Wednesday, May 1, 2013

2nd half April

 Below: Bi-coloured centaury (Volutaria crupinoides) photographed at Argaman:

above: swallowtail on Bauhinia  (Malkishua gardens, Gilboa)  Below: olive tree flowers

Roadside Beit Shean: above , Painted lady, below, convolvulus which forms loose large cushions.. a number of these noticed by the wayside..

Group of white storks soaring on thermals on road between Jerusalem and sea level marker on road to Jericho.. 13 in frame, 3 of those relatively quite a bit higher.. there may have been a couple more outside the frame. Below: Limonium photographed at Argaman

Pics above from trip to Gilboa 24th April

Wed 17 April

most signif.. while walking east along north watercourse dirt road noticed roller flying across to bat cave trees.. A little later we walked up hill to north west and over to olive grove, sage vale.  Amongst olives noticed in all 5 European rollers, two pairs staying fairly close to each other.. flying to and fro amongst olives and to hill ridge behind us.. could have included the one I saw earlier, impossible to know for sure.. if not, then six individuals all. I suspect family group from last year as from colouring not all individuals fully mature.

More than 18 gazelle in north watercourse, all males of various ages but with clear male horns.. headed up hill as we and some kids approached.  Later saw  another group of 9 females and well grown young further over to east on open hill.

Bee-eaters on line over hillside.. a dozen or so.. had seen in last couple of days flocks of 15 or so over Pistacias and fields. Pair of kestrels seen and heard up from bat cave almost every day .. where nesting? Using a cypress or one of the towers?

In woods Eurasian jay, great tits, blackbirds, Eurasian jays vocal and active.

Sunday 21st April

Has been raining quite a bit in last few days.. walk out today just after 5 p.m. quite sunny and much bird activity, temp around 12 degrees C. 

Wild carrot flowering now.. the root is hard and pale.. not very edible, would take a fair bit of boiling! More chicory flowering in woods than ever saw before. 

Sunny and lots of bird activity after the rain.. great tits feeding young in acacias by north watercourse.. saw adults foraging and heard calls of young birds in acacia, also some song.  several masked shrikes about, v attractive little birds.. bachelor herd gazelles grazing by north watercourse again.. group of about half a dozen rollers, probably same ones we saw a few days ago, looking for food over north watercourse and hill side up from bat cave, flying about in their beautiful turquoise plumage like massive butterflies, swifts quite high over north watercourse, a Buteo coming down to cypresses by east field annoying hoodies, hoodies, jackdaws, chukars centre of east woods, jays, Syrian woodpeckers all vocal and active. Blackbird song and bulbuls.. hopping! Also greenfinches calling in young pines, collared doves in woods, on lines and in trees but no coos today.  Call of young great spotted cuckoo in east woods as seen from valley road.. attending hoodies seen. 

Sdei Trumot 24th April

Just a few pied kingfishers.. activity not noticed at the nest but I only had a few mins. Several collared doves noticed near shore.  Spur winged plovers heard but not seen. 

A score of white storks noticed over road towards Jericho just out of Jerusalem to north, flying on thermals. 

Several cattle egrets noticed in rift valley north of Jericho. 

Last day of April towards sunset, scores of Buteos, most with terminal tail bars.. at least one if not more without terminal tail bar, brownrufous body I assume long legged buzzard.. all slowly drifting north, flying, criss crossing at various heights.  

Grey grey shrike on top of high pylon arrangement red/white for signals..

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