Green sandpiper and firefinch


10 February 2012.

After our arrival in Tendaba, to the Gambia river bank.

16:58: a green sandpiper on the bank.

This is a green sandpiper video.

A hose has leaked; creating a small puddle of weater near a bush. Now, in the dry season, this is a welcome waterhole for birds. The bush means that, if a human or other intruder approaches, the birds can quickly fly to cover.

The water atracts seven red-billed firefinches. Also lavender waxbills; and common bulbuls.

Not much later, the water was gone.

Baboons and sunbirds


10 February 2012 in the Gambia.

My earlier report on today ended with Guinea baboons.

This one begins with Guinea baboons as well, with over twenty of them on a peanut field. A photo of those baboons is here.

Black-headed plovers.

An Abyssinian roller.

A group of Namaqua pigeons in a tree.

Pygmy sunbird

As we have lunch: pygmy sunbirds.

A white-headed vulture flying; an uncommon bird in the Gambia.

A dark chanting goshawk in a tree near the road.

We arrive in Tendaba.

Marabou storks and eagle owls in Gambia


Friday 10 February.

Baobolong camp in the Gambia.

Common bulbul singing.

Red-billed hornbill landing in a tree.

A fine-spotted woodpecker.

Long-tailed glossy starlings.

The bus leaves Janjanbureh island over the southern bridge.

After yesterday, we are going back to Tendaba today.

At 9:45, a marabou stork nesting colony in a group of tall trees.

This video is called Marabou Storks Eating, Grooming, Mating & Generaly Brooding.

Young marabou storks try to spread their wings and fly, maybe for the first time. A photo of this is here.

Just under the marabou storks’ nests are weavers‘ nests.

Mosque swallows. Red-chested swallows.

We continue to a big tree near peanut fields. There, a male and a female Verreaux’ eagle owl sit, a meter away from each other. A photo is here.

Here are two Verreaux’ eagle owl videos.

Not far away, an Abyssinian roller.

A pygmy sunbird.

11:29: along the main road, a short-toed eagle flying.

Then, a Wahlberg’s eagle.

A grey kestrel on a treetop.

Guinea baboons in a tree across the road.

Mock elections in Yemen


By Will Morrow:

Yemen: US-brokered presidential elections held with single candidate

25 February 2012

Presidential elections were held on Tuesday in Yemen as part of a US-brokered agreement that retains the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh without Saleh himself. Underscoring the fraudulent character of the elections, Mansour Al-Hadi, Saleh’s vice president for 17 years, was the sole candidate.

Hadi, a former general in South Yemen who was appointed vice president by Saleh in 1994 following reunification with the north, is expected to be officially inaugurated on Monday. He will remain president for at least two years before new elections are held.

According to election officials, only 60 percent of the population turned out to vote, and as little as 40 percent in parts of the south. Thousands protested in the capital on the day of the vote to call for Saleh, who until recently was residing in the United States, to be placed on trial. According to Al Jazeera, similar protests have taken place daily in the lead-up to the election. More than 100,000 soldiers were reportedly deployed to polling stations nationally.

The elections are part of an agreement orchestrated by the Obama administration with the support of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Yemenis feel the US’ covert military campaign is further destabilising their country: here.

At least 25 Killed by Recent US Drone Strikes in Yemen, Allegedly Targeting Militants Linked to al-Qaeda: here.

Why Is President Obama Keeping a Journalist in Prison in Yemen?
Jeremy Scahill, The Nation: “On February 2, 2011, President Obama called Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The two discussed counterterrorism cooperation and the battle against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). At the end of the call, Obama ‘expressed concern’ over the release of a man named Abdulelah Haider Shaye, whom Obama said ‘had been sentenced to five years in prison for his association with AQAP.’ Abdulelah Haider Shaye is not an Islamist militant or an Al Qaeda operative. He is a journalist”: here.