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.

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