Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mid April records

9th April

one turtle dove (first seen of season) on rocks by bat cave.. another top of nearby cypress.. took off, did display flight with no call, turned around. landed on top of cypress again. Lately collared dove display flight with call.

Warm.. saw over 30 gazelle on slopes NE, group of females and well grown young followed by bachelor herd, over 17 adult males, and including a couple of scattered groups.

Roman nettle already has green 'pom poms' in mouth of the large cave over the hill. By there on Syrian thistle found specimen of Cerambyd beetle Agapantha pulifera but did not succeed in getting a decent pic. On others, bush crickets, on occasional Gundelia, green caterpillars (above)

10th April

nice walk.. warm (~20 degrees C) and sky totally clear of clouds. Masked shrike at edge of neighbourhood, Buteos about, kestrels on the hillside, Most Buteos seen have dark terminal tail band, mostly dark, relatively small size for Buteos. One seen over road with no terminal tailband, paler under, think that one is long legged buzzard, Buteo rufinus. At least two falcons on hillside up from bat cave, calls like kestrel though back darker, muddy brown. Didn't get good view of tail.

at least half a dozen gazelle grazing on hill slopes, and finally found a flowering Nigella by north watercourse dirt road.

11 April

lovely walk up the hill across north watercourse.. found bachelor herd of gazelle at top, a dozen plus. they moved on ahead of us, across the hidden wateroucrseA few sub adult males further down hidden watercourse. .. they moved on ahead of us, across the hidden watercourse.

Still plenty stuff flowering from golden drop (Podonosma) to budding aromatic cat thyme germander, campanula, alcea and a wide variety of composites and grasses .. found empty tortoise carapace,

heard bee-eaters, Eurasian jays, great tits, collared doves, more in neighbourhood.. hooded crow, house sparrows.. bulbul and sunbird calling in garden from first light.

15 April

warm and a little humid in the valley, great spotted cuckoos being very noisy.. saw a pair of turtle doves but not cooing, graceful warblers and great tits also vocal as well as a ring neck parakeet up in a eucalyptus. Bee-eaters 12, then 40, and swifts above amongst others. Couple of gazelle on top of hill to north.

17th April

10 mins before 6 p.m. 23.5 degrees C, 20% humidity and very light ESE winds. clear and sunny! bbl!

white storks in north field! foraging spread out , loosely seemed to be in pairs.. at least 16 spread from twin pylons up onto lower and mid hill slopes up from bat cave. After a while headed to pines and cypress beyond and up from bat cave, up on ridge between north watercourse and hidden watercourse , esp on some rather dried out pines, at least 15 landed, more joining at leisurely pace from Phlomis vale.. betw. them and those still on field, at least 20 birds

Akiva noticed one spook a youngish gazelle in the grass which leaped up and in turn spooked the stork, which took flight.

pair of falcons over north watercourse dirt road, one joined by another, smaller, looked slightly aggressive , but could be the male.. silhouette, dark, not kestrels but couldn't tell and no calls... possibly hobbies.

lots of great spotted cuckoo calls, some bee-eater calls. blackbird calls and some song. collared dove coos, flock several dozen jackdaws heading low north near security road to east. Graceful warbler calls.

buildings: house sparrows, feral pigeons, laughing doves

Saturday 21st April

gazelle, on hillside, males females esp up from bat cave on south facing slopes. Hobbies, sparrowhawk spotted heading from neighbourhood to east valley as dusk approached.

bee-eaters, brief call and sighting of ring neck parakeet.

male blackcap foraging in thistles by bunker rubble, returning repeatedly into one of the large pines there, (likely there's a nest up in there somewhere)

some time in the evening heard call thought was our escaped sugar glider.. went out in the garden, Akiva glimpsed medium large bird, quite broad wingspan, flying from street to valley.. repeated calls.. decided most likely to be little owl.

Sunday 22 April

almost 5.40 p.m., weather conditions: temp 21.5 degrees C and falling, humidity 35% and rising, sky clear, pale blue, wind 3.5 knots from the north.

turtle doves, coos now and yesterday finally, collared doves some coos, great spotted cuckoo (Akiva heard near pumping station) , bee-eaters (heard), a white stork (coming into north valley from direction of the large olive grove but probably most staying over there since lots of boys in north valley on vacation) , great tits singing in a number of locations and feeding fledgelings east edge of Pistacia grove; blackbirds in song and active on ground, syrian woodpeckers vocal and active in a number of locations esp young pines by service road, Eurasian jays active in a number of locations and some calls plus in the valley, kestrel over cistern

sunbirds and laughing doves in the garden.

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