Thursday, October 6, 2011

6th Oct to end of Oct.

Above: White breasted kingfisher at JBO pool , 30th Oct.

Above : blooming castor oil plant, by valley road.

Above: by pool at JBO .. pair of Laughing doves,

Bulbul , JBO.
Female chaffinch.. first individual seen this season! By pool at J.B.O.

male blackcap close to pool in great willowherb and other veg.
Thursday 6th October

16+ gazelle today, (10 or 11 NE foot of windsurfer, usual grazing place) , another two a little farther down the field, 2 just up from Pistacio grove, 1 very fine adult male buck between bat cave and north watercourse.

also flock of jackdaws very active and vocal over east valley as dusk fell, hoodies accompanying the jackdaws, Eurasian jays heard and seen active various parts aroundwoods, masked shrike calls just down from trail from north corner valley road to east watercourse dirt road, Tristram's starling calls over north watercourse area, Prinia calls, greenfinches calls around look-out corner, and quite a few Syrian woodpeckers active and vocal esp. eucalyptus grove near cistern.

Garden: house sparrows active esp in Bauhinia, sunbird song in garden. subsong.. young male practicing?

Sunday 9th Oct

25 gazelle today, I think that's a record!

1 adult male, long horns north watercourse near where trail comes down from north valley road.

6 more adult males further east along that watercourse, near bat cave including two coming down from owl glade area, one bounced across road, joined others.
1 more adult male near cistern
5 in pistacias including 1 adult male.
shortly after (as we were heading up dirt road leading up windsurfer hill on other side of Pistacia orchard) the male broke from that group to join two adult females, attempted to mate with one of them, brief contact.. kept on sniffing, she squatted as if to defacate though none seen...he continued to sniff and follow, she decided to speed up and head towards look-out corner, buck in pursuit. (7 total in Pistacias, so 15 so far.. )

Usual grazing area betw foot windsurfer and olive grove N/S , betw. bipass road and dirt road up hill E/W several, joined by a few more crossing dirt road ahead of us towards east, joining others making total of ten counted at one time including adult male.

Several adult hyrax spotted on dirt road leading off north valley road, down from Shadiker, some older immatures but no small ones, 1 shaggy older one closest to us.

Birds: feral pigeon over, hoodies over and vocal, noisy jackdaw flock over east valley esp sunset, some great tit calls by north watercourse, brief syrian woodpecker calls, blackbird call near look-out corner.

Monday 10th October

around 20 gazelle, 4 bachelors browsing on young pine leaves on the hillslopes as we headed down, more bachelors in eucs near north watercourse, several in the Pistacias including 1 adult male, and small herd of at least 7 females and well grown young making its way around windsurfer hill west to east, the alpha male between them and us,

bulbuls, a falcon, Eurasian jays active many places, Syrian woodpeckers, greenfinches bunker area, jackdaws flock, hoodies- hyrax across from pumping station, corner sapling field, on the way back in the gathering dusk.
Several collared doves around the cistern.

Weather unusually warm, low 30s much of the day.

Tuesday 11th October

4 gazelle grazing about half way up north west slopes windsurfer hill, perhaps more, another seen earlier nearer top and we know at least 10 use that area . Hyrax on rock down from valley road.

Prinias heard, jays , some activity, jackdaws, hooded crows about, ring neck parakeet heard on street.

Saturday 15th October

white wagtail heard! over Shadiker area.

Sunday 16th October

25 gazelle.
Again! Adult buck gazelles spreading out more, seen in numerous places, rubbing horns repeatedly against vegetation but no sparring noticed. Females and well grown young herd grazing lower north slopes of windsurfer usually.
small group of up to half dozen in Pistacia grove regularly seen

white wagtail heard?

Monday 17th October

20 gazelle. Kestrel call up in neighbourhood, directly up slope from pumphouse station.

sunbird singing in garden almost every day lately. Bulbuls, laughing doves, house sparrows, ring neck parakeet calls.. great tit aggressive calls and contact calls of various kinds but no song yet, esp in pines near north watercourse.

Tuesday 18th October

11 gazelle today.. 3 bachelors amongst eucalyptus north watercourse, 2 more in the small olive grove, much rubbing of horns against vegetation, group of at least 6 females and well grown young north west slopes of 'windsurfer hill' . Lots of Syrian woodpeckers, Prinias, a neat dramatic hobby call and fly by, jackdaws, hoodies, jays and such

Wednesday 26th October

Castor oil plant by valley road blooming.. (ad pic)

Stonechats have arrived! Seen in east field on 24th, 25th
Gazelle: regular group in Pistacias, buck, mother and kid and a few others, usually 5
White wagtail heard : 23rd & 26th
Garden: house sparrows, laughing doves, sunbirds
street: feral pigeons, hooded crows, jackdaws, ring neck parakeet (latter three also in and over valley)
valley: greenfinches, syrian woodpeckers, Prinias

Sunday 30th October

JBO hide by Gan Sacher (just south of town centre) : watched European robin bathing and a female chaffinch (both first of season), blackcap and Prinia foraging in the Great willowherb by the waterside, white breasted kingfisher hunting, also bulbuls, jays, sunbirds, blackbirds there, white wagtails, jackdaws, hooded crows on the fields. Calls of ring neck parakeets? But none seen.
Monday 31st October

Ten gazelle in two groups: 4 relatively young then 1 female and young heading south of and parallel to central trail, crossing it and heading to woods/gazelle field edge. Four more in the Pistacia orchard including female and young and an adult buck.
Kestrel (?) over valley and one more definite from direction of Hizmeh, bipass road, sparrowhawk heading south well over canopy level, large dark Buteo of some sort circling low over woods next to gazelle field, white wagtails- calls over road earlier, hooded crows heading south various heights over canopy level at dusk, low speed heading to roost, jackdaws calls from direction Hizmeh hill, jays harsh calls amongst trees, stonechats east field various places as light faded, Prinias long shrill calls bunker/cistern area.
no hyrax or syrian woodpeckers heard today. Looked out for black redstart but still none.