Monday, July 16, 2012

2nd half July

One of a number of Lacerta lizards noticed lately, scurrying across trail. This one was at NW corner of valley road.

Injured hyrax by valley road.. probably had been in a fight. Unfortunately we did not have the means/facilities to catch and care for it.

Monday 16th July

Temp upper 20s, light north westerlies, humidity 40-50%

Several gazelle.. 3 relatively young crossed central trail, heading towards east watercourse, other just up from bat cave.

Lots of crows on hillside up from bat cave, prob hoodies and jackdaws, both about buildings also. Chukar and hobby calls heard from that direction.

Turtle doves cooing, one whole amorous display to female in pine branches, collared doves by contrast quite quiet recently, some coos. laughing doves still cooing. Feral pigeons about.

graceful warblers vocal, active.. greenfinches not started up when we were down there but have been twittering late afternoon most afternoons. Eurasian jays active and vocal esp. hoopoe stretch. 1 hoopoe seen over road near shaft, flew into pines. Syrian woodpecker calls.

bee-eaters about, flock flew over from neighbourhood to valley as we were going down, approaching 50, later seen assembling on lines near service road, and taking off to fly quite high over north fields.

also neighbourhood: house sparrows, several sunbirds in Bauhinia , saw one individual pecking from bean, sharp call, almost squeak, bulbul calls later from local gardens.

Tuesday 18th July

gardens: bulbul calls from shortly after 5 a.m. later, house sparrows, laughing dove coos, jackdaw calls from farther off. Feral pigeons active around edge of neighbourhood.
valley: around cistern area.. bee-eaters, Syrian woodpecker calls, greenfinch calls, Prinia calls, turtle dove and collared dove coos, chukar partridge calls from saddle
watercourse area.

large salmon arab butterfly in rubble area vegetation near cistern.

Wednesday 19th July

Highest temps I've known in Jerusalem, almost 39 degrees at peak.. early afternoon, today, humidity down around 30%, north easterlies. still over 31 at 8.30 p.m. I remember it reaching 38 a few years ago, and it hits 36/37 several times each summer, but I don't remember it ever being this high.

bird activity quite high at around 6.30 p.m. .. family of chukar partridges across north watercourse making much fuss, probably because of an approaching cat.. syrian woodpeckers, jays, blackbirds, all active, foraging, not singing though.. (jackdaws and hooded crows about, bulbuls, laughing doves, house sparrows, feral pigeons about houses as usual,) bulbuls in acacias by north watercourse , greenfinches also vocal and active along north watercourse, trail down to there.. hoopoe ground and lower acacia, graceful warblers vocal

Thursday 19th July

gardens: House sparrows, laughing doves, bulbuls, calls and coos
jackdaws, frequent calls today, hooded crows, latter on buildings, also about 60 on ground on rocks by foot of two pylons, open north field, again, just sitting there doing nothing in particular.

feral pigeons - on top of buildings and flying about; syrian woodpeckers - active and vocal in various parts of pine forest and eucs, Eurasian jays - active and some calls, greenfinches - twitters around look out corner area, bee-eaters - about cistern, at least a dozen on the dirt road by cistern, most just squatting in the dirt, a few noticed mud bathing, chukars, some calls? collared doves - some coos, turtle doves - some coos, graceful warblers - some calls, ,
gazelle, 4 , 1 male, 2 females and a young in Pistacia grove, hyraxes - several youngsters scampering over boulders down from ramp to neighbourhood

Saturday 21st July

House sparrows - gardens, laughing doves - street, gardens, coos, noticed one display flight over street, bulbuls - quite vocal in garden on friday early afternoon, sunbirds - calls in garden various kinds, seems like family reared in vicinity from the range of calls I've been hearing lately, jackdaws - flock, calls, hooded crows - congregation north hill slopes, flying about, feral pigeons over edge of neighbourhood, rooftops as usual, syrian woodpeckers - calls and active various parts of wood, Eurasian jays - calls and some activity, greenfinches - some twittering by look out corner, beeeaters - flock of 30 or so around cistern and fields, hobbies - brief call, collared doves - some coos, turtle doves - coos, not distinct, graceful warblers - calls and active by east watercourse,
gazelle, buck and a couple of others in Pistacia orchard
hyraxes, calls near valley road
agama lizard noticed climbing acacia trunk thursday.

22nd July
House sparrows- about houses, laughing doves - street and gardens, bulbuls - gardens, jackdaws- large flock east field, about 100 indivs, hooded crows - one sick or wounded by road up windsurfer, cypress stretch, others about, flying over, feral pigeons- street, syrian woodpeckers - very vocal, active, some squabbling, likely parents want young to move on, Eurasian jays - some activity, some calls, greenfinches - some twittering around bunker rubble pines, beeeaters - a number active over north field, cistern area, collared doves, turtle doves- about but relatively quiet, graceful warblers - some calls. Of extra note- blackcap ? song by top of trail heading down from north loop valley road to north watercourse dirt road.. song didn't sound like blackcap song I'm familiar with, pauses between repeated notes, though sounded Sylvid.. Akiva saw dark cap but briefly,
gazelle - 15 + east field, north field beyond almond trees, mostly females and well grown young but two adult males seen, one near olive grove, one farther south towards windsurfer ne slopes ,

23rd to 26th July
weather today (26) temps peaked low thirties, still about 30 at time of walk. humidity about 50% with minimum about 35 % late morning. winds mainly north westerly with swings to east earlier in the day
House sparrows: houses, street, also seen and heard foraging in Pistacia grove, laughing doves: street, bulbuls: trees on bank, variety of calls, gardens, sunbirds - north watercourse acacias heard, jackdaws: calls, flock about, hooded crows: numbers about, feral pigeons: roofs, flying about over valley, syrian woodpeckers: active and vocal in pine woods, Eurasian jays: vocal in pines, some activity, greenfinches: not so vocal this week, beeeaters: flock hawking over new sapling field by cistern, or flying about over valley higher, calling, hoopoes: couple of sightings on valley road, collared doves: some coos, some sightings several parts of valley, turtle doves: quiet this week , graceful warblers: active and vocal various places,
gazelle: today- couple of females open near shaft, north fields by north watercourse, adult male near east watercourse south of central trail,
hyraxes: active this week along valley road, group of youngsters regular around acacia by ramp up to neighbourhood.

26th July weather conditions similar, peaking just ovr 34 degrees C early afternoon

House sparrows - street, valley, relatively quiet lately, laughing doves - some coos gardens, bulbuls - vocal shortly after 5 am gardens, also bank area, jackdaws - flock over late afternoon, going on 100 indivs, heading south, noisy, returning from forage, hooded crows - active and vocal, indivs, pairs; feral pigeons - tops of buildings, flying over neighbourhood, syrian woodpeckers - active and vocal, Eurasian jays - some calls, greenfinches - in pines, some calls, not much, bee-eaters - 20 ish, cistern area, hawking high today late afternoon, , collared doves - some coos various parts of pine woods, turtle doves -some coos in pines, graceful warblers -active and vocal
gazelle - group of at least 12 mid east field betw dirt road up windsurfer and fence, females and well grown young , adult male in small olive grove, prob of small group in that area, the alpha male that attends the east field herd not seen. mother and young seen leaving Pistacia grove, possibly the olive grove male is the father of that one but cannot be sure, could be the larger horned male that usually found farther south east, has been seen to venture towards Pistacia so can't be ruled out.
hyraxes - bank area

end of July days:

House sparrows - street and edges of neighbourhood, and occasionally down around look out corner area and Pistacia grove; laughing doves-coos,street;bulbuls-gardens, bank area, some places in valley near watercourses;sunbirds-various calls in garden ;jackdaws- flocking over valley, regular flock of about 100birds foraging on hillside and flying over valley; hooded crows- street, valley, singles, pairs, small groups ; feral pigeons- rooftops, flying about edge of valley and over valley; syrian woodpeckers- many calls in the valley woods, various parts; Eurasian jays-some calls and activity in woods and small fields between;greenfinches-relatively quiet lately; bee-eaters- lots of activity, calls, hawking in various parts of valley, flock up to at least 40; hoopoes- occasional sightings, shaft to central trail stretch and valley road/bank stretch; chukar partridges-not in last few days; hobbies-occasional calls but activity down;collared doves- some cooing and sightings esp round shaft/central trail stretch, on lines; turtle doves-some coos and sightings;graceful warblers- active and vocal;Tristram's starlings-none in last few days. Great tits- calls in various parts of wood esp. off valley road towards pumping station and trail down from valley road to north watercourse.

glimpse of nightjar, by Akiva's description, brief flight between pines betw north watercourse dirt road and neighbourhood/Shadiker
gazelle- hyraxes-

Sunday, July 1, 2012

First Half July

youngster of this year seen regularly in Pistacia orchard, lower east field up to small olive grove. Another, smaller youngster seen near bat cave.. and at least one more in north field this year.

July 1

upper 20s degrees C, feels like just over 30 degrees.

totally clear and light blue skies, a gibbous moon, bee-eaters, a hoopoe, turtle doves, a couple of gazelle in the Pistacia grove, greenfinches, hyraxes, Prinias, Syrian woodpeckers, took more pics of the St. John's wort, saw a really nice size skinny wasp on fennel, black with yellow highlights, I think it was Sceliphron spirifex, but very regretfully didn't manage to get a pic..

July 7

temp conditions as above over the last week.. light north westerly breezes, humidity just under or just over 50% on walk, rising in the afternoon.

turtle doves, cooing or foraging on ground, syrian woodpeckers vocal, active, some squabbles this past week, Prinias vocal esp down in fields around look out corner area, hoopoes regularly seen on stretch between shaft and look out corner, and also between cistern and pines, about half a dozen gazelle in several locations, hyraxes, a blackbird alarm call but not song in last few days, great tits about, foraging, some calls, juveniles growing well, greenfinches much twittering,

more St. John's wort, clump also by north watercourse, and the thin safflower (previously termed ''blue tuft thistle, Carthamus tenuis) and carline thistle Carlina curetum (yellow summer flowering thistle) in bloom in various places.. former open area greenfinch area and hoopoe stretch esp, latter, by east watercourse and valley road

young gazelle noticed in north field with mother a few days ago.. today male chasing another male, both good size, mature, to west by bat cave.. the one ahead mouth open breathing hard, one behind, mouth shut. Mother with well grown young betw. Pistacia and small olive grove, also an adult male over there.

No Dianthus at all for months noticed, looking out for it.

8th July

Spitting cucumber, Ecballium elaterium, noticed growing under trailer shul, flowers and some unripe pods.. had been growing on bank opposite but hadn't seen there for over a year..

Akiva noticed 12 Tristram's starlings passing over, strung out flock, apparently in pairs.. flying from east field area, over part of neighbourhood towards quarry, about 9 a.m.

short walk just down valley road late afternoon.. greenfinches about valley road, and gardens early morning, Syrian woodpeckers quite vocal, also Eurasian jays calls. Bulbuls, (starting up about 5.05 am lately) jackdaw calls, hooded crows, House sparrows, laughing doves, sunbird earlier?

Sick or hurt jay brought to us this afternoon, very weak, would hardly take water, put in cage in shady place in garden to protect from cats with some chicken fat and flesh to eat and bowl of water, tried with dropper to feed. Concern of West Nile Fever but you can't catch that directly from bird, only via infected mosquitoes.. no marks or exudations.. spread out wings in cage.. last time I touched it it raised crest but closed eyes.. if makes through the night I shall be surprised.

July 9th

Jay didn't make it:(

cicada in the garden, low pitch, on lines by lower pines at least 15 bee-eaters.. also collared doves, and some coos. Still coos from laughing doves but no turtle doves noted today.
Call from edge north field, black eared wheatear quality.
jackdaw flock, hooded crows.
one gazelle grazing by bat cave, quite a few hyraxes valley road near foot of ramp as usual.
greenfinches, house sparrows, feral pigeons. Great tits also heard. Bulbuls, sunbirds.

Tues July 1oth

15+ gazelle

1 adult male near trail down to north watercourse dirt road, females and well grown young in open by north watercourse, female and quite well grown young in Pistacia grove, moved out into lower east field, 7 more towards NE slopes windsurfer hill

hyraxes, bee-eaters
perching in the eucs at look out corner and flying around that area, syrian woodpecker squabbles look out corner area, jays, greenfinches, some twittering, hoopoes at least 3 over fields near look out corner, from direction cistern, Prinias, calling in various places, a distant Buteo over hill ridge to NE, laughing, collared and turtle doves as well as cooing feral pigeons, all cooing, in their usual places, jackdaws, hoodies, bulbuls, sunbirds and sparrows.

11th July

quite a few gazelle, at least four females and well grown young grazing on upper north west slopes windsurfer hill, and lots of hyraxes active along valley road,
Syrian woodpeckers vocal, active, hoopoe flying over sapling field to pines across east valley, jay in pumphouse corner area, great tits, family in pine by valley road, greenfinches twitters in pines by valley road, ring neck parakeets between east valley and villa hill, Prinias, calls in east valley, blackbird call by valley road, hoodies, jackdaws, bulbuls, latter in garden, also pumphouse corner. ,
copper butterfly and Painted Lady (?) brief view, or one of that family.. on the thyme, western mid slopes windsurfer.

12th July

Female and young gazelle in the Pistacia orchard, young no horns, let us get within 50 yards without showing any fear, just grazed peacefully. Apart from this we also saw lots of bee-eaters swooping about and perching in the pines, at edge of rock flats by hoopoe stretch, hoopoes prob at least three in that vicinity, watched female greenfinches and young on thistles, hobby call from direction of bat cave, Prinias, turtle doves, collared dove coos near valley road, hyraxes. Sunbird near shaft/service road and also in gardens, bulbuls, house sparrows, jackdaws.. about 20-25 hoodies on rock up from bat cave just assembled on rocky flat, not foraging, not calling , just standing there for a while.. one flew to another rock a few metres away.. another two flew in from south east and joined them, then half flew off, rest just stayed there just standing doing nothing, not even preening.

14th July

bee-eaters by cistern landing on ground, about a dozen on the ground at a time.. hoopoes about on 'hoopoe stretch' (betw. shaft and junction of north watercourse dirt road with central trail) , German wasps around increasingly and coming into house. cicadas heard. Syrian woodpeckers and Eurasian jays particularly active and vocal, collared and turtle doves heard cooing, feral pigeons and laughing doves cooing about buildings. bulbul up at 5.05 am lately still, sunbirds still calling in gardens but have not heard song for a while. Occasional hobby and stone curlew calls. Occasional blackbird alarm calls but not song lately. Prinias vocal and seen foraging in pines. Another warbler in pines.. Hippolais? 1 shrike heard in last week. Jackdaw and hoodie calls heard regularly but not Tristrams for some days.