Sunday, June 3, 2012

June, first week plus

chukar chicks squatting low , on 10th June

plant bug nymph on centaury

flower weevils on mullein buds (near pumping station)

Seeds from this are now all over my socks! .. (a small member of the carrot family) common in the fields now.. the individual burrs detach easily and stick.. the spines are so fine they are barely visible in the skin.

Gazelle various places.. open and in woods though lately bucks singles seen in woods a number of times. Hyrax active various ages all colonies.

ring neck parakeet family, observed feeding behaviour of young (lacking rings), group of three.. also independent group of two, all up and down east valley in eucalyptus.. parent seen foraging in acacia head.

hobbies, calls by bat cave and rather dramatic chase over Pistacia grove accompanied by a number of short , sharp calls.

hoopoes at least three on ground and in pines, hoopoe corner area , bee-eaters, heard various places, seen over east dirt road, Pistacia grove area.

syrian woodpeckers active various places, Eurasian jays, blackbird song, turtle dove coos, (all true last few days) some collared dove coos. yesterday collared dove flight calls and others, and bands of house sparrows continue to forage in grassy areas away from human habitation. Greenfinches about but quiet today, though twitterng usually starts later.

had fun taking photoes of green flower weevils on mullein, a number of small shiny black beetles with soft trailing wing points, on wild carrot. No cicadas heard today but have heard recently in Pistacia grove and in garden.

4th June

hyraxes, mature rather beat up blonde one on rock by valley road being sentry.. a little later young ones crossed from the bank, headed down to the boulders. glimpse of gazelle on lower slopes of windsurfer hill, turtle doves cooing, blackbird song, ring neck parakeet squawks, masked shrike, handsome well coloured, prob adult male, lower pine branch on bank
as well as neighbourhood birds, sunbird, (calls in garden) bulbul, laughing doves (coos) and such.. flock feral pigeons foraging on bank
swifts still about, in town, Akiva heard, but haven't noticed in neighbourhood in last few days.

5th June

pleasant, warm, clear skies.. start of walk about 24 degrees C and falling, peaking at 28 degrees earlier.

watched kestrel hunt side of hill to north over /near a group of six gazelle, mothers and young of various ages. Bee-eaters esp over east valley/orchard area, ring neck parakeets east valley, greenfinches on thistles, young grove, hoopoes on dirt road by young grove, jays woods by north valley dirt road, syrian woodpeckers, calls, active various places in woods, Prinias calls various places east field and elsewhere, turtle doves, active, cooing from shaft to look out corner area, blackbird song, sunbird territorial behaviour near Shadiker colony, male in top of pine very vocal, bulbuls neighbourhood and acacias north valley. Hoodies, house sparrow neighbourhood and roving bands in oats.

revisited those flower weevils .. two in mating position, a third joined them a few minutes later, as above

7 June

morning: bulbul started up about ten to 5 a.m. sunbird and house sparrows shortly after, laughing doves somewhat later, when it got lighter.

approaching 6 p.m. temp just over 26 degrees C, humidity falling, light south easterlies.

on return a sunbird outside my window giving squeak alarm calls

probably there's a cat about... valley nice walk- pair of kestrels up on the hillside to north east hunting in turn, pair of hobbies bat cave cypresses yesterday but not today

Syrian woodpeckers
very vocal and active, turtle doves coos, collared doves coos, bee-eaters calls and hawking, graceful warblers, hoopoes.. two usual dirt road bend by young pines, greenfinches twitters and chaws, also seen feeding on thistle heads lately..

we also heard from Tristram's starlings over north valley, hidden watercourse, also heard up centre of neighbourhood. and stone curlews calls heard from fields lately.. alarm due to falcon threat?

Sat 9th June

morning: bulbul shortly before 5 a.m. sunbirds, house sparrows heard shortly after. Laughing doves, hooded crows, jackdaws later as it gets light.

kestrel high over road to east. In the valley, Syrian woodpeckers, Eurasian jays active and vocal. Ring neck parakeets vocal up and down east valley. Akiva heard Tristram's starlings over to north, view of hobby in flight. Hoopoe on road by young pines. bee-eaters heard. Looked out for roller but not seen lately. Stone curlews heard to north later.

Sunday: similar to above, but no kestrels. Gazelle seen grazing on lower northern slopes. Chukar seen with four small chicks near the shaft (just north of north watercourse dirt road in open area_ , and just one adult. As Akiva approached, the parent moved off, leaving the chicks squatting on the ground, eyes closed, excellent camouflage. (above)

Evening of 10th, about 10.30 p.m. three 'glow worms' seen on various parts of slope in burnt area below tamarisk, separated from each other by several metres (probably Lampyris nervosa) .. no others seen.

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