Saturday, August 27, 2011

August end & s Start of September. .

thistle species not noticed before, mid slopes windsurfer hill, facing west. whole plant betw 2, 3 feet high, just the one.

Seen lately, a number of bats at dusk, earlier, dragonflies over east watercourse dirt road.

Shabbos August 27th

From house: sunbird song in Bauhinia in hottest hours of day, some alarm squeaks, later, some melodious calls. Psittacine calls, probably the ring neck parakeets,

Not long before sunset, flock about 30 large raptors heading south, prob honey buzzards, pale under but for shoulder markings

after that two more loan buzzard types soaring about, lowering, terminal tail band.

gazelle: 1 in pistacias, another 4 in field betw. olives and cypress including adult buck and 1 horn (female) 7 in field not far from fence nr ne foot slopes windsurfer.

graceful warblers (also from house), Syrian woodpecker calls. 1 Eurasian jay spotted.

Monday 29th August

7 adult male gazelles grazing amongst eucalyptus near bat cave, north watercourse area.

Tuesday 30th August

mature hyrax on boulder on the way down below the school,
mother and young gazelle (of this year!) in terebinth grove,
pair of hobbies aggravated that some much larger raptors wanted to roost in 'their' trees,

also, hoodies, Eurasian jay.

Wednesday 31st August

50 raptors migrating slow over to south as we waited at light rail station at ammunition hill at about sunset . Didn't have binocs with us at the time but I think they were honey buzzards. They were high!

Thursday 1 September

‎13 gazelle - 3 bucks near shaft area.. 2 there, one fully adult male, one somewhat younger, then farther around hoopoe corner saw one more in pines to right.

10 grazing betw north slopes windsurfer and olive groves, closer to slopes, more in centre of field, away from fence, all then started moving around base of hill to west. No

hobby, jackdaw, graceful warbler calls, saw Eurasian jay, collared dove, and bat on way back, and shining crescent of the new month!

Sat Sept 3rd

sunbird heard singing in garden.

Shrikes heard in last few days.. on Sat saw 1 masked shrike low branch near north watercourse. Individuals heard there, one or two, another one or two by new pine grove towards north watercourse and more by eucalyptus grove by east field.

Gazelles: 1 buck and two others near olive grove, several over in field near base windsurfer hill.

hobby calls heard from house, graceful warblers heard, bat seen at dusk, valley road.

Sun Sept 4th

laughing doves on garden ground, calls ring neck parakeets not long after 7 a.m.

Thurs Sept 8th

8 gazelle, five of them adult male, three groups, group of three coming out of north watercourse, farther on to east in new pine grove male following female and looked like well grown immature, a little later near far end of Pistacia grove another adult male following female.

masked shrike about, making scritchy scratchy noises in the low branches, we've been hearing them almost every day this week esp. near watercourses and Pistacia and eucalyptus grove.

also blackbirds alarm call, jays vocalizations, collared doves silent but on lines or flying between trees, graceful warblers calls, and a nimble bat on the way back.

Garden today: laughing doves foraging on ground for chicken food, sunbird singing in Bauhinia

Saturday 10th September

Pistacia orchard 3 gazelle 1 adult male and two others, including one horn .. as seen from dirt road from cistern to windsurfer hill.

Masked shrike: at least two individuals heard in trees cose to north watercourse dirt road.

Hobby, graceful warblers, syrian woodpeckers heard, Tristram's starling heard from direction of hidden watercourse.

4 ring neck parakeets seen flying together up and down our street last couple of days, heard from inside house of course, a number of times , mentioned lately.

At least 3 bats around bright lights by pumping station, also around ramp from valley road to back of buildings.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

August continued

Black nightshade Solanum nigrum has sprouted spontaneously all around our garden. Central areas mainly goosefoot and purslane.

Wednesday 10th August

13 gazelle,

1 adult male near bat cave, by north watercourse
1 individual up south of north dirt road in woods towards owl glade
8 down near foot north east slopes windsurfer, by fence , usual place.. females and well grown young
1 adult male: crossing windsurfer dirt road ahead of us, heading to east woods.
2 relatively young individuals near head of shepherd's trail

about 50 bee-eaters flying about eucalyptuses by north low end of east field, first a group of about two dozen, then with clatter of leaves the rest flew out.. wheeled about over cistern area for a while as one flock, then split into two flocks again

syrian woodpeckers calls, hooded crow calls, Eurasian jays spotted here and there, hobby heard, sparrowhawk (?) glimpsed, grey back, whitish rump? Flew to cypresses by bat cave. collared dove on line, hyraxes twilight bark, pumphouse colony.

Garden: sunbird song around midday, later, alarm calls for a while, more song later. Bulbul calls, some laughing dove coos.

Thursday 11th August

gazelle several over beyond cistern where Ailanthus saplings.. disappeared into watercourse, Eurasian jays, several active, some calls graceful warblers some calls, flock of 30 plus bee-eaters as we approached look out corner from north trail heard them, then 9 appeared , then another group joined in, much calling.
hoopoe 1 flew over fore part of gazelle field to top of pines bunker rubble pines, jackdaw flock 80 plus SW windsurfer/saddle area, Syrian woodpeckers lots of calls, heard hyrax twilight barks
pumphouse area. Ring neck parakeets heard from house earlier.

Saturday 13th August

Field by small olive grove produced 4 gazelle, at least two of them adult females. Not the usual group. No bucks. Soon after ahead of us 2 more gazelle crossed the dirt road leading up the hill from direction of east woods.

2 dozen bee-eaters in two groups moving from over woods towards edge neighbourhood late afternoon. Ring neck parakeets heard in street, sunbird singing in garden about midday.

Woods: hobby call high trees east valley, hoopoe flew across central trail approaching look-out corner, small group greenfinches into eucs there, wheatear far edge east field in herbage, female or juv. prob black eared, hooded crows, Syrian woodpecker call,

Sunday 14th August

9 gazelle, 2 separate nr north watercourse, the others in fields around small olive grove and farther south east towards fence. Adult male between dirt road and olive grove looked like the larger horned male of that area.. seems he's brought his herd into area that previously the (slightly) smaller horned buck and those three youngsters (including 'one horn') were using.. expanding his domain north and driving the group of four to the woods and north gazelle field)

about 30 bee-eaters, in single flock as dusk was descending, quite high. syrian woodpeckers, lots of calls, greenfinches again between look-out corner eucs and bunker pines area, also graceful warbler, hooded crows, blackbird alarm (latter east watercourse dirtroad near sapling field, haven't heard blackbirds in a while) , hyraxes twilight bark amongst others, and Varthemia foliage coming up, will produce tiny bright yellow blooms come the first rains.

It did actually rain lightly and briefly saturday morning. Was somewhat overcast.

Two hobbies over north watercourse, spooked some jays who were very vocal at that.

Wednesday 17th August

11 gazelle NW slopes windsurfer, all females and well grown young.. they made their way round north slopes and down in direction of their usual grazing grounds. Young individual seen near head of shepherd's trail, may have been a 12th.. No adult bucks seen.

several seen yesterday including one horn seen near service road edge of young pines, some way from her usual haunts.. perhaps the larger herd drove her in that direction.

Flock of bee-eaters in eucalyptus, as yesterday .. settling down to roost, didn't come out so no count. Syrian woodpeckers, great tit and graceful warblers heard.

Flock jackdaws heard. Tristram's starling and ring necked parakeets heard from house earlier. laughing doves in the garden, foraging on ground.

bat on way back, hyrax on garden wall on way down.

21st August sunday

Bee-eaters heard from house earlier, sunbird in cape honeysuckle, laughing doves

17 gazelle. 13 grazing near fence including adult male. Other male and one other small individual not far behind him, between olives and cypress grove. 2 more , 1 w thin horns, one with no visible horns, just up from north watercourse dirt road up behind owl glade.

hyrax calls dusk.

Sparrowhawk over. , jackdaws heard, garden and street, collared doves on lines near cistern, male acting amourously, puffed chest etc. Hoopoe, syrian woodpecker calls, A number of hooded crows over but not coordinated flock .

Monday 22nd August

9 gazelle, 2 minimal horns up from north trail as yesterday, 2 in field between olives and cypresses, adult male and 1 horn. Second adult male with longer horns near fence just south of olive grove and nearby adult female. 3 females? /well grown young up on north west slopes windsurfer.

2 sparrowhawks flying same direction not far from each other so prob associated, near service road. Syrian woodpeckers, graceful warblers heard, Eurasian jays about and active, Hoodies and jackdaws flying south to roosting areas around villa hill , latter vocal, collared doves on line near service road as yesterday prob. same two.

carpenter bee black with yellow end abdomen seen by dirt road by east field.

Monday, August 1, 2011

First Week of August

Diminutive viper's bugloss (Echium) on way up out of sapling field, near pumping station

(add here also black nightshade pic * )

Monday 1st August

Akiva heard bee-eaters over neighbourhood earlier in afternoon.

Walking up windsurfer hill dirt road from cistern: saw 3 gazelle including one horn betw. road and small olive grove. Farther up, turned right at slope, group of six gazelle headed up hill ahead of us, adult male in rear. Then saw two more running by tree line, same group separated, or two of group down by olive grove.. I consider less likely.

Calls from east field, larks? or wheatears but more of tril but didn't see. More likely to be larks as male wheatears would have been much easier to spot.

Falcon over field and road, mostly dark.. hobby most likely but didn't see any white under.

Sparrowhawk earlier over north watercourse dirt road/service road. Lots of Syrian woodpecker calls.. Eurasian jays about.

Tuesday 2nd August

Walked up to the hidden watercourse and circled around slopes north hill, back down to look-out corner and east watercourse..

bee-eaters, between 2 dozen and 30 first saw over Hizmeh or road, then headed over valley, over edge of our neighbourhood.

, 2 or 3 bucks between bat cave and hidden watercourse area. North field: another buck and at least 3 females and well grown young. As we got down to hoopoe corner, another adult male ran into pines.

a fox, up by hidden watercourse chukars, at least two on open ground, hoopoe, north field, flat area where chukars, flew down to pines. Collared and turtle doves, former various open places, latter, cooing in trees, greenfinches some twitters in pines look out corner area, black eared wheatear male bunker ruins as the other day, and nearby field. Akiva tried to get pics, Syrian woodpeckers calls in Eucs, circling hobby over cistern area and north fields.

Jackdaw flock, calling, coming down from Ar Ram upper slopes, hooded crows about, house sparrow flock working edge of neighbourhood where garbage. Young or female sunbird brief visit to bougainvillea near edge of neighbourhood.

Wednesday 3rd August

hyraxes, by valley road, saw a number of gazelle.. 9- 1 by fence favoured area, 2 by olives, 4 betw olives and road, 2 more in centre woods east valley. One was standing repeatedly on its hindlegs to nibble at olive branches.. the olives are ripe enough now! Also hobby, stone curlew, calls black eared wheatear at bunker rubble, several bedraggled looking jays cistern area, jackdaws flock north of windsurfer, collared doves cistern area, great tit off valley road.

Thursday 4th August

4 gazelle in the Pistacia orchard, 1 adult male in company of three others including 1 horn, as seen before in that area, from there to small olive orchard.. though yesterday more gazelle there, looked like members of the larger horned gazelle's herd also using that area. chukars, (somewhere near north watercourse) stone curlew, calls from north field; hobbies, as dusk approached.. much fuss over east watercourse.. short calls and repeated high calls.. sounded alarm. Another raptor call amongst them, not sure what.
hoopoes, at least 4 around hoopoe corner, foraging on dirt road and/or flying into pines. Prinia calls. Prinia calls around fore part of gazelle field, Jays active, Looked for black eared wheater but not around rubble, perhaps we just got there too late, already sunset, same considerations as with the black redstart.. gets too late for them to hawk for insects there. bee-eaters, flock heard, didn't get count, quite high over Pistacia orchard area, ring neck parakeets around street on and off all day, bulbul, in ours or next door's garden.

Saturday 6th August

1 gazelle, buck, amongst saplings just across northwatercourse near shortcut from valley road to dirt road

From house: ring neck parakeets a few times, bulbul melodic calls now and again, laughing doves through the day pretty much, simplest coos, brief Prinia call, jackdaw flock

On walk: flock 9 bee-eaters, several hoopoes in region of hoopoe corner but not together, nice view hobby perched near top of pine.. Syrian woodpecker a couple of feet down from it apparently frozen in place.. Eurasian jays seen flying, 2 , jackdaw flock 30-40 plus, graceful warbler by stone wall forepart north gazelle field, greenfinches twittering bunker pines, collared doves, cistern area

stone curlew calls dusk, bats , several flitting close to us over valley road and around pines on bank.

Black nightshade Solanum nigrum growing in many places in the garden, cropped up by itself.

Sunday 7th August

Canid in pines to west of dirt road ascending from cistern to windsurfer hill, dark saddle like markings, taller, more dog like than fox, higher off ground though very pale tail tip (which I did not think jackals had) and solitary, not such a bushy tail as fox.. a jackal?? But solitary? Do they hybridize with foxes? Every time we've seen these ''dark foxes'' they have been *solitary* but different look from the red/grey foxes. We have also not heard howling typical of jackals.

bee-eater calls, Eurasian jays active, collared dove brief coo near cistern, Syrian woodpecker calls, graceful warbler calls, ring neck parakeets heard earlier,