Irish and British rare bird news


This video is called Red-rumped Swallow sunbathing and preening on a tree.

Here is another red-rumped swallow video.

From Rare Bird Alert in Britain:

Sunday 20th April 2014

The third Sardinian Warbler for County Cork, and for Ireland, was discovered late morning today, in Scott’s Garden on Dursey Island, where it remained until late evening. Two Red-rumped Swallows spent the afternoon over the Cam Washes at Upware, Cambridgeshire, whilst one also flew over Felixstowe Docks, Suffolk. Two White-billed Divers were off the coast of Lewis, Western Isles and a Ferruginous Duck was on Lough Beg, County Derry.

Lingering rarities included the unringed Red-breasted Goose in Dumfries and Galloway, White-billed Diver in Aberdeenshire, Black Duck in County Mayo and Two-barred Crossbills in Yorkshire and Norfolk (three).

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Woodpeckers and bananaquit in Costa Rica


Golden-hooded tanagers, blue-gray tanager, 20 March 2014

As this blog wrote, in the morning of 20 March 2014 at Arenal observatory in Costa Rica, it started to rain. As this photo, of two golden-hooded tanagers and a blue-grey tanager at feeders, shows.

Black-cheeked woodpecker male, 20 March 2014

Nevertheless, a male and a female black-cheeked woodpecker kept looking for food on a tree.

Black-cheeked woodpecker male, Costa Rica, 20 March 2014

Passerini's tanager male, 20 March 2014

Passerini’s tanagers, both male and female.

Passerini's tanager male, Costa Rica, 20 March 2014

Bananaquit, 20 March 2014

A small bird: a bananaquit.

A social flycatcher on a roof.

Pale-billed woodpecker male, 20 March 2014

Then, two spectacular birds: a pale-billed woodpecker couple, feeding on a big tree.

Pale-billed woodpecker female and male, 20 March 2014

A green honeycreeper.

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Northern lapwing inspires music composer


This video is about a northern lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) at its nest.

Today on Dutch radio, for the first time a new piece of music by composer Henk Doeke Odinga was played.

This composition, for piano and clarinet, is about northern lapwings.

Both the sound and the movements of these birds inspired Odinga.

The music starts with part of the French national anthem, the Marseillaise. That is because, if there is a harsh winter in the Netherlands, lapwings migrate south to France.

You can listen to the music here.

You can download the music here.

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Tanagers and honeycreepers in Costa Rica


This video, recorded at the Arenal volcano observatory in Costa Rica, is about Montezuma’s oropendolas.

As this blog reported, on 19 March 2014 we arrived near the Arenal volcano.

Next morning, 20 April.

A clay-coloured thrush.

Blue-grey tanager, 20 March 2014

A blue-grey tanager at the feeder water melons.

Montezuma's oropendola, 20 March 2014

Along with a flock of Montezuma’s oropendolas.

While white-nosed coatis walk underneath, hoping some food will fall.

Red-legged honeycreeper male, 20 March 2014

Red-legged honeycreepers near the feeder as well.

Red-legged honeycreeper female, 20 March 2014

Both males and females.

Red-legged honeycreeper male, Arenal, 20 March 2014

Hepatic tanager, 20 March 2014

A hepatic tanager.

Green honeycreeper male, 20 March 2014

A scarlet-thighed dacnis. And a male green honeycreeper.

Green honeycreeper male and clay-coloured thrush, 20 March 2014

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Lesser whitethroat and godwits


This video is about a lesser whitethroat singing in Norway.

Yesterday, 19 April, again to the nature reserve where Baillon’s crakes nested a few years ago.

Near the entrance, a moorhen and grey lag geese swim.

Many more black-headed gulls than usually. Last year, a few couples nested here for the first time. Today, many more nests.

One black-headed gull has a twig in its bill.

A northern lapwing on a grassy bank.

Very young mallard ducklings. Many grey lag geese with goslings as well.

A jackdaw. A starling. Mute swans swimming in the southern lake.

In the northern lake, teal swim. About twenty black-tailed godwits. Less than a few weeks ago here, as spring migration is far advanced now.

On the biggest northern lake island: a great cormorant, gadwall ducks and tufted ducks.

An oystercatcher.

A male common pochard flying. A northern shoveler couple swimming.

A redshank on an islet.

A magpie.

Near the railway, a chiffchaff sings.

In the northern meadow: grey lag geese, Canada geese Egyptian geese. Lapwings. A jackdaw. And hares.

Something special: a lesser whitethroat sings in a tree at the north-eastern end. Probably, it arrived recently from Africa on its spring migration.

A greenfinch sings there too.

Two barn swallows flying. Probably, recent arrivals from Africa as well.

Just before we leave, Canada geese with goslings. Smaller goslings than many grey lag goslings here, as Canada geese usually nest later.

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Young squirrels playing, video


This is a video about young red squirrels playing.

The video was recorded in Henni van der Zanden’s garden in the Netherlands.

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New York City red-tailed hawk news


This video from the USA about New York City red-tailed hawks says about itself:

Egg in the nest? Rosie and Bobby switching nest duty – March 15th, 2014

15 mrt. 2014

It appears that there is now, at the very least, one egg in the Washington Square Park Hawk nest.

Bobby and Rosie are now regularly taking turns sitting in their nest. A fellow Hawk-watcher informed me that she saw the nest-switching behavior quite clearly yesterday after I had already left the park for the day.

I took this footage of Bobby and Rosie switching nest duty this morning. Also included in the video is footage of Rosie eating and perching in various spots.

You can hear Rosie calling out starting at the 34 second mark.

I cut the audio in a couple of the clips in order to not distract the viewer from having to hear park noise that was occurring during the action.

From Roger_Paw blog in the USA, about nesting red-tailed hawks in Washington Square Park, New York City:

At least one of Bobby and Rosie’s eggs have hatched – April 18th, 2014

The first hatching was reported by NYU to have happened yesterday morning (April 17th). The egg hatched three days after it was ‘expected’ to which is so in keeping with Rosie and Bobby’s broods.

Their eggs typically hatch two to three days later than the 28-35 days ornithologists have said Red-tailed Hawks eggs usually do. There are many conditions that affect when the eggs hatch (latitude, for example).

Fledging is said to usually occur 42 – 46 days after hatching but interestingly, all of Rosie and Bobby’s offspring in the past fledged at least two days later than ‘expected’.

If all goes well, this first 2014 hatchling should fledge between May 29th – June 2nd.

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Curaçao sea turtle conservation


This video is about a sea turtle swimming near Curaçao.

From the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA):

Six species of sea turtles are found in the waters surrounding the Dutch Caribbean islands with regular nesting activity occurring annually on the sandy beaches of Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten. Because sea turtles undertake remarkably long transboundary migrations and because they are slow to reach sexual maturity (20 – 30 years), they require significant international cooperation and long-term monitoring in order to best understand their population trends.

Once amazingly abundant, Caribbean sea turtles have seen a rapid decline since the time of European expansion in the Americas. Scientists estimate that in the 1600s, over 90 million Green Turtles were present the Caribbean seas. Today the number is estimated at a mere 300,000. Hawksbills have plunged 99.7% from 11 million to 30,000. Fishing gear entanglement, illegal harvesting, coastal development, marine pollution and climate change still remain serious threats to the recovery of global sea turtle populations.

Having been involved with sea turtle conservation for more than two decades, Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB) has gained important knowledge and understanding not only of sea turtles ecology and biology, but also of best practices for conducting scientific research. STCB staff and volunteers are well-experienced in catching, measuring and weighing the animals while causing the least amount of stress, they know when and where to do beach patrols and they know how best to protect sea turtle nests.

After becoming an established organisation on Bonaire and widely respected within the regional sea turtle conservation community, STCB is actively sharing its knowledge in an attempt to strengthen and support sea turtle monitoring and conservation efforts on the other Dutch Caribbean islands. In addition to leading workshops on Bonaire with several visiting island conservation organisations, STCB recently visited St. Maarten to conduct an assessment of potential sea turtle feeding areas, providing important information to support the St. Maarten Nature Foundation in implementing appropriate and effective in-water monitoring efforts.

On Curaçao, 2013 brought increased sea turtle conservation and protection on the island with the establishment of four new Ramsar sites and the legal ban on destructive gillnet practices, which will come into effect in May 2014. Additionally, a dialogue between STCB and CARMABI began with the idea of developing and implementing a sea turtle nest monitoring programme on Curaçao using Bonaire as a model. In February 2014, Curaçao has officially taken the next step in the protection of the island’s charismatic and threatened sea turtles. Recent discussions between the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles (IAC), the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, STCB, the Curaçaoan Ministry of Health, Environment and Nature and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as CARMABI and Uniek Curaçao have led to a collaborative agreement to develop a monitoring programme to asses the health and status of Curaçao’s sea turtle populations. The aim is to initiate a beach patrol programme to monitor nesting activity of sea turtles on the Shete Boka beaches throughout the nesting season (May – December) and perform head count surveys of feeding sea turtles in one of the key feeding areas on Curaçao – Boka Ascension. The data collected will not only be used to determine the presence and species composition of sea turtles in Curaçao and identify trends over time, but will also contribute to a regional dataset that monitors Caribbean-wide sea turtle population trends and will allow Curaçao to properly manage this precious endangered species.

To learn more about or get involved with sea turtle conservation on Curaçao, contact the Ministry of Health, Environment and Nature, CARMABI or Uniek Curaçao.

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David Cameron stung by jellyfish


This video is called Vicious Beauties – The Secret World Of The Jelly Fish.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

David Cameron stung by jellyfish: PM hurt after ignoring advice of locals while on holiday

David Cameron is reportedly recovering today after being stung by a jellyfish as he relaxed on a luxury holiday on the Spanish island of Lanzarote.

According to reports the Prime Minister ignored warnings from locals after they spotted a number of the stinging marine animals at the island’s Arrieta beach.

The Daily Mirror reported that tourists saw him suddenly run from the water rubbing his arm and yelling: “Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!”

Tourists told the newspaper that Mr Cameron came running out of the water immediately in his blue swimming trunks and rubbing his arm.

Local ex-pat Wendy, 59, told the newspaper that one of her friends warned Mr Cameron the sea was full of jellyfish.

“Everyone got out of the water and his kids walked back with their minders around the pier,” she said.

“But then he decided to get back in then suddenly came out shouting in pain after getting stung.”

One Briton on Lanzarote remarked that the traditional cure for a jellyfish sting is to urinate on it. But a Downing Street source told the paper that the sting had not required treatment.

Texel island jellyfish: here.

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