Tuesday, March 15, 2011

15 -21 st March

Micromeria type, (?) what I call ''minimint'' since the flowers are so tiny, barely 2mm across.

Borage family species found in middle of forepart of gazelle field, level with the bunker rubble.. Anchusa or related but could not find a satisfactory match on Sarah Gold's site so far.

These gorgeous little yellow jobs flourishing more than I've ever seen before around the edges of gazelle field, looks like member of Ranunculaceae , striking butterfly flower shape. In contrast the one Egyptian campion plant had very imperfect flowers this season. Neither seen last year due to the ploughing but this year all other vegetation doing very nicely, at least double the height of two and three years ago. Common mustard species, buckler's mustard, pheasant's eye, and now the chamomile daisies are starting to bloom, and a variety of Geranium and Erodium.

Tuesday 15 March

weather dryer, slightly warmer ~16 degrees C

: 1 alpha male treed slopes lower windsurfer. Then saw three subadults in field, ran off down towards olive grove where we saw 7 individuals, females and well grown young, but not sure how much overlap of the three and the seven. One or two probably counted twice- so 9-10 individuals

fox ran into Pistacia grove dusk by look out corner.

Row of mandrakes just off upper shepherd's trail about three quarters way up, hadn't seen them previous years, half a dozen.. All now have green berries.

Birds: hooded crows, jackdaws, swifts, blackbird song, collared dove coo,

Sunday 20 March

European cuckoo heard 4 x direction of Pistacia grove/east watercourse as heard from valley road dusk yesterday, also today from direction of shaft as heard from look out corner.

White breasted kingfisher? Heard several times in the last week along east valley watercourse, today up the hill to the east a little.

Two gazelle: up slopes shepherd's trail

Several blackbirds in song, great tit calls, jackdaw calls, also more stone curlew calls heard from the perimeters lately.

The firecrackers of Purim season seem to get louder every year, I really hope it does not cause significant nest desertions.

Monday 21st March

Well, the firecrackers don't seem to have disturbed the blackbirds who regularly sing so beautifully in the late afternoon in various parts of the woods and bank. Great tits and Graceful warblers also heard. Near the cistern, in the pine grove/eucalyptus grove area collared dove flight call heard for the first time this season. Jackdaws, Jays, hooded crows also seen.

About a week ago neighbours Dumas and Broide noticed flock of large white birds heading over. Dumas reported clear vocalizations so from that they'd be common cranes. Seems a bit early for storks. I need a number estimate yet.

Two gazelle seen grazing in field near security road, between small olive grove and windsurfer north slopes. Akiva caught glimpse of probable fox on ramp back up from valley road to back of houses, very brief but he thought he saw white tail tip. A few fox sightings lately but only very brief glimpses and when already dark or getting dark.

Meanwhile, plant growth continues to grow luxuriantly everywhere. I noticed many grape hyacinths popping up wild in front gardens, Palestine vetch festooning roadsides and many of a tiny mint, probably veined Savory, Micromeria nervosa, by valley road as well as mustard, chamomile, that long season common short yellow flowered legume flowering yet again. (above)

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