Friday, March 15, 2013

March 1st Half

 3rd March   

Below- 2 legumes found between edge of neighbourhood and valley road. First near Medicago seedpod in spare patch of land between two buildings, in little raised island of veg.  Also lots of hop clover nearby.  Other clovers also blooming now including white clover.

flower above only found, so far, in this one place, by ramp on way down to valley road near lots of birds foot trefoil and blue pimpernel.

Also lots of blooms of pink butterfly orchid under pines and also quite a bit of Ophrys lutea but no other orchids.  Asphodel , many of them producing healthy berry like fruit despite presence of Mirid bugs on almost every other one.

great tit calls and song, blackbird calls and song.  Foraging hoodies and now plainly territorial in tree tops.. great spotted cuckoos noticed since middle of last week, calling, flying about lower part of pines and across north watercourse, but not today.  Chukars also on lower hillsides, kestrels heard up from bat cave, usual area we have seen them. Stonechat male in lower east field still no swifts seen but may have heard scream of one midday/early afternoon today.
greenfinches starting to be vocally active lower pines, chaw calls heard today.  chaffinches still about a few days back, a whole little group in bare tree in euc grove near cistern and collared dove on line in area.. still not cooing though did hear coos Gilboa area last week already. call of corn bunting in east field a few days back

Bulbuls, sunbirds, laughing doves, house sparrows active and vocal in garden/adjoining gardens.

SWIFTS finally heard 9th March just after sunset over east valley,high, didn't see them, just heard them.  May have heard them a few days earlier over street briefly from my room but could'nt be completely sure do to lots of other street noise 

10th March.. noticed first Campanula on hillside , south facing.  C. hierosolymitana prob.
also more calls of great spotted cuckoo into dusk from east woods.

13 March

Sdei Trumot

I was pointed at a little egret that had just landed on that outer branch of the eucalyptus .has its crest plumes now.. sad the pic doesn't show it off well enough, need a more powerful lens for that.. only when zooming/reframing the pic at home did I notice I had also photographed a grey heron on the left.. hahaha!

also around the pool: several spur winged plovers, group of five pied kingfishers sitting on the dirt 'shore' other side of pool, one great white egret stalking along the edge of the pool, a grey heron standing on a little island, two black kites flying low.. a black stork up high and some kind of eagle soaring way higher.. two cormorants in the eucalyptus fluttering their gular pouches in the heat (just over 30 degrees C) least two little egrets

bulbuls, house sparrows, sunbirds, a blackcap? in something like a bay laurel.  

 Swifts  over town on way back.  Lots of Judas tree, Cercis siliquastrum in bloom.

Thursday 14 March 

Blackbird in song in forest towards dusk.  Calls of great spotted cuckoo, one sighted flying from rubble pines across forepart of gazelle field to pine grove,  Jay briefly spotted. Hoodies calls.  Collared doves



Sunday, March 3, 2013

Second Half February

16th Feb

Flowers seen in bloom in valley for first time today: the small purple vetch (Vicia palaestina), the pale off-white vetch, the six flowered clover/pea family plant , a small headed short member of Apiaceae.

kestrels heard, hyraxes active, a couple of gazelle east field, blackbird song, laughing doves coo, great tits and sunbirds vocal and active

brief attack of some raptor of a hoopoe between cistern tree and pine grove, didn't get any details of raptor as hoopoe drew our eyes but likely was one of the sparrowhawks.

20th Feb 

 Above: first orchid of season.. on north facing slope by Shadiker.

above, a legume blooming by east watercourse dirt road

 legume blooming by central trail.

flowers noticed blooming for the first time this season today,  two Ophrys orchids: green orchid, Ophrys lutea, on long trail down from end of Shadiker to north watercourse and Carmel - in flat area near north watercourse and, also in that area, grape hyacinth.. earliest I've seen one.

Also sparrowhawks, call of a kingfisher, staccato call, prob a white breasted but couldn't be sure, didn't get a look but Akiva confirmed it was one he heard near edge of neighbourhood a few days ago. great tit song, Prinias, calls of Tristram's starlings, blackbird, hoodies, jackdaws, Eurasian jay, chaffinches.

21st Feb

several gazelle about.. couple of instances of male following female.. head stretched forward, following, first female would trot away, just wanted to graze, male continued. Second instance, north slopes windsurfer hill male running at speed after the female.

chaffinches heard in pines quite regularly last few days, stone curlews pretty regularly heard in the evenings now,  laughing doves cooing in garden, jackdaw calls, jays foraging in low part of east field, hoodies there too, apparently took large morsel, large millipede? or perhaps a mole cricket , was hard to tell. saw jay with it on pine branch, usual technique, used foot. Blackbirds also heard regularly around sunset, various calls, song some days in last week, Prinia, 

23rd Feb

starling flock towards sunset , couple of hundred birds..  white wagtails using trees on Elias. 

24th Feb

morning not long after dawn:  chiffchaff singing, nearby garden.  laughing dove coos, sunbird activity, bulbul calls, jackdaw calls.

26th Feb

 chamomile daisies out now by valley road,  first campanula out in forest, more Ophrys lutea about, pair of great spotted cuckoos  heard and then seen in the lowest little pine wood by gazelle field. blackbird song, great tits, chukar partridges out in the field.

27th Feb

Sdei Trumot:  Several spur winged plovers on the opposite side of the pool,  at least two pied kingfishers about flying low, perching in tree, hovering high, vocalizing.  A white breasted kingfisher spotted perched on a wire beyond other side.. away from the water.  Several swallows hawking over the service station. little egret edge of water other side.  Hoopoe calling repeatedly in trees on service station side.    graceful warblers about, calling, great tit song and calls. Collared dove coos.
Sunbird calling repeatedly around dawn in garden.
Nadal arsi seen at Malkishua in lobby of building.

28th Feb

The mini irises first seen blooming in east field, lower north windsurfer hill