Sunday, January 13, 2013

January 2013

 1st Jan

first asphodel bloom of the season noticed today!  Just up from hoopoe corner, towards owl glade. Only one, rest only foliage but LOADS of that in the natural extensive rock garden under the pines, as well as foliage of golden drop and some wild geranium. shrubby restharrow still blooming by the wayside

 Looked across north watercourse, a handsome buck mountain gazelle nestling on the ground gazing right back.., 

Chaffinches and chiffchaffs calling in the canopies, couple of flocks of linnets about, twittering away, about twenty in the Ailanthus, another 40 or so flying about over end of Shadiker.  Great tit and graceful warbler calls,  bulbul calls, hoodies about and loose flock returning from forage, 

gardens: at least three sunbirds sipping nectar in cape honeysuckle when I left the house shortly after 4 p.m. house sparrows, feral pigeons roosting in cover, balcony eaves, laughing doves about ornamental trees in street,  white wagtail call? 
ring neck parakeet squawks heard not long after sun up, visiting the gardens.

 2nd January

savyon avivi.. spring groundsel.. Senecio vernalis lots seen today in Gilboa area, stars in the grass.. also lots of Roman storksbill and more asphodel. 

Birds: on water by Beit Shean.. my attention was caught by presence of many egrets in trees just outside Beit Shemesh,  stopped by roadside cafe and walked up to trees. took pics of the cormorants till they decided to fly up and settle on the farther pool. a close packed raft of over 100 great cormorants, scores of great white egret by water and in surrounding trees, couldn't really count because I didn't have visibility of all of them, several lesser egret by edge of water, pied kingfisher calling and flying low over water and nice view of black kite also hunting over the water when I got there but left soon after. Kestrel noticed over road on way back.. birds on lines by road, could be starlings but hard to tell at our speed. also doves near date plantations, probably collared but couldn't stop to confirm.

5th Jan

yesterday, 4th, great tit heard singing in or near our garden,  sunbirds have been active and vocal lately,  some song heard,  today morning, ring neck parakeets, cooing laughing doves, 

valley.. raining much of day but late afternoon blackbirds heard, no song, calls of flocks of hoodies and jackdaws,  graceful warblers quite vocal, piping of warblers in trees but not glimpsed,  

asphodel noted by valley road, as well as shrubby restharrow, lots of spring savyon by our street.  

6th Jan 

starting to bloom in the valley now.. some kind of Calendula I think. 

Went out an hour or so earlier today.. buck gazelle and two others by shepherd trail coming down off the hill, hyraxes munching away in cypress, cypress slum area up from valley road,  
black redstart at the rubble, stonechat on thorny burnet, jackdaws, hoodies, white wagtails, great tits, Syrian woodpeckers,

gardens: earlier ring neck parakeets, sunbirds active in cape honeysuckle, house sparrows,  also laughing doves by street, feral pigeons about roofs 

Monday 7th Jan

rain pretty steady,  muddy water seen flowing down north watercourse, heard quite clearly in east watercourse.  Cold, below 7 degrees C,  with wind chill just over zero and rain almost frozen. 

white wagtail activity on Elias,  seems they're using the dense trees again for roost.  ring neck parakeets heard, sunbird activity in cape honeysuckle.  By valley road late afternoon some hyrax activity,  taking break in rain to come out of dens and munch.  Blackbirds heard briefly but no song.. not much else and no opportunity today to go to look out corner.  Jackdaws and hooded crows, about it.  More spring savyon blooming, 

ring neck parakeets calling numerous times this week, snow fall wednesday night , patchy snow cover all thurs morning.  Tristram's starlings heard farther up in neighbourhood

Friday 11 Jan

expanse of spring groundsel between valley road and a little plantation of saplings, pretty much as it looks today as if it weren't covered with snow just yesterday morning! Also blooming there now, vivid orange little field calendula and some delicate purple Roman storksbill.

a female or immature stonechat was foraging in the rocks off to the side, small groups of finches about, greenfinch and others, calls of Syrian woodpeckers, Prinia, Eurasian jay and great tit heard in the pines and, up on the hill, jackdaws and hoodies. Lots of hyrax about, scampering over the rocks and the road, out to munch on suitable greenery. Some blooming vipers bugloss and asphodel also noticed.

Saturday 12 Jan

Small flocks of linnets noticed lower edge of neighbourhood,  some blackbird song, great tit calls, Prinia vocalizations, hyraxes active, three gazelle noticed east field and Pistacias.  Lots of ring neck parakeet activity, calls, gardens and also in tall trees near cistern. 

Sunday 13 Jan 

 Bulbuls heard garden. nice walk, couple of gazelle running through Pistacia grove, black redstart bobbing on dry stone wall, hyraxes in their dens, blackbird calls, hoodies and jackdaws active as usual, lots chaffinch calls, didn't see or hear linnets today but did yesterday, about buildings and gardens, sunbirds, bulbuls, house sparrows and laughing doves.. didn't hear ring neck parakeets today but quite a few times yesterday in gardens and down by cistern.

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