neighbourhood, Eurasian jays alarm calls in woods by north watercourse, Prinias calls.

1 winter crocus near north watercourse, rest purple. (Jerusalem autumn crocus)


Thursday, October 6, 2011

6th Oct to end of Oct.


Above: White breasted kingfisher at JBO pool , 30th Oct.

Above : blooming castor oil plant, by valley road.


Above: by pool at JBO .. pair of Laughing doves,


Bulbul , JBO.
Female chaffinch.. first individual seen this season! By pool at J.B.O.

male blackcap close to pool in great willowherb and other veg.
Thursday 6th October

16+ gazelle today, (10 or 11 NE foot of windsurfer, usual grazing place) , another two a little farther down the field, 2 just up from Pistacio grove, 1 very fine adult male buck between bat cave and north watercourse.

also flock of jackdaws very active and vocal over east valley as dusk fell, hoodies accompanying the jackdaws, Eurasian jays heard and seen active various parts aroundwoods, masked shrike calls just down from trail from north corner valley road to east watercourse dirt road, Tristram's starling calls over north watercourse area, Prinia calls, greenfinches calls around look-out corner, and quite a few Syrian woodpeckers active and vocal esp. eucalyptus grove near cistern.


Garden: house sparrows active esp in Bauhinia, sunbird song in garden. subsong.. young male practicing?

Sunday 9th Oct

25 gazelle today, I think that's a record!

1 adult male, long horns north watercourse near where trail comes down from north valley road.

6 more adult males further east along that watercourse, near bat cave including two coming down from owl glade area, one bounced across road, joined others.
1 more adult male near cistern
5 in pistacias including 1 adult male.
shortly after (as we were heading up dirt road leading up windsurfer hill on other side of Pistacia orchard) the male broke from that group to join two adult females, attempted to mate with one of them, brief contact.. kept on sniffing, she squatted as if to defacate though none seen...he continued to sniff and follow, she decided to speed up and head towards look-out corner, buck in pursuit. (7 total in Pistacias, so 15 so far.. )

Usual grazing area betw foot windsurfer and olive grove N/S , betw. bipass road and dirt road up hill E/W several, joined by a few more crossing dirt road ahead of us towards east, joining others making total of ten counted at one time including adult male.

Several adult hyrax spotted on dirt road leading off north valley road, down from Shadiker, some older immatures but no small ones, 1 shaggy older one closest to us.

Birds: feral pigeon over, hoodies over and vocal, noisy jackdaw flock over east valley esp sunset, some great tit calls by north watercourse, brief syrian woodpecker calls, blackbird call near look-out corner.

Monday 10th October

around 20 gazelle, 4 bachelors browsing on young pine leaves on the hillslopes as we headed down, more bachelors in eucs near north watercourse, several in the Pistacias including 1 adult male, and small herd of at least 7 females and well grown young making its way around windsurfer hill west to east, the alpha male between them and us,

bulbuls, a falcon, Eurasian jays active many places, Syrian woodpeckers, greenfinches bunker area, jackdaws flock, hoodies- hyrax across from pumping station, corner sapling field, on the way back in the gathering dusk.
Several collared doves around the cistern.

Weather unusually warm, low 30s much of the day.

Tuesday 11th October

4 gazelle grazing about half way up north west slopes windsurfer hill, perhaps more, another seen earlier nearer top and we know at least 10 use that area . Hyrax on rock down from valley road.

Prinias heard, jays , some activity, jackdaws, hooded crows about, ring neck parakeet heard on street.

Saturday 15th October

white wagtail heard! over Shadiker area.

Sunday 16th October

25 gazelle.
Again! Adult buck gazelles spreading out more, seen in numerous places, rubbing horns repeatedly against vegetation but no sparring noticed. Females and well grown young herd grazing lower north slopes of windsurfer usually.
small group of up to half dozen in Pistacia grove regularly seen

white wagtail heard?

Monday 17th October

20 gazelle. Kestrel call up in neighbourhood, directly up slope from pumphouse station.

sunbird singing in garden almost every day lately. Bulbuls, laughing doves, house sparrows, ring neck parakeet calls.. great tit aggressive calls and contact calls of various kinds but no song yet, esp in pines near north watercourse.

Tuesday 18th October

11 gazelle today.. 3 bachelors amongst eucalyptus north watercourse, 2 more in the small olive grove, much rubbing of horns against vegetation, group of at least 6 females and well grown young north west slopes of 'windsurfer hill' . Lots of Syrian woodpeckers, Prinias, a neat dramatic hobby call and fly by, jackdaws, hoodies, jays and such


Wednesday 26th October

Castor oil plant by valley road blooming.. (ad pic)

Stonechats have arrived! Seen in east field on 24th, 25th
Gazelle: regular group in Pistacias, buck, mother and kid and a few others, usually 5
White wagtail heard : 23rd & 26th
Garden: house sparrows, laughing doves, sunbirds
street: feral pigeons, hooded crows, jackdaws, ring neck parakeet (latter three also in and over valley)
valley: greenfinches, syrian woodpeckers, Prinias

Sunday 30th October

JBO hide by Gan Sacher (just south of town centre) : watched European robin bathing and a female chaffinch (both first of season), blackcap and Prinia foraging in the Great willowherb by the waterside, white breasted kingfisher hunting, also bulbuls, jays, sunbirds, blackbirds there, white wagtails, jackdaws, hooded crows on the fields. Calls of ring neck parakeets? But none seen.
Monday 31st October

Ten gazelle in two groups: 4 relatively young then 1 female and young heading south of and parallel to central trail, crossing it and heading to woods/gazelle field edge. Four more in the Pistacia orchard including female and young and an adult buck.
Kestrel (?) over valley and one more definite from direction of Hizmeh, bipass road, sparrowhawk heading south well over canopy level, large dark Buteo of some sort circling low over woods next to gazelle field, white wagtails- calls over road earlier, hooded crows heading south various heights over canopy level at dusk, low speed heading to roost, jackdaws calls from direction Hizmeh hill, jays harsh calls amongst trees, stonechats east field various places as light faded, Prinias long shrill calls bunker/cistern area.
no hyrax or syrian woodpeckers heard today. Looked out for black redstart but still none.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

End of September, Oct beginning

Castor oil bush sprouted right by valley road.. several other trees at the top of the bank, none between, first one I've noticed along that stretch.

Bat flittering round over valley road today not long after sunset.. we need to find out how to get a better image!

25th Sept Sun
Flowering Varthemia - most not ready but one blooming, as I had anticipated, at edge of butterfly saddle betw north watercourse and hidden watercourse. Also in that area a group of 6 bachelor gazelle heading north, hobbies on the wing, two, heading west, short clipped calls, another individual calling from trees a little farther west.
On way up hill from north watercourse much vocalization from great tits in the pines, breezes pleasant, slightly moist, scattered cumulus.
jackdaws and hoodies .
27th Sept Tuesday

5 bachelor gazelle in pines near north watercourse, another coming out of it, two more in the Pistacia orchard, plus jackdaws, hoodies, a hobby, Prinias, Tristram's starlings' whistles heard and hyraxes at one of the colonies.

30th Sept Friday

First autumn squill noticed alongside shepherd's trail from top to bottom, numerous but only on southern side.. 1 Dianthus noticed at top.

feral dog, all reddish brown colouration, gay tail, chasing bachelor gazelle herd on hillslope other side of northern trail, about a dozen males. About 5 a.m. earlier than usual. Males noticed last few days north watercourse area.

hooded crows, jackdaws seen and heard all days, Tristram's grackles also heard every day as well as great tits, bulbuls,

Feral pigeons, laughing dove seen active street and garden, sunbird heard. hobby over north field.

Oct 1 Saturday

heard: great tits, Eurasian jays, Syrian woodpecker. Two adult male gazelle seen near shaft, one noticeably younger than the other based on horns, hyraes about.

Oct 5th Wednesday

7 gazelle total today : 2 by north watercourse in the open , adult females , 5 in Pistacia grove , 1 adult male, rest, females and well grown young.
hyraxes, hoarse repeated bark up from pumphouse at dusk. Bat flittering around at base of ramp from valley road to back of buildings, regular place.
Hooded crows: heard, about jackdaws, heard, flocks seen about, over valley and by Hizmeh, Eurasian jay calls in woods.
Syrian woodpeckers, heard, seen in woods, graceful warblers heard, vocal.
Tristram's grackle heard. Sunbird, in song in cape honeysuckle late afternoon as we left.
ring necked parakeets, heard around midday, garden row. House sparrows chirps,
about , bulbuls, harsh calls (young?) heard today, melodious yesterday.

(yesterday similar in most respects, minus Tristrams and parakeets)

Lots of Inula viscosa in bloom now esp banks below Shadiker.

Monday, September 12, 2011

September observations, end of the dry season

Small chameleon, whole individual about three inches long.. found crossing snake path (through terraced gardens) in our neighbourhood, released onto Bauhinia tree in our garden.

Below, an Eryngium, of a species I hadn't noticed before.. near ruins middle of east valley.


Monday 12th Sept.

4 gazelle noticed when coming up shepherd's trail from east watercourse dirt road.. first, up and over to right (south) appeared to be an immature, alone.. then over to left running up slope Akiva saw three individuals.. one disappeared and we both watched a female followed by well grown young make their way across mid field and head down to grazing area between hill and olive grove. No others seen down there.

Also about: jackdaws, many calls, feral pigeons, hobby call, hoodies in neighbourhood on the look out for tasty scraps thrown on ground.. kids' litter.. but has been very quiet lately. Yesterday hardly anything seen and heard but after dusk a number of bats around pumphouse station at least half a dozen, crickets

Tuesday 13th Sept

Garden: laughing doves seen flying to ground, house sparrows, ring neck parakeets calls.

three night herons! Good views this evening in high trees by east watercourse dirt road.. left trees and circled around a few times, increasing height and radius, a few calls, resonant croaks like something between a crow and a duck. Confirms what I've suspected for weeks. (We have seen them in the past earlier in the afternoon)

Plus three gazelle in Pistacia grove, male and two others, hyraxes repeated bark, like hoarse chuckle, high cypress slum bank, jays heard and seen, great tits heard, masked shrike heard near Pistacia grove/look out corner, jackdaw calls. .


Wednesday 14th Sept.

No herons on walk but did hear them at about 10.30 p.m. (from direction of east valley) when we went out with the dog. Usual other birds. Notable rise in humidity late afternoon lately.

Thursday 15th Sept.


No herons so far.. hoodies in tops of eucs, Eurasian jays, syrian woodpeckers active and vocal.. group of four gazelle , adult male, 1 horn, two others.. prob the olive grove gang, under pines near central trail.
Garden: ring neck parakeets heard, laughing doves about as usual.

Photographed an Eryngium near east valley ruins I hadn't noticed before.. habit about three times higher than usual bluish Eryngium, clusters of inflorescences, all green/olive green foliage.

herons heard calling on evening walk , 10.30 p.m.

Monday 19th Sept.

Fox with very nice coat spotted north west corner east field, heading to trees, we'd spooked it. Female gazelle there with well grown young, heading across the other direction from trees towards grazing grounds between olive grove and hill, another individual nearby and another three farther down the hill towards the fence. Three more gazelle in Pistacia grove, adult buck and two more. Light was getting dim so could not see if one horn amongst them though I'd expect that. 9 in all.

Falcon mobbing much larger bird of prey over bipass road north of olive grove, mainly dark, around sunset so got no more detail. Otherwise, hoodies, not much more seen about. Sunbirds and ring neck parakeet heard in and near garden.

21st September

16 gazelle today! herd of adult male with 12 others in east field, a mother and young (the little one already visibly larger than the last time we saw him) in Pistacias and an adult buck by north watercourse.

Birds including masked shrikes, jackdaws, collared doves, syrian woodpeckers, hoodies. Wheatear in east field? Sunbird in garden.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

August end & s Start of September. .


thistle species not noticed before, mid slopes windsurfer hill, facing west. whole plant betw 2, 3 feet high, just the one.

Seen lately, a number of bats at dusk, earlier, dragonflies over east watercourse dirt road.

Shabbos August 27th


From house: sunbird song in Bauhinia in hottest hours of day, some alarm squeaks, later, some melodious calls. Psittacine calls, probably the ring neck parakeets,

Not long before sunset, flock about 30 large raptors heading south, prob honey buzzards, pale under but for shoulder markings

after that two more loan buzzard types soaring about, lowering, terminal tail band.

gazelle: 1 in pistacias, another 4 in field betw. olives and cypress including adult buck and 1 horn (female) 7 in field not far from fence nr ne foot slopes windsurfer.

graceful warblers (also from house), Syrian woodpecker calls. 1 Eurasian jay spotted.

Monday 29th August

7 adult male gazelles grazing amongst eucalyptus near bat cave, north watercourse area.

Tuesday 30th August

mature hyrax on boulder on the way down below the school,
mother and young gazelle (of this year!) in terebinth grove,
pair of hobbies aggravated that some much larger raptors wanted to roost in 'their' trees,

also, hoodies, Eurasian jay.

Wednesday 31st August

50 raptors migrating slow over to south as we waited at light rail station at ammunition hill at about sunset . Didn't have binocs with us at the time but I think they were honey buzzards. They were high!


Thursday 1 September

‎13 gazelle - 3 bucks near shaft area.. 2 there, one fully adult male, one somewhat younger, then farther around hoopoe corner saw one more in pines to right.

10 grazing betw north slopes windsurfer and olive groves, closer to slopes, more in centre of field, away from fence, all then started moving around base of hill to west. No

hobby, jackdaw, graceful warbler calls, saw Eurasian jay, collared dove, and bat on way back, and shining crescent of the new month!

Sat Sept 3rd

sunbird heard singing in garden.

Shrikes heard in last few days.. on Sat saw 1 masked shrike low branch near north watercourse. Individuals heard there, one or two, another one or two by new pine grove towards north watercourse and more by eucalyptus grove by east field.

Gazelles: 1 buck and two others near olive grove, several over in field near base windsurfer hill.

hobby calls heard from house, graceful warblers heard, bat seen at dusk, valley road.

Sun Sept 4th

laughing doves on garden ground, calls ring neck parakeets not long after 7 a.m.

Thurs Sept 8th

8 gazelle, five of them adult male, three groups, group of three coming out of north watercourse, farther on to east in new pine grove male following female and looked like well grown immature, a little later near far end of Pistacia grove another adult male following female.

masked shrike about, making scritchy scratchy noises in the low branches, we've been hearing them almost every day this week esp. near watercourses and Pistacia and eucalyptus grove.

also blackbirds alarm call, jays vocalizations, collared doves silent but on lines or flying between trees, graceful warblers calls, and a nimble bat on the way back.

Garden today: laughing doves foraging on ground for chicken food, sunbird singing in Bauhinia

Saturday 10th September

Pistacia orchard 3 gazelle 1 adult male and two others, including one horn .. as seen from dirt road from cistern to windsurfer hill.

Masked shrike: at least two individuals heard in trees cose to north watercourse dirt road.

Hobby, graceful warblers, syrian woodpeckers heard, Tristram's starling heard from direction of hidden watercourse.

4 ring neck parakeets seen flying together up and down our street last couple of days, heard from inside house of course, a number of times , mentioned lately.

At least 3 bats around bright lights by pumping station, also around ramp from valley road to back of buildings.






Wednesday, August 10, 2011

August continued


Black nightshade Solanum nigrum has sprouted spontaneously all around our garden. Central areas mainly goosefoot and purslane.

Wednesday 10th August

13 gazelle,

1 adult male near bat cave, by north watercourse
1 individual up south of north dirt road in woods towards owl glade
8 down near foot north east slopes windsurfer, by fence , usual place.. females and well grown young
1 adult male: crossing windsurfer dirt road ahead of us, heading to east woods.
2 relatively young individuals near head of shepherd's trail

about 50 bee-eaters flying about eucalyptuses by north low end of east field, first a group of about two dozen, then with clatter of leaves the rest flew out.. wheeled about over cistern area for a while as one flock, then split into two flocks again

syrian woodpeckers calls, hooded crow calls, Eurasian jays spotted here and there, hobby heard, sparrowhawk (?) glimpsed, grey back, whitish rump? Flew to cypresses by bat cave. collared dove on line, hyraxes twilight bark, pumphouse colony.


Garden: sunbird song around midday, later, alarm calls for a while, more song later. Bulbul calls, some laughing dove coos.

Thursday 11th August

gazelle several over beyond cistern where Ailanthus saplings.. disappeared into watercourse, Eurasian jays, several active, some calls graceful warblers some calls, flock of 30 plus bee-eaters as we approached look out corner from north trail heard them, then 9 appeared , then another group joined in, much calling.
hoopoe 1 flew over fore part of gazelle field to top of pines bunker rubble pines, jackdaw flock 80 plus SW windsurfer/saddle area, Syrian woodpeckers lots of calls, heard hyrax twilight barks
pumphouse area. Ring neck parakeets heard from house earlier.

Saturday 13th August

Field by small olive grove produced 4 gazelle, at least two of them adult females. Not the usual group. No bucks. Soon after ahead of us 2 more gazelle crossed the dirt road leading up the hill from direction of east woods.

2 dozen bee-eaters in two groups moving from over woods towards edge neighbourhood late afternoon. Ring neck parakeets heard in street, sunbird singing in garden about midday.

Woods: hobby call high trees east valley, hoopoe flew across central trail approaching look-out corner, small group greenfinches into eucs there, wheatear far edge east field in herbage, female or juv. prob black eared, hooded crows, Syrian woodpecker call,

Sunday 14th August

9 gazelle, 2 separate nr north watercourse, the others in fields around small olive grove and farther south east towards fence. Adult male between dirt road and olive grove looked like the larger horned male of that area.. seems he's brought his herd into area that previously the (slightly) smaller horned buck and those three youngsters (including 'one horn') were using.. expanding his domain north and driving the group of four to the woods and north gazelle field)

about 30 bee-eaters, in single flock as dusk was descending, quite high. syrian woodpeckers, lots of calls, greenfinches again between look-out corner eucs and bunker pines area, also graceful warbler, hooded crows, blackbird alarm (latter east watercourse dirtroad near sapling field, haven't heard blackbirds in a while) , hyraxes twilight bark amongst others, and Varthemia foliage coming up, will produce tiny bright yellow blooms come the first rains.


It did actually rain lightly and briefly saturday morning. Was somewhat overcast.

Two hobbies over north watercourse, spooked some jays who were very vocal at that.

Wednesday 17th August

11 gazelle NW slopes windsurfer, all females and well grown young.. they made their way round north slopes and down in direction of their usual grazing grounds. Young individual seen near head of shepherd's trail, may have been a 12th.. No adult bucks seen.

several seen yesterday including one horn seen near service road edge of young pines, some way from her usual haunts.. perhaps the larger herd drove her in that direction.

Flock of bee-eaters in eucalyptus, as yesterday .. settling down to roost, didn't come out so no count. Syrian woodpeckers, great tit and graceful warblers heard.

Flock jackdaws heard. Tristram's starling and ring necked parakeets heard from house earlier. laughing doves in the garden, foraging on ground.

bat on way back, hyrax on garden wall on way down.

21st August sunday

Bee-eaters heard from house earlier, sunbird in cape honeysuckle, laughing doves

17 gazelle. 13 grazing near fence including adult male. Other male and one other small individual not far behind him, between olives and cypress grove. 2 more , 1 w thin horns, one with no visible horns, just up from north watercourse dirt road up behind owl glade.

hyrax calls dusk.

Sparrowhawk over. , jackdaws heard, garden and street, collared doves on lines near cistern, male acting amourously, puffed chest etc. Hoopoe, syrian woodpecker calls, A number of hooded crows over but not coordinated flock .

Monday 22nd August

9 gazelle, 2 minimal horns up from north trail as yesterday, 2 in field between olives and cypresses, adult male and 1 horn. Second adult male with longer horns near fence just south of olive grove and nearby adult female. 3 females? /well grown young up on north west slopes windsurfer.

2 sparrowhawks flying same direction not far from each other so prob associated, near service road. Syrian woodpeckers, graceful warblers heard, Eurasian jays about and active, Hoodies and jackdaws flying south to roosting areas around villa hill , latter vocal, collared doves on line near service road as yesterday prob. same two.

carpenter bee black with yellow end abdomen seen by dirt road by east field.


Monday, August 1, 2011

First Week of August

Diminutive viper's bugloss (Echium) on way up out of sapling field, near pumping station

(add here also black nightshade pic * )

Monday 1st August

Akiva heard bee-eaters over neighbourhood earlier in afternoon.

Walking up windsurfer hill dirt road from cistern: saw 3 gazelle including one horn betw. road and small olive grove. Farther up, turned right at slope, group of six gazelle headed up hill ahead of us, adult male in rear. Then saw two more running by tree line, same group separated, or two of group down by olive grove.. I consider less likely.

Calls from east field, larks? or wheatears but more of tril but didn't see. More likely to be larks as male wheatears would have been much easier to spot.

Falcon over field and road, mostly dark.. hobby most likely but didn't see any white under.

Sparrowhawk earlier over north watercourse dirt road/service road. Lots of Syrian woodpecker calls.. Eurasian jays about.

Tuesday 2nd August

Walked up to the hidden watercourse and circled around slopes north hill, back down to look-out corner and east watercourse..

bee-eaters, between 2 dozen and 30 first saw over Hizmeh or road, then headed over valley, over edge of our neighbourhood.

Gazelle
, 2 or 3 bucks between bat cave and hidden watercourse area. North field: another buck and at least 3 females and well grown young. As we got down to hoopoe corner, another adult male ran into pines.

a fox, up by hidden watercourse chukars, at least two on open ground, hoopoe, north field, flat area where chukars, flew down to pines. Collared and turtle doves, former various open places, latter, cooing in trees, greenfinches some twitters in pines look out corner area, black eared wheatear male bunker ruins as the other day, and nearby field. Akiva tried to get pics, Syrian woodpeckers calls in Eucs, circling hobby over cistern area and north fields.


Jackdaw flock, calling, coming down from Ar Ram upper slopes, hooded crows about, house sparrow flock working edge of neighbourhood where garbage. Young or female sunbird brief visit to bougainvillea near edge of neighbourhood.

Wednesday 3rd August

hyraxes, by valley road, saw a number of gazelle.. 9- 1 by fence favoured area, 2 by olives, 4 betw olives and road, 2 more in centre woods east valley. One was standing repeatedly on its hindlegs to nibble at olive branches.. the olives are ripe enough now! Also hobby, stone curlew, calls black eared wheatear at bunker rubble, several bedraggled looking jays cistern area, jackdaws flock north of windsurfer, collared doves cistern area, great tit off valley road.


Thursday 4th August

4 gazelle in the Pistacia orchard, 1 adult male in company of three others including 1 horn, as seen before in that area, from there to small olive orchard.. though yesterday more gazelle there, looked like members of the larger horned gazelle's herd also using that area. chukars, (somewhere near north watercourse) stone curlew, calls from north field; hobbies, as dusk approached.. much fuss over east watercourse.. short calls and repeated high calls.. sounded alarm. Another raptor call amongst them, not sure what.
hoopoes, at least 4 around hoopoe corner, foraging on dirt road and/or flying into pines. Prinia calls. Prinia calls around fore part of gazelle field, Jays active, Looked for black eared wheater but not around rubble, perhaps we just got there too late, already sunset, same considerations as with the black redstart.. gets too late for them to hawk for insects there. bee-eaters, flock heard, didn't get count, quite high over Pistacia orchard area, ring neck parakeets around street on and off all day, bulbul, in ours or next door's garden.

Saturday 6th August

1 gazelle, buck, amongst saplings just across northwatercourse near shortcut from valley road to dirt road

From house: ring neck parakeets a few times, bulbul melodic calls now and again, laughing doves through the day pretty much, simplest coos, brief Prinia call, jackdaw flock

On walk: flock 9 bee-eaters, several hoopoes in region of hoopoe corner but not together, nice view hobby perched near top of pine.. Syrian woodpecker a couple of feet down from it apparently frozen in place.. Eurasian jays seen flying, 2 , jackdaw flock 30-40 plus, graceful warbler by stone wall forepart north gazelle field, greenfinches twittering bunker pines, collared doves, cistern area

stone curlew calls dusk, bats , several flitting close to us over valley road and around pines on bank.

Black nightshade Solanum nigrum growing in many places in the garden, cropped up by itself.

Sunday 7th August

Canid in pines to west of dirt road ascending from cistern to windsurfer hill, dark saddle like markings, taller, more dog like than fox, higher off ground though very pale tail tip (which I did not think jackals had) and solitary, not such a bushy tail as fox.. a jackal?? But solitary? Do they hybridize with foxes? Every time we've seen these ''dark foxes'' they have been *solitary* but different look from the red/grey foxes. We have also not heard howling typical of jackals.

bee-eater calls, Eurasian jays active, collared dove brief coo near cistern, Syrian woodpecker calls, graceful warbler calls, ring neck parakeets heard earlier,

Saturday, July 23, 2011

23 July > 31st July


Saturday 23rd July

Gazelles: 1 adult male with good size horns grazing low on the slope near the trail leading from valley road north corner to north watercourse dirt road

Another with short horns seen from hoopoe corner, in woods towards owl glade

Low part east field two individuals running from open field towards small olive grove.

Looking towards windsurfer on upper field adult male, farther towards fence in that favoured grazing area south east corner of the field, at least six.

Birds: graceful warblers vocal and active, 3 young birds flew over north watercourse dirt road from watercourse acacias and into pines.

hoopoe from open area ''hoopoe corner'' flew into pines.
hobby calls from ahead of us over young pine grove, called shrilly, repeatedly, rose and circled, a sparrowhawk took off, seemed because of hobby, flew off toward look out corner and east valley woods.
another raptor over to north east, large buteo type circling, long legged buzzard? too far to get detail.
some turtle dove coos, collared doves active but not cooing, though some coos of them heard towards sunset last week. Eurasian jays active and vocal, just down from shadiker
greenfinches twittering in eucalyptuses look out corner.

Sunday 24th

5.18 a.m. bulbul

At least 5 gazelle in the Pistacia orchard, none with adult male horns.. one of them smaller than others.. this year's young? High spirited, every now and again jumping about and kicking as if wanted to play and trying to get the others involved in it. Akiva said he saw a couple of others respond briefly.

turtle dove coos, hoopoe by 'hoopoe corner' , graceful warblers very vocal and active, stone curlew calls briefly. cicadas. Eurasian jays. Greenfinches and Syrian woodpeckers quiet today. Hobby short vocalizations as it grew dark, from trees by east watercourse. View of fox near hawthorn, dark sided, running to and fro between pauses.
Hooded crows, house sparrows, jackdaws pretty much as usual.

Monday 25th

reacheda bout 34.5 degrees C today.. when we set out , just after 7 p.m. was just over 30 degrees and 30% humidity.

Hyrax sprawled on valley road, looked like road kill! Then picked up only its head and looked at us.. then lolopped off..
gazelle, 1 short thin horns head of shepherd's trail, moved off towards windsurfer.

Birds: bulbul in garden, laughing dove coo in street, hooded crow heard, in woods, collared dove flight call, a number of graceful warbler calls, brief blackbird alarm, stone curlew calls, distant falcon call, Syrian woodpecker calls.

cicadas, black millipedes

Bat on way home,

Tuesday 26 July

Shortly after return: about 27 degrees C, humidity ~50% and rising.. (max earlier about 35 degrees C) lots of hyraxes including youngsters at Shadiker colony,
several gazelle v short horns by north watercourse, 1 adult buck,

5 hoopoes dirt road 'hoopoe corner', (near rock flats where north watercourse dirt road turns to meet central trail) , turtle and collared doves cooing, stone curlews, sunbird, bulbul, greenfinches betw. bunker rubble and eucs of look-out corner, syrian woodpecker calls, cicadas
in cypresses up from east watercourse dirt road

Wednesday 27th July

not more than about 31 degrees C today, down a few degrees from yesterday's peak
.. some gazelle in the dry oats field, east field, short thin horns, including young. Adult male near north watercourse.
turtle dove cooss, Syrian woodpeckers, blackbirds, hoopoe on dirt road usual place.


Shrike
also operating near there.. didn't get good view but mode of movement, perching , flying down returning and white outer tail feathers.. not a masked. Red backed young?

Thursday 28th July

a few gazelle in the oat fields and pine woods, stone curlews, collared doves, blackbirds, Prinias, Syr. woodpeckers, hobby, jackdaws, hoodies
Saturday 30th July

Gazelle, about 10 in east field in various places, mostly lower slopes though didn't see the alpha male, or not clearly.
Hyraxes; several active by valley road around sunset, only adults seen.

Hoopoe: 1 near cistern, several collared doves on ground around cistern, one turtle dove on top of pomegranate tree, two wheatears hunting insects around bunker rubble, really nice views, using barbed wire and rebars for perches, one adult male, other was juvenile or female. Much more like hispanica subspecies than the melanoleuca we usually see.. much more buff/orange, and almost grey grown.

As we headed down saw flock of bee-eaters heading over lower neighbourhood, about a dozen, soon followed by about another two dozen. Syrian woodpeckers, many calls, Eurasian jays spotted active in many places, Prinias active and vocal. greenfinches calling in trees euc grove near cistern. stone curlew calls from north field, relatively early.

cicadas, again esp in trees up from east watercourse dirt road, past orchard, almost at saplings.

Sunday 31st July

As ascended shepherd's trail group of gazelle including one with adult male horns ahead of us, headed into field. Soon after saw the usual two groups.. the one with the larger horns between windsurfer hill and small olive grove, though only a few females/young visible, and a little later, the male with slightly shorter horns between small olive grove and cypresses in company of a few short horned individuals including one horn. Groups keeping consistently within known regions.

Hyraxes on and by valley road, a number in the acacia at foot of ramp coming down from back of buildings, scrambled down on our approach.

At least one hoopoe about, foraging mainly along edge of valley road. Possibly (flight) lame pigeon near head of ramp, grey rump as original rock doves of area, Eurasian jays, hooded crows, in garden, laughing doves, still cooing, by valley road, bulbul. Quiet day! Cicadas.

Peak today about 33 degrees C, about 27 when we headed out, 50% humidity and climbing, winds light north westerly.

Monday, July 11, 2011

11 July > 21st July


Monday 11 July

Cicadas last few days even up till sunset , heard in cypress and Pistacias but not located, well camouflaged. Temps to low and mid 30s C peak time of day.

Gazelle: 9 in east field.. 6 between small olive grove and windsurfer north slopes, another three between olive groves and trees, lower part.

graceful warblers very vocal lately, Eurasian jays about, short sharp calls of hobbies in tree tops and brief glimpses.,

strange call in garden tree.. sounded like slow soft but carrying trill.. as if a bulbul were imitating a turtle dove . Sunbird calls. Laughing doves, house sparrows,

Tuesday 12th July

Several gazelle seen in various places about the woods, 1 over on path near cistern, alone, not adult male,
Hyrax active and vocal

Hoopoe, jay, turtle dove calls, stone curlew, blackbirds active and vocal but not singing, short low contact notes, graceful warbler and bulbuls around garden. Graceful warbler calls approach to look out corner.

Shabbat 16th July

Several Gazelle seen almost every day esp in east field, usual places. Today three down near fence foot NE windsurfer slopes.
Hyrax activity by street

Graceful warbler, at least two in our garden and adjoining garden active lately. Bee-eaters late afternoon heard from house. In woods Syrian woodpecker, wheatear on a sapling tube in Pistacia orchard.. another a few days ago same area. stone curlew heard.. Eurasian jays more in evidence lately.

Bulbul and sunbird calls also garden, house sparrows, laughing doves.

Sunday 17th July

6 gazelle in total, hyraxes, hoopoe, hobbies, stone curlews, much greenfinch activity between eucalyptuses of look out corner and the bunker pines, Syrian woodpecker calls and glimpses, blackbirds spotted though not singing, occasional relatively soft alarms. Turtle dove and collared dove coos, hooded crows.

Bulbul and sunbird in the garden.

Monday 18th July


8 gazelle grazing in favourite place south east of east field, down near fence and foot of slope. Great tit calls heard, Syrian woodpecker calls, some stone curlew calls as it got dark, sounds like collared dove and turtle dove coos mostly abated now but replaced by numerous insects.. cicadas of low pitch end of afternoon, various crickets as the day darkened. Hoopoe by road near pumping station, flew off to tree in sapling field.

Laughing dove coos, melodious bulbul calls, Prinia calls and occasional sunbird calls in the morning. Forgot to mention a few days ago a couple of lizards noticed amongst fence pieces by patio.

Wednesday 20th July

Hoopoes, at least two around hoopoe corner, usual other birds in woods, blackbirds, stone curlews, (from direction north fields) , great tit scolds, graceful warblers, syrian woodpeckers. As most days this week, cicadas buzzing at various pitches, pitch lower towards sunset.. temps in low 30s early afternoon but humidity down to about 25% at hottest time of day climbing up to about 50% at night

Thursday 21 th July

10 gazelle grazing around windsurfer mountain, on high north west slopes and low down by foot of north east slopes including adult buck who I observed on hill trail up from us repeatedly rubbing his horns against stones or bush or ground, hard to tell. . Also including two in the forest just south of central trail, female and young. Could have been twelve if we didn't count two twice. There were two running to and fro on mid west slopes, apparently chasing each other, fast, almost like play, not significant horns, we didn't know if these joined the others on the north slopes or not.

Quite a bit of hyrax activity by valley road, some juveniles out, adults of various ages.

Syrian woodpecker calls, blackbird alarm, great tit alarms, glimpses of raptors, probably hobbies but very quick views, could also have been sparrowhawk. stone curlew calls. Some collared dove cooing in pines by north gazelle field. Some greenfinch twitters, lark (?)calls in east field. Didn't see for confirmation, may have been wheatears. Akiva heard bee-eaters from house mid afternoon. I heard ring neck parakeets shortly after dawn when I went out to feed the chickens.

Street: laughing doves cooing on roof edges,