Monday, September 12, 2011

September observations, end of the dry season

Small chameleon, whole individual about three inches long.. found crossing snake path (through terraced gardens) in our neighbourhood, released onto Bauhinia tree in our garden.

Below, an Eryngium, of a species I hadn't noticed before.. near ruins middle of east valley.

Monday 12th Sept.

4 gazelle noticed when coming up shepherd's trail from east watercourse dirt road.. first, up and over to right (south) appeared to be an immature, alone.. then over to left running up slope Akiva saw three individuals.. one disappeared and we both watched a female followed by well grown young make their way across mid field and head down to grazing area between hill and olive grove. No others seen down there.

Also about: jackdaws, many calls, feral pigeons, hobby call, hoodies in neighbourhood on the look out for tasty scraps thrown on ground.. kids' litter.. but has been very quiet lately. Yesterday hardly anything seen and heard but after dusk a number of bats around pumphouse station at least half a dozen, crickets

Tuesday 13th Sept

Garden: laughing doves seen flying to ground, house sparrows, ring neck parakeets calls.

three night herons! Good views this evening in high trees by east watercourse dirt road.. left trees and circled around a few times, increasing height and radius, a few calls, resonant croaks like something between a crow and a duck. Confirms what I've suspected for weeks. (We have seen them in the past earlier in the afternoon)

Plus three gazelle in Pistacia grove, male and two others, hyraxes repeated bark, like hoarse chuckle, high cypress slum bank, jays heard and seen, great tits heard, masked shrike heard near Pistacia grove/look out corner, jackdaw calls. .

Wednesday 14th Sept.

No herons on walk but did hear them at about 10.30 p.m. (from direction of east valley) when we went out with the dog. Usual other birds. Notable rise in humidity late afternoon lately.

Thursday 15th Sept.

No herons so far.. hoodies in tops of eucs, Eurasian jays, syrian woodpeckers active and vocal.. group of four gazelle , adult male, 1 horn, two others.. prob the olive grove gang, under pines near central trail.
Garden: ring neck parakeets heard, laughing doves about as usual.

Photographed an Eryngium near east valley ruins I hadn't noticed before.. habit about three times higher than usual bluish Eryngium, clusters of inflorescences, all green/olive green foliage.

herons heard calling on evening walk , 10.30 p.m.

Monday 19th Sept.

Fox with very nice coat spotted north west corner east field, heading to trees, we'd spooked it. Female gazelle there with well grown young, heading across the other direction from trees towards grazing grounds between olive grove and hill, another individual nearby and another three farther down the hill towards the fence. Three more gazelle in Pistacia grove, adult buck and two more. Light was getting dim so could not see if one horn amongst them though I'd expect that. 9 in all.

Falcon mobbing much larger bird of prey over bipass road north of olive grove, mainly dark, around sunset so got no more detail. Otherwise, hoodies, not much more seen about. Sunbirds and ring neck parakeet heard in and near garden.

21st September

16 gazelle today! herd of adult male with 12 others in east field, a mother and young (the little one already visibly larger than the last time we saw him) in Pistacias and an adult buck by north watercourse.

Birds including masked shrikes, jackdaws, collared doves, syrian woodpeckers, hoodies. Wheatear in east field? Sunbird in garden.

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