Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June 1st > 8th

Above 'on', below, front view and 'off'. Same individual . I love these shots! Nice job Akiva!

Wednesday June 1st

Weather late afternoon mild/cool, breezy

Gazelle: 1 male ran across path north watercourse dirt road..

Then two more, prob also bachelors, emerged from north watercourse to graze on banks..

A 4th gazelle buck seen running through Pistacia grove

2 more, (female and well grown young?) moving uphill treed slopes windsurfer away from east watercourse dirt road

birds: turtle dove coos, collared dove coos, greenfinch chaws eucs by bunker rubble, Syrian woodpecker calls, hooded crows.. tall cypresses north of way to look out corner, rattling croak call from two close quarters.. territorial or between mates? Other calls

golden thistle blooming in north watercourse

Thursday June 2nd

Gazelle: upper NW slopes windsurfer, four gazelle loosely grazing together, appeared to be two groups of two, mother and well grown young. foot of slope near security fence flatter area.. three more , male and two with much less pronounced horns. Same story in field between smaller olive grove and cypresses. 10 in all

Hyraxes: by valley road

Birds: turtle doves cooing, two on line over east valley, farther along, two collared doves.. also still active cooing.
(laughing doves continue in the garden and yesterday middle of the day a feral pigeon was cooing quite emphatically from a window sill)

Delighted when Akiva spotted a wheatear in the sapling field. Good chance they are still breeding there despite all the foliage changes! Was a female or perhaps an immature, hard to tell, was quite dapper. Probably a black eared wheatear.

Look out corner greenfinches as usual, occasional call of Syrian woodpeckers, calls of stone curlews, Akiva spotted two in flight beyond ploughed area, on stony patch but when landed, invisible to both of us. Akiva also thought he glimpsed a hoopoe flying over at about almond line into pine grove. Likely he did. Hobby heard. Hoodies about as usual.

Saturday 4th June

Gazelle: Several seen grazing east field near fence betw. small olive grove and slopes, treed slope windsurfer up from east watercourse dirt road.. a female. sub adult betw olive grove and trees.. Akiva affirmed ten total in that area

Hyrax: numerous active along valley road, quite a few youngsters out and lively.

Birds: Most interesting, two nightjars flew over foot main north windsurfer hill slope, one a few seconds after the other but in line, headed into woods up from east watercourse.

wheatear call from somewhere in east field but no good views of the bird.

Otherwise: jackdaws, hooded crows, great tit fledgelings? greenfinches, much stone curlew vocalization north of gazelle field, stony area but didn't see. Syrian woodpecker calls. No bee-eaters again. Collared doves cooing esp in usual sw corner of east field but no turtle doves today.

(cooler, breezier than usual for this time of year lately, peak about 28 degrees C). mainly north/northwesterlies but for easterlies a few hours in the morning. Humidity, 30 , when easterlies of course, to 85% later in the afternoon.

Sunday 5 June

Hobby over nr. Bat cave. 2 bachelor gazelle betw north watercourse and trees just nw of bat cave. A third buck gazelle in young pine grove by service road.

Much singing of ground, ground fire around north watercourse and around bat cave area but still good patches of grazing even there.

Couple hoopoes seen separately, one by Akiva, one by me, first was in the pine grove mentioned above, second over gazelle field. Turtle dove coos, some collared dove coos, swift calls over valley road area between sunset and dusk. Blackbird song. Much greenfinch chawing and twittering around bunker area. Akiva glimpsed Eurasian jay. No woodpeckers, Prinias, wheatears or other regulars today.

Around buildings: house sparrows, bulbuls, laughing doves, hooded crows and jackdaws.. latter two also throughout the valleys.

Found two female larviform glowing lampyrids ('glow worms') on our walk.. one in grasses on bank .. we had found another a few days before but not had camera, so have carried ever since. On our way back into neighbourhood found another one by foot of steps up to our street on a chunk of conglomerate.. I carried it home on this and Akiva got a couple of pics above.. taken in salon in relatively low ambient light. Soon after she switched off. I released her in the garden.

Monday: 6 June

House sparrows, bulbuls, hooded crows: in woods, singing blackbirds, some graceful warbler calls, some great tit fledgeling calls, Eurasian jays making fuss near Pistacia grove, stone curlew calls north gazelle fields area,

Gazelle: 2 north eastern slopes windsurfer near fence, female & well grown young, later, adult male ran out of cover of cypresses we were approaching, headed out into field between small olive grove and us.. a short while later a fourth gazelle in Pistacia grove. As we approached the cistern, fox spotted headed into the Pistacias, lean, mainly greyish, tint of reddish, tail straight out behind.. then stopped to gaze at us as did the buck gazelle. Foxes usually do this.. they trot or walk to distance they consider safe, then stare at us.

Wednesday 8th June

Circled windsurfer hill clockwise from our side.. near top one of dirt roads watched male black eared wheatear (melanoleuca race, or was it a pied? dang don't remember if the back was black.. so used to seeing black eared hadn't occurred to me to check that obvious detail but only had good view against foliage for fraction of a second- shows importance of getting such details esp with this family ) in song, perched on boulders, every few minutes changing his location to cover more of his territory.

Male gazelle sighted near saddle watercourse where we descended.. another glimpsed.. snorts heard.

Akiva found another 'glow worm' which he attempted to photograph but she turned off before he got a good shot. That also placed in the garden. Hopefully they might breed there given flighted visiting males!

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