New Zealand Seabird of the Year vote

This video says about itself:

Seabird Diversity in the Southern Ocean

The New Zealand archipelago, particularly its subantarctic islands, is a global seabird hotspot. It’s home to 25 per cent of the world’s breeding seabird populations and a very diverse array of penguin, albatross, petrel and shearwater species.

NIWA seabird ecologist Paul Sagar outlines the major threats to seabirds on land and at sea. He explains how modern tracking technology is being used to study interactions between foraging seabirds and fishing vessels during the breeding season, and to track their enormous migrations between breeding seasons. These well-travelled seabirds serve as indicators of what’s happening in ocean ecosystems across the world.

From the New Zealand 2014 Seabird of the Year site:

Here’s where you can vote for your favourite seabird, and if you like, make a contribution to Forest & Bird’s work to protect New Zealand’s seabirds. Forest & Bird is New Zealand’s leading independent conservation organisation. To see what we are doing for seabirds click here.

New Zealand is a seabird superpower. More than a third of the world’s seabird species spend at least part of their lives here. Thirty-six of those only breed here. The Seabird of the Year poll is supported by Heritage Expeditions. Voting closes at midday on Monday the 24th of November.

Loch Ness Monster, plesiosaur or ‘log monster’?

This video is called How I Drew a 3D Loch Ness Monster.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Has the mystery of the ‘Log Ness Monster’ been solved?

Tom Bawden, environment editor

Friday 21 November 2014

A recent spate of Nessie sightings has flummoxed experts and locals alike.

After an unprecedented 18 months without a “confirmed sighting”, several people have come forward in the past few weeks with reports of mysterious beasts emerging from the waters of Loch Ness.

So, more than 80 years after the first modern sighting of Nessie, has the monster made a comeback?

Alas, the truth could be a little more mundane. The Woodland Trust conservation charity has come forward with an infuriatingly humdrum explanation – they’re just logs.

The charity claims that “deadfall” washed out by rivers from nearby Urquhart Bay Wood would explain the recent sightings – and possibly why the monster has been spotted so often in the past.

“Large amounts of wood flows out of the woodland through the two winding rivers that flow into Loch Ness each year, peaking when water is high in late autumn and spring.

“I think that some of that debris explains the long thin, sometimes stick-like, shapes seen,” said a spokesman for the trust.

Urquhart Bay Wood is effectively a “Nessie spawning ground”, according to the trust, which added that its trees perform a very useful function.

“Urquhart Bay is a really important wet woodland, made up of species such as ash, alder, rowan and willow. It’s one of very few intact floodplain woodlands remaining in the UK and has European importance. Challenges such as flooding, movement of the rivers and accumulation of woody debris make it an interesting place to manage,” the Woodland Trust spokesman said.

Sightings of the Loch Ness Monster date back to the 6th century and have often been explained away as being boats, waves made by boats, or other animals. The first modern sighting was in 1933, when a man called George Spicer and his wife saw “a most extraordinary form of animal” cross the road in front of their car.

One of the more intriguing explanations came in 2006, when Neil Clark, the curator of palaeontology at Glasgow University’s Hunterian Museum, concluded two years of research by linking Nessie sightings to elephants.

He said the theory made sense because the circuses that frequently visited Inverness in the past century would often stop on the banks of Loch Ness to give the animals a rest. The trunk and humps in the water would bear similarities to some of the most famous Nessie photographs.

“The circuses used to take the road up to Inverness and allow their animals to have a rest, swim about in the Loch and refresh themselves,” Dr Clark said at the time.

Great cormorants video

This video is about great cormorants in Boswachterij Dorst in the Netherlands.

Chris Grootzwager made the video.

Lobster molting, video

This is a video about a European lobster in the Oosterschelde estuary in the Netherlands.

When lobsters grow, their old shells become too narrow. So, they have to molt; and emerge, as the video shows, from their old shell with their new shell.

Rob Dekker made the video.

Britain’s national bird, voting continues

This video is called British Birds In Your Garden.

From the Vote National Bird Campaign in Britain:

We would like to thank you for sparing the time to vote in Britain’s first ever official National Bird Vote. We have had over 50,000 votes so far and there are some clear favourites emerging. Owing to the excitement caused by this campaign we have decided to extend the voting for another month until the 30th November 2014.

After that closing date the draw will be made to win some fabulous prizes!

A week in Shetland, the sexy Leica Trinovid binoculars, Bird Watching Magazine subscriptions and The Urban Birder t-shirts.

Also, as if they were not enough we are pleased to announce that as a voter in the Vote National Bird Campaign you can get a free Bird Watching Magazine download for your delectation.

Simply click on to claim your free copy.

So how is the vote going?

Well, perched on top of the pile is the Robin – which is no big surprise. Pecking at its heels is the Kingfisher, followed closely by the Barn Owl. Hot on their tails are the Blue Tit, Wren and in sixth place, the Blackbird.

At the end of the first round of voting the count will be made and the final six birds, as chosen by you, will be announced in the New Year. They will then go for public vote during the run up for the General Election with the final day of voting being May 7th, the actual day of the Election. Shortly after, we know who our next government [is] and also have our official National Bird.

How great is that!

There is still time to vote so tell your friends to get involved.

All the best,

The Vote National Bird Team

If you have images of any of the 60 candidates why don’t you share them with us and we will publish them on our Vote National Bird Facebook page.

Send them to

Vole eats birds’ leftovers, video

This is a video about a bank vole in a garden in the Netherlands; feeding on what house sparrows and tits have dropped from a feeder.

Andries Dijkstra made this video.