Friday, January 28, 2005

I've taken a few walks around the perimeter here at my camp. There's still a few puddles around and the sand is still moist and looks like brown sugar.

This morning I saw a white wagtail feeding in the pebbles behind our shower. There were also a couple of house sparrows and a pair of rock doves.

Most of the camp is flat and sandy. Big sand berms surround the camp with little spiny bushes growing here and there. In some areas near the edge of the berm, new grass has sprouted up along with some small semisucculent plants.

The ants are plentiful. I saw at least 4 species. The smallest were tiny black ants perhaps a millimeter long. The nests were grouped together like little volcanoes 2 inches across. The largest were big black harvester ants coming out of mounds 10 inches across. Plenty of food for a fat lizard. Last year about this time I caught a large Dhub-Dhub or Spiny-tailed Lizard on a rifle range north of here.

I found some good sized holes near the base of some spiny bushes. One had fresh rodent droppings. A few types of gerbils are native to this area so it might have been one of them.

I turned over a few large boards looking for insects and scorpions. I found a colony of small white termites eating up the underside of a board. I also found a couple black tenebrionid beetles hiding under debris and the empty puparium of a fly.

In an area with a lot of bushes and new grass I found two species of Wheatear. A Desert Wheatear flew just in front of me as a walked through, perching on bushes and pumping its tail up and down. On one of the berms I saw an Isabelline Wheatear.


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