Sunday, June 16, 2013

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.

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