Eight hawfinches, siskins, jays at the cemetery


After looking at the balcony birds this morning, we went through the snow to the cemetery.

This video is called The Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus).

In a tree to the left of the entrance, about five siskins.

The bird in the upper right branch was not a siskin, but a hawfinch.

Great spotted woodpecker, nuthatch and blackbird sounds.

Six jays in a tree a bit further.

As we walk back, in the big tree near the exit, eight hawfinches and a siskin. And a magpie in a branch two meter under them.

Chinese Year of the Snake, English adders


This video is called Happy Chinese New Year of the Snake 2013.

This video about adders says about itself:

Vipera berus (huggorm) is the only venomous snake in Norway! I have made a video about this facinating creature. Too many people are killing them as soon as they see one. Maybe I can help change some minds?? Filmed in Ølen and Etne, Norway!

By Peter Frost in Britain:

The legless neighbours who mean no trouble

Thursday 07 February 2013

I always try to get up to the north Norfolk coast in winter. If you are lucky enough to get one of those crisp bright winter days as we did a week or so ago then there is no finer place on earth to blow away the winter cobwebs.

You will share the coast with thousands of winter birds and a few real surprise visitors and rarities.

My biggest, however, wasn’t a bird. It was snakes – more than I have ever seen at this time of year.

Adders are often spotted surprisingly early in the year. They are often seen in January or February on sunny days when the winter sun warms patches on the sandy paths and the adders emerge from their winter hibernation to bask.

My wife Ann pointed out 2013 is the Chinese year of the snake and suggested that was why there were so many this winter.

The adder is our commonest snake and sadly our most misunderstood – it is the only native venomous snake in Britain.

Adult males are rarely over two feet long, females might be a few inches longer but reports of adder sightings will often claim they are twice this long. Five and six foot claims are not unknown.

Most adders are distinctively marked with a dark zigzag running down the length of the spine and an inverted “V” shape on the neck.

Males are generally white or pale grey with a black zigzag. Females are a pale brown colour, with a darker brown zigzag.

A few are entirely black and are sometimes mistaken for exotic escaped snakes.

Adders are not aggressive animals. They will only bite as a last means of defence, usually if caught, cornered or trodden on.

No-one has died from adder bite in Britain for over 20 years. Only 14 deaths in the last century – 50 times more people die from bee and wasp stings.

With proper treatment, the worst effects of an adder bite are nausea and drowsiness followed by nasty swelling and bruising in the area of the bite.

Most people who are bitten were picking up the snake. Treat adders with respect, leave them alone, admire them from a distance and they will do you no harm.

The best time to see them is in early spring as they emerge from their hibernation dens.

Come April, the males will have shed their dull winter skin and are keen to mate – they rush about looking for females and occasionally wrestling with rival males.

The snakes writhe around each other in an impressive way, often covering the ground at great speed.

This behaviour was called the “dance of the adders” and was reckoned to be a mating ritual between a male and a female. We know better now.

Following mating, females seek out a suitable place to give birth, often travelling half a mile or more. Live births take place in late August to early September.

Adders do not lay eggs – young snakes are born live, a few inches long, perfectly formed miniature snakes.

During the autumn, adult snakes follow scent trails back to the hibernation site. Knots of snakes gather in sites they have used for years.

Adders usually eat small rodents – such as voles – lizards, frogs, newts, and occasionally young birds.

A full size adult will eat very little, perhaps no more than a dozen voles in a year.

Like all snakes, adders eat their prey whole. Flexible jaw bones and ribs mean they are able to swallow large prey whole.

Young adders are threatened by a variety of predators, including birds of prey – some are eaten by adult snakes. Others may be killed and eaten by rats or killed by cold while in hibernation.

They are protected by law against being killed, injured or disturbed – still every year many are killed by unthinking people.

Please don’t be one of them. Adders are a handsome addition to our countryside, especially in the Year of the Snake.

Chinese New Year in England: here.

My readers, from where? From where not?


Soon, it will be 25 February.

Then, it will be a year ago since WordPress statistics started showing from which countries visitors come.

I will maybe be too busy on 25 February to make a blog post on this.

So, I will do it now.

By now, people from most countries and territories in the world have read my blog.

There are a few exceptions. When I look at the WordPress stats map, most countries are orange; meaning visitors from there have come.

Some countries are white. Meaning, no visitors so far. They may include countries too small to show on the map. As far as I know, eg, so far I did not get any visits from San Marino, or the Saint Pierre and Miquelon islands.

Countries, big enough to see on the WordPress map with no visits so far include Turkmenistan, Greenland, Svalbard, North Korea, the Western Sahara, South Sudan, Chad, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Togo.

Here are stats for my visitors since WordPress started country by country figures.

Top Views by Country for all days ending 2013-02-10 (Summarized)

Country Views
United States FlagUnited States 50,453
United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom 23,750
Canada FlagCanada 7,616
Netherlands FlagNetherlands 6,587
Greece FlagGreece 4,792
India FlagIndia 3,920
Romania FlagRomania 3,693
Australia FlagAustralia 3,509
Germany FlagGermany 2,854
France FlagFrance 2,400
New Zealand FlagNew Zealand 1,893
Sweden FlagSweden 1,890
Italy FlagItaly 1,784
Belgium FlagBelgium 1,771
Jamaica FlagJamaica 1,452
Philippines FlagPhilippines 1,445
Spain FlagSpain 1,362
Armenia FlagArmenia 1,358
Singapore FlagSingapore 1,292
Indonesia FlagIndonesia 1,004
Ireland FlagIreland 916
Saudi Arabia FlagSaudi Arabia 812
Brazil FlagBrazil 794
Bahrain FlagBahrain 727
Turkey FlagTurkey 725
Pakistan FlagPakistan 708
Japan FlagJapan 694
South Africa FlagSouth Africa 692
Switzerland FlagSwitzerland 686
United Arab Emirates FlagUnited Arab Emirates 622
Russian Federation FlagRussian Federation 600
Thailand FlagThailand 599
Portugal FlagPortugal 592
Poland FlagPoland 590
Hong Kong FlagHong Kong 570
Finland FlagFinland 556
Malaysia FlagMalaysia 544
Norway FlagNorway 530
Denmark FlagDenmark 523
Mexico FlagMexico 486
Hungary FlagHungary 454
Korea, Republic of FlagRepublic of Korea 453
Israel FlagIsrael 415
Czech Republic FlagCzech Republic 379
Egypt FlagEgypt 360
Argentina FlagArgentina 321
Serbia FlagSerbia 310
Bulgaria FlagBulgaria 309
Lebanon FlagLebanon 287
Slovenia FlagSlovenia 269
Austria FlagAustria 267
Taiwan, Province of China FlagTaiwan 249
Sri Lanka FlagSri Lanka 242
Venezuela FlagVenezuela 209
Croatia FlagCroatia 200
Viet Nam FlagViet Nam 197
Malta FlagMalta 184
Ukraine FlagUkraine 170
Iceland FlagIceland 167
Morocco FlagMorocco 167
Kenya FlagKenya 167
Kuwait FlagKuwait 166
Qatar FlagQatar 158
Colombia FlagColombia 153
Slovakia FlagSlovakia 149
Bangladesh FlagBangladesh 143
Costa Rica FlagCosta Rica 140
Tunisia FlagTunisia 131
Ecuador FlagEcuador 125
Peru FlagPeru 115
Jordan FlagJordan 114
Lithuania FlagLithuania 113
Cyprus FlagCyprus 110
Chile FlagChile 108
Georgia FlagGeorgia 91
Latvia FlagLatvia 81
Estonia FlagEstonia 80
Albania FlagAlbania 80
Algeria FlagAlgeria 77
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of FlagMacedonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic 76
Oman FlagOman 76
Luxembourg FlagLuxembourg 74
Nigeria FlagNigeria 73
Iraq FlagIraq 71
Trinidad and Tobago FlagTrinidad and Tobago 69
Puerto Rico FlagPuerto Rico 67
Uganda FlagUganda 59
Bolivia FlagBolivia 58
Palestinian Territory, Occupied FlagPalestinian Territory, Occupied 50
Tanzania, United Republic of FlagUnited Republic of Tanzania 50
Bosnia and Herzegovina FlagBosnia and Herzegovina 48
Ethiopia FlagEthiopia 46
Afghanistan FlagAfghanistan 45
Cambodia FlagCambodia 44
Panama FlagPanama 42
Nepal FlagNepal 41
Libya FlagLibya 39
Mauritius FlagMauritius 38
Dominican Republic FlagDominican Republic 38
Suriname FlagSuriname 37
Azerbaijan FlagAzerbaijan 37
Jersey FlagJersey 36
Moldova, Republic of FlagMoldova 33
Myanmar FlagMyanmar 29
Guyana FlagGuyana 28
Uruguay FlagUruguay 28
Yemen FlagYemen 26
Ghana FlagGhana 25
Brunei Darussalam FlagBrunei Darussalam 24
Gambia FlagGambia 24
Montenegro FlagMontenegro 21
Mongolia FlagMongolia 20
Maldives FlagMaldives 19
Belarus FlagBelarus 18
Senegal FlagSenegal 18
Isle of Man FlagIsle of Man 17
Barbados FlagBarbados 17
Syrian Arab Republic FlagSyrian Arab Republic 17
Macao FlagMacao 16
Gibraltar FlagGibraltar 16
Honduras FlagHonduras 16
El Salvador FlagEl Salvador 15
Botswana FlagBotswana 14
Guernsey FlagGuernsey 14
Aruba FlagAruba 13
New Caledonia FlagNew Caledonia 13
Paraguay FlagParaguay 13
Cayman Islands FlagCayman Islands 13
Antigua and Barbuda FlagAntigua and Barbuda 13
Madagascar FlagMadagascar 12
Swaziland FlagSwaziland 12
Mozambique FlagMozambique 12
Saint Lucia FlagSaint Lucia 12
Rwanda FlagRwanda 11
Sudan FlagSudan 11
Guatemala FlagGuatemala 11
Namibia FlagNamibia 11
Malawi FlagMalawi 11
Angola FlagAngola 11
Haiti FlagHaiti 10
Zimbabwe FlagZimbabwe 10
Bahamas FlagBahamas 10
Lao People's Democratic Republic FlagLao People’s Democratic Republic 10
Nicaragua FlagNicaragua 9
Seychelles FlagSeychelles 9
Belize FlagBelize 9
Kazakhstan FlagKazakhstan 8
Bermuda FlagBermuda 8
Fiji FlagFiji 8
Virgin Islands, U.S. FlagVirgin Islands 7
Cameroon FlagCameroon 7
Faroe Islands FlagFaroe Islands 7
Iran, Islamic Republic of FlagIran, Islamic Republic of 7
Kyrgyzstan FlagKyrgyzstan 7
Micronesia, Federated States of FlagMicronesia, Federated States of 7
Côte d'Ivoire FlagCôte d’Ivoire 7
Djibouti FlagDjibouti 6
Andorra FlagAndorra 5
Turks and Caicos Islands FlagTurks and Caicos Islands 5
Liberia FlagLiberia 5
China FlagChina 5
Cuba FlagCuba 5
Mali FlagMali 5
Guam FlagGuam 4
Zambia FlagZambia 4
Guadeloupe FlagGuadeloupe 4
Benin FlagBenin 4
Grenada FlagGrenada 4
Virgin Islands, British FlagBritish Virgin Islands 4
Papua New Guinea FlagPapua New Guinea 3
Saint Kitts and Nevis FlagSaint Kitts and Nevis 3
Réunion FlagRéunion 3
Burkina Faso FlagBurkina Faso 3
Niger FlagNiger 3
Lesotho FlagLesotho 3
American Samoa FlagAmerican Samoa 3
Comoros FlagComoros 2
Netherlands Antilles FlagNetherlands Antilles 2
Holy See (Vatican City State) FlagVatican City 2
Northern Mariana Islands FlagNorthern Mariana Islands 2
Monaco FlagMonaco 2
Guinea-Bissau FlagGuinea-Bissau 2
French Guiana FlagFrench Guiana 2
Montserrat FlagMontserrat 2
Mauritania FlagMauritania 2
Martinique FlagMartinique 2
Anguilla FlagAnguilla 2
Tonga FlagTonga 1
French Polynesia FlagFrench Polynesia 1
Somalia FlagSomalia 1
Cook Islands FlagCook Islands 1
Bhutan FlagBhutan 1
Burundi FlagBurundi 1
Vanuatu FlagVanuatu 1
Uzbekistan FlagUzbekistan 1
Congo, the Democratic Republic of the FlagDemocratic Republic of the Congo 1
Dominica FlagDominica 1
Tajikistan FlagTajikistan 1
Kiribati FlagKiribati 1
British Indian Ocean Territory FlagBritish Indian Ocean Territory 1
Gabon FlagGabon 1
Timor-Leste FlagTimor-Leste 1

Cormorants nesting in the snow


This video is called Blue-eyed cormorants on the Antarctic Peninsula.

In the Antarctic, cormorants often nest in the snow. They are blue-eyed cormorants.

Zwanenwater cormorants

In the northern hemisphere, in the Netherlands, great cormorants have already started to nest in the wintry weather.

This photo by Erik Menkveld is from the Zwanenwater nature reserve.

Blackbirds still eating balcony apples


There has been much snow last nights.

This video is called Song Thrush & Blackbird ~ My Winter Garden and Snow Birds ~ January 2010 UK.

A few days ago, a male blackbird had starting eating the balcony apples, as this blog reported.

This morning, a female blackbird feeding on apple.

A great tit also went to the apple dish to feed. Seeds for him; not apple.

Also, a magpie and a wood-pigeon on the balcony.

Many Brazilian spiders, video


writes on Huffington Post in the USA on this video:

Raining Spiders In Brazil? Video Appears To Show Numerous Arachnids Dangling

Posted: 02/08/2013 7:57 pm EST | Updated: 02/09/2013 10:31 am EST

Arachnophobes would be wise to steer clear of Santo Antônio da Platina in Brazil.

According to a video uploaded to YouTube on Feb. 7, spiders appear have taken to dangling from the city’s electric lines and other surfaces.

These seem to be fairly large critters, too, plainly visible when the camera is zoomed all the way out, with a rough approximation of size given by nearby transformers on the electric poles.

It isn’t immediately clear why these spiders are congregating in such a manner, but it’s worth noting several species of arachnid cooperate in colonies and weave (ahem) fairly extensive social networks.