New born foal, video


On 26 April 2014, this konik horse foal was born in Oostvaardersplassen nature reserve in the Netherlands.

Inge Jansen made the video.

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New giant horse sculptures in Scotland


This video from Scotland says about itself:

11 March 2014

A fantastically clear, calm evening in central Scotland and the perfect time to admire the Kelpies as building work continues and the surrounding area takes shape. Looking forward to the grand opening in April when the Kelpies will be centre stage for the launch of the John Muir Way.

Music courtesy of last.fm featuring Intuíció playing Isten áldja édesapám.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Tuesday 22nd April 2014

Huge horses’ heads open as Scotland’s newest cultural landmark

A pair of gigantic horses’ heads sculpted from 300 tons of steel, Scotland’s newest cultural landmark, will be open to the public today.

Titled The Kelpies, the 98ft-tall sculptures in Falkirk were inspired by Scotland’s history of working horses which once pulled barges along the nearby Forth and Clyde Canal.

Created by Glasgow artist Andy Scott, the Kelpies form the centrepiece of the new Helix Park development close to the M9.

The artist said: “I have always been fascinated with horses and the heavy horse was at one time the driving force in industry.”

The sculptures were brought to life over the weekend with an inaugural firework display.

A canal link to the North Sea is expected to open up the inland waterways to more boating traffic and it is hoped the Kelpies will draw up to 350,000 visitors each year, bringing £1.5 million of extra tourism revenue.

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Terschelling island wheatears helped by horses


This is a video of a male northern wheatear.

In the Netherlands, generally speaking, things are going badly for northern wheatears. Nesting pairs have declined about 90% since the 1970s. See also here.

Warden Joeri on Terschelling reports that his island is an exception to this.

Since the 1970s, wheatear nest numbers on Terschelling have nearly doubled. In 1942, there were at least 45 nesting couples; about 15% of the whole Netherlands.

A major factor in this good news seems to be horses grazing in the Terschelling dunes. This means more and more varied flowers; so, more insects on which wheatears feed. More open, sandy patches also means more rabbits. Northern wheatears nest in rabbit holes.

Terschelling nature in 2013: here.

Vlieland wheatears: here.

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Flies and horses, video


This video is about golden dung flies in Oostvaardersplassen nature reserve in the Netherlands; on local konik horse dung.

Contrary to what their name suggests, (adult) golden dung flies don’t feed on dung. They eat flowers’ nectar. Females lay their eggs in big mammals’ dung.

Wikipedia writes about them:

Scathophaga are integral in the animal kingdom due to their role in the natural erosion of dung in fields. They are also very important in the scientific world due to their short life cycles and susceptibility to experimental manipulations, and have thus contributed significant knowledge about animal behavior.

Walter Debloudts made this video.