Saturday, July 2, 2011

July 1st-9th

Garden gets regular spraying and interestingly the kind of vegetation we get there we don't necessarily see in the valley. Most of it is goosefoot but recently this , above, began to bloom. I appealed to facebook friends for I.D. and one of them, Kyron Hanson positively I.D. it as common purslane, also known as pigweed. Portulaca oleracea, likely accidentally seeded by birds from other gardens.

Saturday 2nd July

Gazelles: As we came up shepherd's path three ahead of us, subadults from the look, females/young females, and a group of that constitution has been seen in that area a number of times.

Also consistent.. in field just north of small olive grove adult male licking flanks, nearby two females or well grown young grazing nearby in old oats and by thorny burnet. As we were speaking I spooked a fourth gazelle, female with only 1 right horn, she ran towards the other three.

Another 4 grazing over beyond the almond tree row

stone curlews quite vocal as dusk came.
greenfinches: some alarm calls
syrian woodpeckers: calls
collared doves: some coos, quite a number of flight calls.
falcon over field just north of windsurfer hill, brown back and wing coverts, not as russet as those of kestrel.

garden: sunbirds, bulbuls, laughing doves, house sparrows.

psittacine calls.. last week we noticed three lovebirds lose end of Shadiker, calling to each other between pines, a fig tree and ailanthus.. we've been hearing them over the last few days up and down the local streets including this morning.

Sunday 3rd July

Gazelle.. buck spooked on way down from valley road north corner and north watercourse dirt road. Later: in east field betw. small olive grove and pines again the buck in company with the four young females including one horn.. I get the impression all young pre breeding immature females which would explain why they're with him and not in the main herd with the longer horned male closer (and around) windsurfer hill.

Lots of hyraxes active in Shadiker colony area including young ones.

Garden: 5.10 a.m. bulbul, a few minutes later, sunbird. Later, laughing doves and house sparrows, former coos and feeding on ground.

valley: greenfinch twitters usual lowest altitude pines.. lots of Syrian woodpecker calls and some sightings. Hoopoe on dirt road north watercourse turn off (favourite place for spotting these) , Graceful warbler calls, stone curlew calls, bee-eaters about above calling. Hooded crows about. Collared dove coos and flight calls, also plenty turtle dove calls today.

globe thistles have the usual blue/green and red beetles as in last season, the bluer and fresher, the more infested, probably enjoying the pollen.

Monday 4th July

Hyraxes by valley road very active, otherwise day pretty quiet in terms of birds, unusually so.

Tuesday 5th July

At least three hoopoes at and around the usual dirt road turn.. I had the impression more.. Turtle dove coos in pines by north valley dirt road, collared dove coos and calls as we approached look out corner area.. brief view of chase, only fraction of second but looked to me like hobby chasing off sparrowhawk.

Several gazelle, 5: 1 adult male close to north watercourse , treed area, two more, females/well grown young on hillslopes north east, two more in woods just south of central trail.

Graceful warbler calls .. in garden again and also up by fence by north gazelle field. Sunbird calls in garden numerous times. Syrian woodpecker calls, greenfinch calls. stone curlew calls north fields/low hill slopes shortly after sunset. No bee-eaters today and crows low profile.

As usual lately calls of geckoes heard on buildings in the evening.

Wednesday 6th July

Following gazelle trails around west and north slopes of windsurfer hill. surprised some chukar partridges and a couple of small groups of gazelle including adult male who later made his way down to his usual grazing area near fence, along with at least six females and well grown young.

Hooded crow harassing raptor, long tail with subterminal dark band like kestrel but seemed a little larger , but not sparrowhawk, which has three bands. Crow repeated attacks, two separate incidents separated by at least fifteen mins.

stone curlew calls after sunset. Syrian woodpecker calls. No bee-eaters today. Plenty hyrax activity by valley raod.

Warm, temps even late afternoon 28 degrees C.

Globe thistle and thyme still flowering though many of former finished, those not are heavy with the red beetles.

Thursday 7th July

On way down from valley road to north watercourse dirt road adult male gazelle grazing on slope as a few days ago, prob same one. Three more gazelle grazing amongst Pistacias, females/well grown young.

Turtle dove coos, some collared dove vocalizations. house sparrow flock edge neighbourhood.

At least two hoopoes in usual area near the rock flats/dirt road turn off. Graceful warblers very vocal. Also near there some nice hobby sightings and vocalizations.. at least two individuals in the area. Syrian woodpeckers also very vocal. Jackdaws and hooded crows also heard and some greenfinch calls. Woodpecker also heard in /near garden at dawn as well as graceful warbler in cape honeysuckle. Sunbird and bulbuls also heard, latter from about 5.10 a.m. , later laughing doves as usual.

Jays, bee-eaters, blackbirds, stone curlews not seen or heard on walk.

As we approached pumping station calls from hillside I thought chukars, Akiva thought hyraxes.. the latter do have some vocalizations very similar to chukars.. habitat for both..

Saturday 9th July

MUCH vocalization of hyraxes on rocks by valley road, 'cypress slum' colony but we couldn't make out what the fuss was all about.. no dogs or cats about , much high pitched shrilling alarm calls, barks and bark snorts from many individuals but they weren't alarmed by us, and a mother was nursing three kits on a rock nearby unpeturbed. Perhaps a ground predator in one of the dens, like a snake?

No gazelles seen in any of the fields though one without horns just south of central trail shortly after sunset.

Sunbird garden, melodious calls, on street: laughing doves, bulbuls, house sparrows, woods, Eurasian jay activity. Also hooded crows, jackdaws, graceful warblers.

Hot today, got to 36 degrees C max, dropped below 30 after 6 p.m , cicadas still going at sunset though later, 10.30 p.m breeze picked up and clouds coming over from west. Easterlies were only for a couple of hours this morning but enough to really pick up the temperatures.

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