Sunday, June 16, 2013

June 1st Half

Eumenes wasp on Eryngium 2nd week of June, near pumping station. 

Temps variable, mild, some days up to about 24,25 degrees C, a few up to early 30s , a very few into mid and upper 30s 

by 17th June Thin safflower already seen in bloom and caper bugs infesting some of the caper plants.

collared doves still cooing, displaying at females. Turtle doves cooing particularly on more sunny days.

Black eared wheatears seen.. male at and around bunker rubble by look-out corner,  another not far from shaft near north watercourse in the open.  Heard but not seen in east field. first year male seen on rocks by north watercourse dirt road

Mourning or Hooded, prob latter seen briefly by north watercourse, acacia area.. too briefly to be 100% sure and didn't reappear. 

Hyrax.. plenty activity along valley road including by path down by shul from across road to valley road.. young seen.

Gazelle.. at least two, prob three or four young seen between east watercourse and small olive grove , at least one in company of female with the one right horn.

Bee-eaters regular over Pistacia orchard and gazelle field lately.. up to 40 or so birds but usually half or less than that seen.

Greenfinches active, vocal, singing various parts of east watercourse woods and esp around look out corner.  Also seen coming down to feed on thistles in look out corner area.
Jays, jackdaws, hooded crows. graceful warblers
stone curlews more vocal middle June. Calls of  great tits, blackbird (some song) ,
Kestrel heard from trees up from bat cave but no hobby sightings lately.. call and sight of bird more like sparrowhawk. Near pumping station remains of dark winged medium size passerine could have been killed by hobby or sparrowhawk.

11 June trip north

Maaleh Adumim.. dozens of Tristram's grackles in large Tipuana near bird andarta. Also by there on grass two Indian mynahs. 

At Sdei Trumot pool: little egret hunting not far from outflow,  spur winged plovers about, pied kingfishers on large pipe over pool.

Malkishua.. warblers spotted.. had heard Sylvia type warblers in bushes all about for some time but not got glimpse.. harsh calls almost like masked shrikes.. then saw bird near ground.. photo. Amir Balaban said looked like young Sardinian warbler

May 2nd half

28th May 

Sdei Trumot: no kingfishers at all today.. quite a few spur winged plover.. about the water and flying about, calling.  Little egret hunting by outflow where I have seen it on a number of previous visits.. could be same individual or just a good place for little egrets.  Max water agitation at that point.

turtle dove calls.. bulbuls, sunbirds in gardens as well as syrian woodpeckers, ,  a number cattle egrets spotted by rift valley road.

Beit Shean road Akiva spotted a number of Francolins on and by road, several individuals along a relatively short stretch.

Along a longer stretch between Argaman and Beit Shean grassy undulating hills charred on west side of road for several miles.. only extending to east side of road in a couple of limited strips.

blooming by roadside on way out of Jerusalem lots of Tree tobacco.. also seen three weeks ago.  Lots of globe thistle blooming coming into Gilboa, still some of the pink convolvulus cushions and the last of the hollyhocks.
Gulmohar blooming as well as Jacaranda and a yellow/orange flowered leguminous tree whose name I forget but will insert here when I remember.

spider down tunnel at Malkishua in Gilboa

Spur winged plover flying over car park towards pool Sdei Trumot.. Above, a spider in its tunnel spotted by Moshe.

Lately in the valley.. three sets of mother and kid gazelle, perhaps more, spotted by east watercourse/pistacia grove, east field to small olive orchard.  On hill ridge to our north east we noticed a mother with TWO kids.. can't be sure if twins or if one fostered.  Bucks, bachelor herd still commonly found in north watercourse area eucalyptus grove near where it comes out into the open.. up to 20 ..

Lately.. chukars heard, sometimes seen.. bee-eaters commonly heard, flock of anything up to 30 or so birds, male pale race black eared wheatear on bunker rebars, hurray!

29th May

For the first time saw Indian (common) Mynah on our patch! .. just one individual and quite confiding, foraging on the ground by north watercourse dirt road.. let me come within thirty feet. Feral populations of this escape have been spreading across the country in recent years, first noticed in Jerusalem about a year ago.

would have been great photo op if I had not (again!) left the recording chip in the pc! oops! Hopefully we'll get another chance if they let us get this close.. I approached , got to about 20 feet when it headed off low glide towards coral gums by the watercourse, calling low  melodious ''grurrp'' , spooked a jay from near where it landed , saw it last perched on top of a sapling tube.

Apart from the mynah: syrian woodpeckers, graceful warblers both active and vocal, blackbird in song.  Several gazelle about.. lately, in last couple of weeks have seen a number of male gazelle sitting on ground resting.  Also I notice when they move they invariably wag the tail briskly from side to side when they stop moving, as if to signal ''I'm over here now'' , and stare back at us.