Another rare owl in the Netherlands

This video from Finland says about itself:

Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa) flies towards the camera and eats a mouse

This wild, but tame Great Grey Owl is still actively “hunting” out in the open and is enjoying herself posing to the cameras near Oulu, Finland. See a new set of Harri Taavetti’s images here. In this video she flies to catch a mouse and eats it directly in front of camera and flies away.

After the rare northern hawk-owl in Zwolle, the Netherlands, another owl species which does not come often to western Europe.

Today, in Ede in the Dutch Gelderland province, a great grey owl.

Here is a photo of the Ede owl.

See also here.

Finnish canoeist saves drowning owl

The saved owl recovering on the canoe, photo by Pentti Taskinen

Translated from Vroege Vogels TV in the Netherlands:

Exhausted owl recovers aboard a canoe

Monday, November 11, 2013 17:05

The Finnish adventurer Pentti Taskinen has saved an exhausted and soaked northern hawk-owl from Lake Tuusula. After he managed to bring the bird to safety in his canoe he made some unique photographs of the owl recovering from his perilous adventure in the icy water.

“At first I thought it was an otter in the water,” Taskinen said in the Finnish press. Only when he approached he saw that it was a bird. “The lake is freezing around this time of year. The owl probably would not have survived if it would still have remained for slightly longer in the water”. After he had brought the northern hawk-owl out of the water he began to warm the bird’s head. A while later he set the bird free in the Finnish nature.

The northern hawk-owl is a species of mixed northern forests, often in the upper zone on mountain slopes. Unlike many other owls, northern hawk-owls are partially active during the day. … The adults have a finely banded underside, like a sparrowhawk. In the Netherlands the species so far has been found three times , most recently in 2005 in Drenthe province. Currently, an individual is in Germany, 70 kilometers from the Dutch border near Winschoten.

See also here.

Another photo of the owl by Pentti Taskinen

Two magpies on my balcony, again

This video from Finland is called Eurasian magpie (Pica pica) eating salmon leather (HD).

There was a big storm yesterday. It blew many leaves off trees.

In the tree opposite my window, the magpie nest, invisible during summer, is visible again now.

This morning, two magpies on my balcony (the local nest couple?). One of them eating seeds from the flower-pot for feeding birds there.

Crossbills and white-fronted geese at EuroBirdwatch 2013

This video is called EuroBirdwatch 2012: 17000 Barnacle Geese in Joutseno, Finland.

And now, EuroBirdwatch 2013.

Here are the results of counting (migratory) birds all over the Netherlnds on 5 October 2013:

TOP 10 – 2013
Total: 241.924
Number of bird species: 181

1. White-fronted goose 68,515

2. Starling 44,092

3. Chaffinch 35,114

4. Black-headed gull 9,918

5. Meadow pipit 9,200

6. Grey lag goose 8,989

7. Northern lapwing 8, 957

8. Common gull 4,520

9. Herring gull 3,155

10. Crossbill 2,482

Never before had white-fronted geese been on number one. And never before had crossbills made the top ten.

Unusual species included: two ospreys, two ravens, 13 glossy ibis, 2 Cetti’s warblers, 4 water rails, 1 white-tailed eagle, 1 cuckoo, 1 red kite, 1 ruddy shelduck, 2 purple herons, four ring ouzels, and 40 snow buntings (in one flock).

Northern light video

, who made this video, writes:

More details about the “making of” on

The soft light of the arctic regions attracted me magically so that I decided to dedicate a project to it. Around the polar circle light occupies a very important role, especially in winter. During the freezing months the sun creeps only along the horizon providing thus long hours of this tender twilight that occurs before sunrise and after sunset. But the nights are even longer and then another special light brights up the sky: the aurora borealis. In this film I wanted to show how individual the northern lights are: they may dance very fast in a frenetic rhythm or explode in a red-purple firework or they may just glow greenish over the starry sky vaguely distinguishable by the human eye. Every night there is a different night show – if the polar lights appear as they use to be very shy divas.

As a non resident of the Arctic regions it was very difficult for me to hunt the northern lights. I travelled different times to the distant regions at the polar circle. It was not easy enduring the freezing temperatures and the darkness and sleeping in the tent or in the car when the harsh wind was shaking it too strong. But after a year I had the incredible luck to gather enough video material for this film project. Especially on my last trip to Tromsö in february 2013 I experienced incredible beautiful aurora borealis.

The footage was captured in Greenland, Norway (on the Lofoten islands and in the Troms region), Iceland and Finland.

The surreal atmosphere of the landscapes is emphasized thanks to the wonderful music of the talented and creative composer Pablo Garmón

Waterbird migration and climate change

This video from Canada says about itself:

Common Goldeneye – Bucephala clangula

These Common Goldeneye ducks are wintering in Lake Ontario. Around late March to early April they will begin returning to their northern breeding grounds across Canada and Alaska. Common Goldeneyes can also be found in northern Europe and Asia.

From Wildlife Extra:

Climate changes shift wintering ranges of waterbirds

Waterbirds moving north – More in Finland and Sweden

May 2013. Migratory waterbirds have shifted their wintering areas north-eastwards due to climate change in Europe, according to a group of scientists including Richard Hearn of the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT). Their new study found a strong link between changes in the numbers of goldeneyes, tufted ducks and goosanders wintering across northern Europe and changes in temperature in early winter.

Large rise in Finland and Sweden

In Finland and Sweden, the mid-winter numbers of these three species are more than 130,000 individuals higher than three decades ago. Correspondingly, on the southern edge of the distribution in France, Ireland and Switzerland, numbers have dropped by nearly 120,000 individuals. In several southern countries wintering numbers have halved.

Richard Hearn, WWT’s Head of Species Monitoring and a contributor to the study, said: “Our world is changing rapidly and conservation tools need to be flexible so they can respond to that challenge. This means more monitoring, to keep track of bird populations that are, in some cases, changing exponentially. It also means maintaining a coherent network of protected areas throughout Europe, and altering their management in response to the changing mix of wildlife that uses them.”

“Studies like this are critical to making governments aware of their shifting responsibilities and helping them plan for the future.”

Tufted ducks and goldeneyes in Finland

Aleksi Lehikoinen, Curator at the Finnish Museum of Natural History and lead author of the study, said: “In Finland, the change has been strongest in tufted ducks and goldeneyes, whose numbers have increased ten-fold. Waterbird numbers are connected with the early winter temperature, which in south Finland increased by about 3.8 degrees between 1980 and 2010.”


This may have implications for their conservation, because birds are making less use of the protected areas that were designated to protect them. The shifts in the birds’ ranges may also affect the impact of hunting, as possibilities increase in the north and decrease them in the south, altering potential bag sizes.

The research is based on counts from the International Waterbird Census and the results have been published in Global Change Biology.

June 2013. Most species at greatest risk from climate change are not currently conservation priorities, finds an IUCN study that introduces a pioneering method to assess the vulnerability of species to climate change: here.

16 of your favorite things that climate change is totally screwing up: here.

Dutch fish ladder for sticklebacks

This video from Finland says about itself:

Three-spined stickleback and fry (Gasterosteus aculeatus)

July 19, 2010

The male stickleback guards something. I think there was a nest somewhere. Though he may protect his fry. Video was written at the Gulf of Finland in July.

Translated from Dutch wildlife ranger ; his blog post on fish ladders. In the original, there is not just this photo, but a slide show:

Texel stickleback fish ladder

Fish ladders for sticklebacks

Posted on February 12, 2013

For salmon and trout they existed already, fish ladders to pass dams. Threespine sticklebacks need ladders with much smaller steps. Almost 20 years ago, Forestry Texel thought about this. Through these fishways threespine sticklebacks can swim from the Wadden Sea into the Moksloot to lay their eggs in the fresh water of the Dunes of Texel. A marine threespine stickleback is twice as long and five times as heavy as a stickleback which has always lived in fresh water. Large fish lay more eggs, and are also better food for birds like spoonbills.

See also here.