This is a great white pelican video.
Today, again to the “Baillon’s crake reserve”.
Not because any Baillon’s crake had been seen there. However, a slightly bigger but also rare relative of the Baillon’s crake, the spotted crake, had been spotted there yesterday.
This is a spotted crake video from Spain.
Near the reserve entrance, gadwall ducks swimming. A great cormorant sitting on the highest whip of the windmill.
Four snipes resting on a small island in the southern lake. Two birders tell me the spotted crake was seen here half an hour before I arrived, but it is not visible now. Sam Gobin had managed to photograph and film the bird.
Sam Gobin also tells me about a water rail which he had seen a bit further north, but I don’t see the water rail now either.
I hear a young little grebe call.
On the northern lake, a spoonbill sleeping. Another spoonbill looking for food.
About twenty shoveler ducks.
On the bank of the canal near the railway, a mother Egyptian goose with five chicks which have grown to nearly her own size.
A tufted duck. Grey lag geese.
A lesser black-backed gull flying.
On the bank of the northern canal, three Canada geese, and an Egyptian goose calling to four chicks swimming not far away.
Back to the southern lake. Though I still don’t see the water rail, at least I hear it now.
12:20. For a few seconds I see the juvenile spotted crake coming out of the bank vegetation. Just a bit more to the south than where Sam Gobin saw it earlier today. The first time ever that I have seen this species.
The snipes are still resting.
12:30. Where I had seen the spotted crake, a common sandpiper. Suddenly, the spotted crake comes bursting out of the vegetation and drives the “intruder”, just about a centimeter smaller than it, away.
- Porzana parva (animalsoftheworldblog.wordpress.com)
- How our fens were sacrificed for more farms (independent.co.uk)
- Savi’s warbler, willow warbler, wren and curlews (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Ruff, redshank and wigeon (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Margaret Atwood: I’ll Never Be A Ballerina, I’ll Never Be A Mason (mrcarapace.wordpress.com)
- Warbler watching is Zen Birding… (abirdingblog.wordpress.com)
- Birds abound in parched western Qld (abc.net.au)
- bonnie’s #CBR5 Review #25: Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (cannonballread5.wordpress.com)
Bahrain teenager dies of injuries after protest
31 Aug 2011 12:07
A police official told the state news agency BNA that the incident was being investigated, without saying how the boy was injured.
“There was no reported police action against law-breakers … at the time the boy’s death was reported, except dispersing a small group of around 10 people at 1:15 a.m.,” the agency quoted the official as saying.
Small scale protests and clashes with security forces frequently break out in areas where the majority Shi’ite population live after the Sunni-dominated government crushed a pro-democracy movement earlier this year.
Saudi and United Arab Emirates troops helped U.S.-allied Bahrain stamp out protests it says were driven by Shi’ite sectarian motivations and instigated by non-Arab Shi’ite power Iran across the Gulf. Opposition groups deny this. (Writing by Firouz Sedarat; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
Bahrain: On the afternoon of April 12, plain-clothes security officials arrested Ghazi Farhan, a businessman, in his office parking lot: here.
Bahrain: U.N. Shows Concern Over Human Rights Violations: here.
US support for militarism, not democracy, in the Middle East: here.
This video is called Looting Libya: Who’s first for oil?
With the US and its European allies set to install a puppet regime in Libya based on the Benghazi-based National Transitional Council, deep divisions have emerged among the NATO-led rebels. These divisions, which include tensions with elements of Al Qaeda, pose the threat of continued fighting between rival factions well after the overthrow of the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is completed: here.
Libya’s Nato-backed National Transitional Council (NTC) today rejected proposals for the United Nations to deploy military observers to the country: here.
Archaeologists in contact with colleagues in Libya say that their nation’s antiquities appear safe despite the chaos in the country. That news is contrary to reports earlier this week, which claimed that Libya’s museums were being plundered and sites destroyed in NATO bombing raids: here.
This video is called Hardship for Libya‘s Bangladeshi migrants.
U.S. pledges no ground troops in Libya, but…: here.
African Union chairman Jean Ping accused Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) on Monday of failing to protect civilians, especially black Libyans and migrant workers from sub-Saharan Africa: here.
As rebels take Tripoli, foreign powers are eyeing the prize of Libya’s high quality crude oil: here.
British businesses are scrambling to return to Libya in anticipation of the end to the country’s civil war, but they are concerned that European and North American rivals are already stealing a march as a new race to turn a profit out of the war-torn nation begins: here.
Even as we celebrate the victory of the Libyan people we might note that violence invariably taints a revolution, and the bill of the carnage is yet to be paid: here.
Sad day for Africa as counter-revolution triumphs in Libya: here.
USA: Leaked cable: Sen. McCain promised to help Gaddafi obtain U.S. military hardware: here.
Libya’s revolution disgraced by racism: here.
This video says about itself:
Compared To What
The song was recorded in 1969 by pianist Les McCann and saxophonist Eddie Harris for their album, Swiss Movement, recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival.
By Hiram Lee in the USA:
Gene McDaniels, soul singer and songwriter, dead at 76
30 August 2011
Singer and songwriter Gene McDaniels died July 29 at the age of 76. McDaniels is perhaps best-known for having composed the protest song “Compared to What,” made famous by jazz musicians Les McCann and Eddie Harris, and the R&B standard “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” recorded by numerous performers, most notably Roberta Flack. He was a talented composer and an even more impressive singer. …
As interesting as much of it was, McDaniels’ early pop music only hinted at what he was capable of. By the late 1960s, his music would undergo a dramatic change as he embraced radical politics and began to experiment with a fusion of jazz, soul and rock.
This dramatic change of direction was certainly not exclusive to McDaniels. The experience of civil rights struggles and the anti-Vietnam war protest movement, of the immense social crisis then underway, had a radicalizing effect on many musicians and artists of the period. One began to see works in which popular musicians took up significant social and political themes for the first time—Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On being a prime example. But even for those artists who did not create explicitly political works, one felt a musical complacency being challenged.
McDaniels’ best work of the late 1960s and early 1970s came to life with a new confidence and ambition that would have been unthinkable without the social upheavals of that period.
In 1969, jazz musicians McCann and Harris recorded “Compared to What,” a hard-driving, soul-jazz composition by McDaniels, and the first to give a sense of his new direction. The song articulated McDaniels’ disgust with the Vietnam War. McCann’s gruff voice sang the angry lyrics:
“The President, he’s got his war
Folks don’t know just what it’s for
Nobody gives us rhyme or reason
Have one doubt, they call it treason”
Recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the audible excitement of the audience only made the recording that much more powerful.
McDaniels’ 1971 album Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse is most representative of his work from this period. The album has become something of a cult classic, particularly for a younger generation of listeners who were first introduced to the recording by the many hip hop artists who sampled it.
Listening to Headless Heroes, one is struck by its audacity. McDaniels is trying and taking on everything. There are songs about racism, colonialism, consumerism, as well as a few gospel-tinged parables, and even a tribute to Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger. In some ways the album is a mess, far too eclectic. But there are inspired moments.
Among the more interesting songs is “Headless Heroes,” in which McDaniels sings of his disgust with the forces who foster and exploit racial and national divisions, using ordinary people as “pawns in the master game.” In one remarkable moment, he sings, “Get it together and see what’s happening!”
“Susan Jane,” the amusing but not unsympathetic story of a middle class hippie girl, “beautifully insane, standing barefoot in the middle of the muddy road” provides the album with one of its gentler and more delightful moments.
Songwriter Nick Ashford who, along with his wife Valerie Simpson, wrote several significant hits for Motown records in the late 1960s, has died at age 70: here.
Prolific songwriter Jerry Leiber dead at 78: here.
Bands like Odd Future and Iceage are sparking debate about why musicians should take racism and sexism seriously: here.
This video is called Wildlife Apocalypse: Video of Gulf birds, fish caught in BP oil spill.
By Hiram Lee in the USA:
Gulf slick matches oil from BP spill
30 August 2011
Independent scientists have confirmed that oil spotted on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico last week is a chemical match to oil from BP‘s Macondo well, the source of last year’s horrific oil spill disaster.
Reports of oil visible in the area surrounding the Macondo well, permanently sealed since September of last year, began to emerge on August 19 when members of the Gulf Restoration Network observed patches of oil sheen during a flyover tour of the site.
Following this, on August 24, journalist Ben Raines of Alabama’s Press-Register reported having seen hundreds of oil patches, roughly 4 to 5 feet across, spread over the surface of the water, all within a mile of the Macondo wellhead. “Most of the oil,” Raines wrote, “was located in a patch about 50 yards wide and a quarter of a mile long.” Oil rising to the surface was accompanied by a “pronounced and pungent petroleum smell,” he added.
Samples of the oil collected by Press-Register reporters were sent to Louisiana State University chemists Ed Overton and Scott Miles for testing. “After examining the data, I think it’s a dead ringer for the MC252 [Macondo well] oil, as good a match as I’ve seen,” Overton told the Press-Register. He added, “My guess is that it is probably coming from the broken riser pipe or sunken [Deepwater Horizon] platform… However, it should be confirmed, just to make sure there is no leak from the plugged well.”
Robert Bea, a petroleum engineer at the University of California who has studied the Deepwater Horizon disaster, responded to photographic evidence of the oil and eye-witness reports of the scene by telling the Press-Register: “Looks suspicious. The point of surfacing about one mile from the well is about the point that the oil should show up, given the seafloor at 5,000 feet… natural circulation currents would cause the drift.” He continued: “A remote operated vehicle (ROV) could be used to ‘back track’ the oil that is rising to the surface to determine the source. This should be a first order of business to confirm the source.”
See also here.
BP prepares to drill Great Australian Bight: here.
The Scottish National Party boosted its love affair with big business today by attacking as “cack-handed” a decision by Westminster to levy a windfall tax on oil companies: here.
China says ConocoPhillips failed to completely clean up oil spills: here.
Translated from Rense Haveman and Iris de Ronde in the Netherlands:
Usnea flavocardia lichen comeback
Monday, August 29, 2011
During the inventory of the vegetation on the military training ground Joost Dourleinkazerne on Texel in a young dune grassland 19 specimens of the lichen Usnea flavocardia, which was presumed to be extinct, have been found. The find was extra special because the lichen was found on the ground. Normally it grows on tree branches and trunks.
Usnea flavocardia in the last one hundred years had been found only once before, in 1991 in a swamp in Soerendonk in North Brabant province. Usnea flavocardia had also been seen a few times in the first decade of the twentieth century.
The part of the training area where this rarity is found is not used by the military. It consists of very young dunes, which grew after 1995 on the Hors, the broad sandbar on the south side of Texel. Nature can develop here freely. Besides the pioneer grasslands, where Usnea flavocardia grows, very species rich wet dune valleys are present as well. By the action of wind and water there are all sorts of valuable transitions between wet and dry, sweet and salty habitats, in which many plants and animals feel at home.
See also here.
The surprisingly toxic world of lichens: here.
September 2011: Home to some of Britain’s rarest plants, the sand dune is finally becoming the focus of a pioneering three-year conservation project: here.
This video from the USA is called Irene Isolates: towns in Vermont, New Jersey cut off as bridges washed out.
Irene: Flooding Cuts Off Towns in Vermont, New York: here.
Vermont Towns Battle Historic Floods From Irene As Death Toll Tops 40: here.
The death toll from Hurricane Irene rose to 42 yesterday as inland areas of the Northeast US were still experiencing severe flooding: here.
What My Hurricane Irene Evacuation Taught Me About Poverty: here.
The 5 Dumbest Right-Wing Reactions to Hurricane Irene: here.
Video: Images from Space Capture Hurricane Irene’s Rise, Fall: here.
Hurricane Irene 2011’s Path Along The East Coast (INTERACTIVE MAP): here.
Irene Destroys Sea Turtle Nests up and Down Florida’s Coast: here.