Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March : first two weeks

View by sapling field, looking roughly north along east watercourse Sunday 13th afternoon.

Bulbous Cranesbill, Geranium tuberosum

Above: member of cress/cabbage family blooming near shepherd's trail

Above: one of the vetches found on thorny burnet. One of Lathyrus or closely related? Other similar species blooming now are off white or salmon in colour.

Wednesday 2nd March

Gazelle: 1 seen near north watercourse, near bat cave. couldn't see if horns. Second was adult male in Pistacia grove.

porcupine: some scat found on trail from valley road north corner to dirt road. They tend to make scat on sloping trails like that.

Lots of flowering Euphorbia now, also a flowering broom by north watercourse in open, only broom seen yet, no foliage.. not spiky broom though. White broom is also in bloom now.
Stone curlew, jackdaws, graceful warbler, Tristram's starling, Syrian woodpecker
Have been hearing faint swift screams over the last few days, nothing definite, but this morning, thursday 3 March, Akiva saw one on his way out to work, just 1 over entrance to our street.

Thursday 3rd March

Saw my first swift of season definite! Flying over valley road. Also about, jackdaws, hooded crows, first cooing collared dove near pumping station. graceful warblers.

Searching for wild tulip western windsurfer slopes above treeline. Did find those single stem lilies as well as a very nice stand of Ophrys lutea and some pink butterfly orchids and patches of the blue purple cress. These four first seen of season. Still lots of asphodel and anemone. Every red flower was approached in hope of tulip but no luck today.. will try again! Most vetches now are the salmon coloured and pale but today found a nice deep purple one.. prob one of Lathyrus.

Saturday 5th March

gazlle? ch

First noticed Carmel bee orchids (by shepherd's trail) , small iris (on hillside above shepherd's trail)

noticed blooming over past week: pheasant eye

swifts heard, syrian woodpeckers, hooded crows and jackdaws about. Laughing doves and collared doves cooing.

Wednesday 9 March

Last few days was a mild chamsin. This broke this morning with cool, blustery winds, later also some hail. At time of our walk temps were down between 6 and 7 degrees C. winds about 6 knots, westerly/north westerly.

5 gazelle on hillslope under trees just south of shepherd's trail, females, well grown young including a subadult male, horns growing nicely, stopped and marked the place with scat..

Jays, jackdaws heard. No hyraxes out, we didn't expect them to be out in this damp and cold.

the small purple flowered Figwort, Scrophularia peyronii growing by side of valley road. I had seen those on hillside to north but first time I've seen it down nearer to home. Also noticed lately, in last week or two, a white Silene growing by our street.

Sunday 13 th March

Bulbuls again heard regularly in the garden esp. around dawn. Sunbird melodious calls, house sparrows chirps, laughing dove coos and foraging on the ground. Still hearing linnets in early mornings but not as much as before.

In the woods: Eurasian jays, Syrian woodpecker calls occasional, jackdaws and hooded crows esp. around dusk, blackbird song, graceful warblers in usual habitats,

3 adult male gazelle seen just west of bat cave, woods across from north watercourse, including one male with particularly long magnificent horns, larger than any I recall seeing, including the east field alpha male.

Bulbous cranesbill photographed today (above), various other Geraniums and Erodium blooming. Now wood sorrel and Palestine vetch now blooming. Cyclamen, asphodel, anemone, shepherd's purse, roman squill continue.

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