Welsh bird news update


This video is called Skomer Island (Wales) Puffins, Guillemots, Razorbills.

A Twitter message about Wales says today:

Hoopoe, Richard’s Pipit, Barred Warbler, Sabine’s Gull Bardsey BO. Spoonbill still Point of Ayr. Garganey & Scaup RSPB Conwy.

Baby Manx shearwaters back on Scilly islands


This video from Wales is called Skomer Manx Shearwater Burrow Cam.

From British Birds:

Manx Shearwater chicks seen for first time in living memory on St Agnes and Gugh

Published on 23 September 2014

Manx Shearwater chicks have been seen outside their nest burrows for the first time in living memory on St Agnes and Gugh in the Isles of Scilly following the first year of a project to remove rats.

Although Manx Shearwaters have bred on these two islands for decades, eggs and chicks were always eaten by rats while they were still in their burrows. But last winter the islands’ rats were removed and conservationists are now celebrating the first sightings of healthy youngsters.

So far ten chicks have been recorded by project staff, volunteers and trail cameras. By this time of year the adult shearwaters have already left the chicks to migrate to South America for winter. These chicks, left in a healthy condition by their parents, are now coming outside their burrows at night-time to stretch their wings and to ‘stargaze’. By looking at the stars they learn the location of their natal colony so they know exactly where to come back to.

Once they leave the islands they will live out at sea, moving to the southern hemisphere where they winter off the coast of Brazil. Potentially living up to 55 years, they make these long migrations each year.

RSPB Project Manager, Jaclyn Pearson said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to announce this news. It is down to the help of everyone involved in the project so far, particularly the community of folk living on the islands who continue to keep these islands rat-free. This is an official status we hope to achieve by early 2016. But in the meantime with these 10 Manx Shearwater chicks, the project is having exactly the effect we hoped for. We would also thank our funders LIFE, and the Heritage Lottery Fund for making this work possible.

‘We need everyone’s help who visits St Agnes and Gugh to help us to ensure biosecurity measures. Over the next couple of months we have activities to discourage and remove food sources from any potential rats. There will be beach cleans, bin days and an “Apple Day” where we will remove and juice wind fallen apples. Please do come and get involved if you are visiting the islands.’

Isles of Scilly Seabird Ecologist Vickie Heaney said: ‘For so many years now I’ve been returning to the burrows looking for evidence of chicks fledging, only to find old cobwebs over the entrances and no signs of life. So it’s been really brilliant this year for myself, project staff and volunteers to see live chicks stargazing. With their remnants of fluff, they looked fit and healthy; ready for their awe-inspiring migration.’

David Appleton, adviser for the Isles of Scilly Seabird Recovery Project for Natural England, said: ‘This is excellent news – it’s early stages but we are very hopeful about the bird’s recovery on St Agnes and Gugh. We’ll know more when they return to breed in 2–4 years. In the meantime, everyone is working hard to keep rats off the islands and we’re asking residents and visitors to report any rat sightings to the hotline number and to thoroughly check for “stowaways” on transport to the islands.’

If people think they see rats on either St Agnes or Gugh they are asked to call the project ‘Rat on a rat’ hot-line on 01720 422153. The project team and islanders will then inspect the area and set up surveillance and incursion response measures.

This is a partnership project between RSPB, Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust, Isles of Scilly Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Natural England and Duchy of Cornwall. The project is funded by LIFE, the EU’s programme for financing key environmental schemes across the continent and a £269,100 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

NATO anti-peace demonstrator fence becomes Calais anti-refugee fence


This video is called LOCKDOWN! NATO’s RING OF STEEL in Wales For Annual LORDS OF WAR Meeting.

From daily The Independent in Britain, 7 September 2014:

[British] Ministers have approved giving Calais the 9ft-high “Ring of Steel” security fence that had been used at the Nato Summit, to help tackle the issue of migrants seeking to illegally board ferries and trucks bound for the UK. …

Two impenetrable steel walls were constructed to provide security at the convergence of world leaders at the two-day Nato Summit this week.

There was one around the Celtic Manor venue in Newport and another 12-mile-long one around Cardiff City Centre, which was disassembled at 4am this morning.

Dubbed the “Ring of Steel”, the imposing barrier was brought in to help mitigate the threat of a terrorist attack, with one member of the public mockingly renaming the Nato Summit “Stalag Luft 12”, reports Wales Online, in reference to the high security Nazi Germany prisoner-of-war camps. …

Tim Finch, the Director of Migration at the Institute for Public Policy Research, told The Independent that the problem of migrants in Calais is “essentially irresolvable”.

Britain has “no alternative but to keep them out”, he said, though some of them may die in the process”.

The Institute for Public Policy Research is called a “progressive thinktank” on Wikipedia. The whole Wikipedia article shows the IPPR is rather ‘Blairite‘, ‘new’ Labour, so not really progressive. If, instead of Tim Finch, an aide to Russia’s Putin, Syria’s Assad, Cuba’s Raul Castro, or some other politician whom NATO countries’ establishments hate for various reasons, would so callously dismiss the value of human lives of refugees from wars, Tony Blair’s wars, NATO’s wars, then corporate media in all NATO countries would furiously demand ‘humanitarian’ invasion right now of the country of the person who spoke this inhuman sentence.

The British government’s gift of the NATO ‘Stalag Luft 12′ fence comes after blackmail by the Rightist mayor of Calais.

By Stéphane Hugues in France:

France: Calais mayor demands crackdown on migrants, threatens to block port

6 September 2014

Calais mayor Natacha Bouchart of France’s right-wing Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) has threatened Britain that she will blockade Calais harbor unless the government in London helps fund Calais’ repression of immigrants trapped in the city trying to reach Britain. Bouchart’s threat means blocking the passage of thousands of cars and trucks that cross the English Channel to Britain every day.

Bouchart issued this threat after 100 refugees in desperation tried to outrun the police and board a P&O ferry in the port bound for Britain earlier this week. The ferry staff raised the ship’s ramps and walkways and turned their fire hoses onto the refugees.

“I could take the decision to block the port…I could bring pressure to bear. It would be illegal but today I want to make a strong gesture towards the British,” Bouchart told reporters in Paris after meeting French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

She said she did not discuss her proposal with Cazeneuve, “but I told him that I hoped he would have some strong negotiations with the British.” In blocking the port, Bouchart is trying to use the situation to squeeze money out of the British government. She claims that Calais currently pays out 10 million Euros a year in “Security charges” for policing the refugees.

Bouchart’s outburst and avowedly illegal threats are part of decades of mounting persecution by European authorities of immigrants trying to travel across Europe to Britain. There are 1,500 or more refugees in Calais and its suburbs trying to reach Britain. Most are fleeing from famine or imperialist wars in their own countries, which include Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea, and Somalia. They are forced to sleep in the open air with no covers.

Refugee support groups try to help them by distributing food, but the refugees have been reduced to conditions even more brutal than the homeless. Before, they were able to build shantytowns on unused ground. Now, these dwellings are systematically destroyed.

Until 2002, the refugees were housed in a Red Cross refugee centre in Sangatte, near Calais. The then Interior Minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, shut the camp and forced the refugees to find refuge wherever they could in the Calais area.

THE mayor of Calais reacted with scorn today to an offer from the British government of 12 miles of security fencing to help keep out illegal immigrants: here.