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.

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.

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