Birdwatching all over Europe


Video tutorial for viewing nocturnal bird migration using radar from David La Puma on Vimeo.

This video from the USA says about itself:

This is a video tutorial which shows how you can use radar to view nocturnal bird migration for anywhere in the United States. The information is related to two migration monitoring websites, woodcreeper.com, and badbirdz2.wordpress.com, and more information can be found there.

From BirdLife:

EuroBirdwatch 2010: the wonder of migration

Mon, Oct 4, 2010

Over the past weekend, almost 60,000 people from 34 European countries enthusiastically took part in EuroBirdwatch 2010, BirdLife’s event to observe the fascinating migration of birds flying south for the winter.

Many BirdLife Partners across Europe, from Portugal to Turkey, from Malta to Finland, participated organising over 1,000 national events. …

Participants were excited to make observations of White-winged Lark Melanocorypha leucoptera in Sweden, Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos in Hungary and Finland, Peregrine Falcon Falco Peregrinus in Belarus, Lammergeier Gypaetus barbatus in Armenia and Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor in Ukraine.

With great surprise of birdwatchers, 34 Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus have been seen in Montenegro, the highest number in the last 115 years. The most frequently observed species were Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris and Mallard Anas platyrhynchos.

Migration News Blog, summarising the recent highlights that have been reported to the BirdTrack team: here.

A graceful forest of Birch trees stand on the edge of a Swedish lake. The melodious song of a Blackcap fills the air of an early summer morning, along with Redwings, Chaffinches, Willow Warblers and other northern birdsong. From across the water carries the occasional wild calling of Red-throated Loons: here.

Flamingoes apply pink “makeup” to impress mates: here.

American bug on Texel, the Netherlands


This video from the USA is about western conifer seed bugs.

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island, the Netherlands:

U.S. bug on Texel – 04/10/1910

It was sitting there, feasting on a small coniferous tree in the garden of Ecomare employee Dick Schermer. The first western conifer seed bug of Texel! This insect is native to North America, and only in 2007 it arrived in the Netherlands via England. Because they can fly well, they are now found in many places in the Netherlands, especially in the coastal zone.

Insect ‘hotel’ outside Ecomare, Texel: here.

Ugandan troops leaving Somalia after torture accusations?


This video is called Civilians killed in Somali fighting.

From Garowe Online (Garowe, Somalia):

Somalia: Uganda Vows to Remove Their Soldiers

3 October 2010

Uganda government vowed to remove their troops from Somalia after UN accuses Ugandan forces of participating in the attacks and recommends that the international community seeks to prosecute those responsible, Radio Garowe reports.

“The reports released by U.N will interfere about the peacekeeping process done by Ugandan soldier in internally or externally, it may lead us remove our troops from chaotic country, Somalia,” Uganda Interior Minister, Sam Kutesa told the reporters.

Kutesa urged that Ugandan government may eliminate their 4500 soldier in Somali capital of Mogadishu.

The United Nations released a report on Friday documenting hundreds of atrocities in the former Zaire between 1993 and 2003.

The report accused Uganda of massacre and torture of civilians, warned it could review the attendance of its 4,300 troops in Somalia as part of an African Union contingent.

Uganda and Burundi are the only countries that have contributed troops to the African Union peacekeeping mission in war-torn Somalia.

Somali Conflict Extends To Refugees In Kenya: here.

Afghan prisoner executed at British military base


This video from Britain says about itself:

13 July 2009 — Video showing a British soldier screaming abuse at hooded Iraqi detainees has been played at the public inquiry into the death of Baha Mousa.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

MoD manual reveals ‘execution’ of prisoner by Afghan soldier

Details of shooting by Afghan soldier on UK base in Helmand province revealed by MoD as part of Baha Mousa inquiry

* Amelia Hill
* Sunday 3 October 2010 20.41 BST

A prisoner has been “executed” on a British base in Helmand province by an Afghan soldier, Ministry of Defence documents have disclosed.

The shooting of the detainee on the small UK-controlled patrol base in Musa Qala in March was revealed in an MoD training manual for troops deploying to Afghanistan. The manual was released as part of the Baha Mousa public inquiry into abuse of Iraqi prisoners.

British troops did not directly witness the killing but were, it is believed, nearby at the time. They handed the Afghan soldier over to local authorities but it is not known what then happened to him, despite a subsequent inquiry into the affair.

The revelation came as the MoD admitted having paid £102,000 to the families of at least 35 Afghan civilians killed as a result of Nato operations in Afghanistan.

Compensation claims relating to the deaths of another 17 Afghans are still under investigation, according to data released by the MoD in response to a freedom of information request.

Campaigners have long expressed concerns about the treatment of Afghan prisoners captured by British forces. In June, anti-war activist Maya Evans won a partial victory in her high court challenge against Britain’s policy of transferring Taliban suspects to the Afghan authorities.

She said the policy had led to “horrible abuse” of detainees in violation of international law and human rights.

Torture by British troops; here.

Afghanistan Disbanding Security Companies? Maybe Not So Fast: here.

US officials are calling the Afghanistan election for parliament a success, even as fraud allegations mount: here.

Year 10 of the Afghan war and an increasing number of veterans are telling us the war isn’t making us safer NEW VIDEO here.

On 10th Anniversary of Afghan War, US Stymied in Pakistan, Forced to Negotiate with Taliban: here.

Afghan Female Bloggers Wince and Then Upload: here.

Britain: A human rights watchdog said today that it has launched judicial review proceedings against the government, alleging that newly published guidance on torture is illegal: here.

Pakistan’s Dawn on Reprieve’s Bagram clients — and our lawsuit demanding the Pakistani government help them: here.

British birds in danger


This is a video from Britain about the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

From the Daily Telegraph in Britain:

Forty species of some of Britain’s most recognised birds, including the skylark, the sparrow and the cuckoo, are in urgent need of rapid conservation work if they are to survive, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has warned.