Thursday, December 13, 2012

November, December first half

 Sodom apple flowers  Calotropis procera

November posts accidentally deleted when clearing out old draughts..  oops! Birds pretty much as expected at this time of year, though low.. hardly any chaffinch sightings and white wagtails down also. Very quiet lately.

 Winter crocus (Crocus hyemalis) first noticed Nov 28,  Autumn crocus (Colchicum hierosolymitanum) from Nov 15th      First Dianthus noticed in ages on the 26th.  Flowers of Sodom apple photographed by Naama on 25th November ( pic above)  A number of ground beetles noticed in the house towards end of November.. Calathus genus or similar.. haven't seen this month yet.

December 5th

Family first which meant limited to no birdwatching opportunity on the Gilboa trip but DID notice goldfinches and chaffinches in open and agricultural areas, stonechats in scrubby wilder land, also Eurasian jays by roadside, kestrels hunting, great white egrets near Beit Shean.. Akiva thinks he saw white storks,  he also noticed a large very dark raptor sitting on fence right by road near checkpoint from valley into Beit Shean area.. probably black kite.  On previous Gilboa trip, two weeks ago, more great white egrets noticed from vehicle and large raptors aloft, probably also kites, but got no chance for good look. So tantalizing, other things seen from car but no chance to stop and have good look.
Shrike like calls heard in bushes both trips but not noticed.  Hyraxes also heard in rocks by road leading up to Malkishua yesterday.  In a woodland part of that road noticed numerous cyclamen already in bloom though we don't expect them in Jerusalem for another few weeks. Also a clump of several Dianthus seen by roadside, as many as I've ever seen together.

December 6th

About half a dozen adult male gazelle grazing in fresh new grass by both north and east watercourses and under pines, as well as female with one (right) horn and three subadults, not in one herd but spread out in twos and threes.

Hyrax barks from direction of valley road colony, blackbird song and alarms, robin alarms, small flock of collared doves on lines and in trees between hoopoe stretch and gazelle field.

December 10th

sunbirds active in the garden last couple of days, alarm calls heard, activity in the cape honeysuckle.  Bulbuls also heard.  Some ring neck parakeets heard in neighbourhood several times over the last week.
Hoodies and jackdaws heard,  blackbird song by east watercourse, settling down calls, some thin calls, prob chiffchaffs. No luck with black redstart or stonechats last week in patch,

December 14th

Absence of white wagtails lately but sunbirds and bulbuls, sparrows and laughing doves active in gardens,  hoodies, feral pigeons, jackdaws about the street and around.  Valley: great tits, graceful warblers and blackbirds heard but all else relatively low profile. Chaffinch calls.