Wednesday, February 13, 2013

February First Half

7th Feb

Seen flowering for the first time this season- between north watercourse and hidden watercourse: Aethionema carneum - (pink) stonecress, Ciliate vetchling (Lathyrus blepharicarpus),op clover (Trifolium campestre) as well as a small pink/white, slightly spiny/hairy clover and a yellow clover with single flowers plus lots of vegetation of white clover and others up in many places. 

more vocal stone curlew in evenings lately.. in woods, calls of chaffinch, chiffchaff, great tits calls, some song on sunny days lately, some Syrian woodpecker calls,  lots of hoodie calls.. seems they're picking out nesting spots later, Akiva noticed one carrying nesting material a few days ago. I also suspect collared doves also doing same top of cypresses (near bat cave).  Call of great spotted cuckoo also heard? 

Vocalisations of bulbuls in garden, some sunbird but not so much, laughing dove coos. ring neck parakeets sporadic,  jackdaws randomly vocal but seems flock on move, sometimes about, sometimes foraging elsewhere but hoodies regularly seen and heard. 

Small finches heard, linnets, greenfinches, possibly goldfinches in tree canopies, pretty much random sightings and hearings.  A few white wagtails roosting in the densely foliaged trees lower Elias. 

gazelle: 24 in region of north watercourse a couple of days ago.. first mixed , then bucks headed up hill towards hidden watercourse, females and well grown young headed out into field to east of bat cave.. 14 of them were adult bucks,  last one of those seen separate, coming out of young pines by service road. 

hyrax active by valley road, no young seen lately, generally out when it's dry, in when damp unless it's a gap between rains in which case they will come out to forage. 

10 Feb 

yesterday Malcolmia found in field near cistern on small island of green and flowers though about it much of the ground seemed pretty dead.. as if flood waters washed over it had killed it.. also some stretches by east watercourse similarly affected though not obviously by flood water.. I do wonder, though, if some treatment chemicals from the pumping station or from the road above or somewhere might be toxic to the local vegetation.  Effect on field by rubble and cistern marked.

greenfinches.. some twittering and chawing calls in pines near field across from cistern, almond trees flowering , the large one and a smaller one that we had not noticed flowerng before between the large one and look-out corner.  

Today.. on line over north field near north watercourse in open repeated high pitched trilling call like corn bunting recording, and noticed above on line 13 individuals, silhoutte but clearly conical bills, shallow forked tail.  Kestrel calls up slope up from bat cave, then one flew down towards pines near owl glade.. also saw a sparrowhawk fly that way.. soon after strident repeated calls of sparrowhawk.

blackbird calls in woods near east watercourse.  Prinia calls from various places.  repeated tic tic calls near east watercourse, sounded like angry European robin. Garden: laughing dove coos. Bulbul calls. 
Stone curlew fairly regular calls evening. 

13 Feb

Return to Sdei Truma: the little pool was less populated today.. the great white egrets and bulk of the cormorants were gone but there was one lone great cormorant standing on the pipe in the middle, a couple of little egrets at the edge, a grey heron, pied kingfisher also on that pipe and, to my delight, the much smaller blue and orange European kingfisher was flitting between perches across the pool. A number of spur winged plovers along far bank, at least three pairs. In the eucs by the pool, chaffinches, a chiffchaff in full song, great tits, Eurasian jays and other unidentified passerines. A pair of kestrels vied for possession of some dainty clutched in talons on a tower across the pool. New pics today, must process.  

one lone immature large size gull swimming by itself on the pool, all over mottled grey and dark bill, a number of cattle egrets along the Jordan valley, one hunting by a donkey. saw some gamebird crossing the road.. I think female black francolin ,Akiva as he had a longer view of it and agrees best guess so far, strong dark striations on the body. No hirundines at all noticed today but a number of doves and Akiva spotted a starling type flock.