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-

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