Thursday, June 9, 2011

9th -15th June

Pistacia orchard looking nice and green while the ground level dries out.

The 'Blue tuft' thistle started to bloom on the 14th, this was near the turn off of the north watercourse dirt road.

9th June

Peak temp. 30 degrees C, definitely a rise on recent temps

8+ gazelle incl. 3 adult males: 1 male crossed north dirt road from woods to watercourse, Another from pine grove by eucs into east field (where later seen by thorny burnet clump licking his flank and grazing.. they may lick flanks to cool themselves?) , then female seen in woods as we ascended onto lower windsurfer slopes through the wooded area past Pistacia grove.. then at least five including an adult male grazing near top of windsurfer.
hoopoes, At least four in area of young pine grove esp around the bare burnt central area and past there to the rock flats (where little oak and cistern pit) on way to look-out corner.

Tristram's starling, I heard one call to north when we were on north dirt road, direction of hidden watercourse... Akiva heard another when we were in east field, from somewhere to north or north west of us.

stone curlew: some calls from direction of north field,

bee-eater: at least one about, calling, flying over us beginning of valley road,

nightjar: flew over lower part of east field, quite low from woods where we saw the female gazelle/ collared dove corner area , flew to almonds or olive in the small grove.

turtle doves: cooing in many places. Some collared doves about also. (laughing doves in garden as usual)
Eurasian jays: calls, individuals seen various places through the woods.

Syrian woodpecker calls, greenfinch calls and twitters around look-out corner, brief call sounded like ring necked parakeet from trees around east watercourse,

Gardens: house sparrows, bulbuls fledgelings.

Sat 11 June

Lots of hyraxes active by valley road. A few gazelle grazing high up on windsurfer hill. A fox ran up from east watercourse dirt road, up treed slopes. We looked for him when we got to top of shepherd's trail but didn't pick up sight of him again.

2 hoopoes dustbathing on dirt road, circle near cistern. Syrian woodpeckers. Bee-eater heard, 1 seen. Stone curlew calls up north of north gazelle field.
Collared dove flight calls and some activity, laughing doves on street, house sparrows. Hooded crows many places about valley as usual. Hobby aloft high over Pistacia grove soon.
before dusk. blackbird song, great tit calls, some graceful warbler calls.

Sun 12 June

House sparrows started up in garden about 5 a.m. still dark.

Hoopoe by rock flats again, heading into pines.. hobby calling, 2 circling high in flight earlier, Graceful warbler calls, greenfinches, turtle doves,

Lots of hyraxes including young by Shadiker colony rocks, 3 adult male gazelle grazing around north watercourse.. another in lower east field, couldn't see what , already light dimming by then. Stone curlew calls north field, 16 bee-eaters as we headed down..

Mon 13th June

Weather a little cooler, breezier, moist air, clouds blowing in from west, long thunder roll.
House sparrows, laughing doves, bulbuls in garden including fledgelings wing fluttering at dawn in Bauhinia, quite well grown but still asking for food.
Flock just over half dozen bee-eaters, flying about over valleys, calling, brief stone curlew calls,
Hobby calls and seen aloft, Jays about, young jay heard calling for food, graceful warbler calls, greenfinch calls around bunker area as usual, lots of Syrian woodpecker calls.

Gazelle: north watercourse a couple bachelors, another young adult male in woods near central trail, another couple ran up hill near batcave, spooked by some boys training on hillside, Lots of hyraxes, one climbing half way up acacia near pumping station, descended as we approached, lots by Shadiker including little ones,

Main flower in bloom visible now is globe thistle. Polygonum also blooming fresh, wild carrot finishing, blue tuft thistle foliage up but not blooming yet.

Tuesday 14th June

clear day today, mild, low 20s, humidity about 60% in the late afternoon

Gazelle: 3 in view grazing near fence east field nr foot of steeper windsurfer hill north slope.
Hyraxes: chittering calls near pumphouse

bee-eater calls, hoopoe over north gazelle field, headed into pines. Much twittering of greenfinches in a number of pines, some blackbird song, syrian woodpecker calls, great tit calls, turtle dove coos, collared dove coos. (garden coos of laughing doves and feral pigeons) , hobbies glimpsed.

(swifts and stone curlews quiet today)

Wednesday 15th June

clear skies, mild temps.. 28 degrees C earlier dropped to lower 20s later afternoon.

bee-eaters , flock about 18 hawking over edge of neighbourhood. Collared doves coos and display flight. Graceful warblers.

repeated sounds of ''hhan.......... hhan .......... hhan'' from down in pines , then spotted adult male gazelle , noticed when he made that noise, uplifted head and whole body momentarily stiff. Then he moved on with distinct tail wiggle, also acts as signal.

Vipers bugloss and fennel also in bloom

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