Otter in winter, video


This February 2013 video shows an otter in Sweden.

The fast flowing river amidst ice and snow reminds me of the dippers I saw in Finland. And the otter in winter reminds me of the otter I saw on ice along the Finnish coast.

Herring gull and worms video


This 28 March 2017 video is about a herring gull trying to catch worms by trampling on the ground.

Cor Huijgens in the Netherlands made this video.

Cuban-Dutch ancient shipwrecks research


Admiral Cornelis Jol and his peg leg

Again, a blog post about Cuba. This time not about the birds I saw in Cuba (more blogs posts about that will come later). But about some twenty historical wrecked ships in Cuban waters; including some of Dutch buccaneer admiral Cornelis Corneliszoon Jol (1597–1641).

Cornelis Jol was nicknamed in Dutch Houtebeen=in English pegleg=in Spanish Pie de Palo, because he had one wooden leg. So, there is not just the fictional pirate Captain Hook, but also the real Jol.

Jol was an admiral of the Dutch West India Company. As such, he played an important role in making the Dutch important players in the trans-Atlantic slave trade and slavery, which they had not been before. Jol conquered the Portuguese slave export port Luanda in Angola. He also played a role in the conquest of north-east Brazil with its slave plantations.

In 1640, a storm sank some of Jol’s ships off Cuba. Today, Dutch NOS TV reports that there will be joint Cuban-Dutch archaeological research into these shipwrecks.

There are also later Dutch shipwrecks near Cuba: like the cargo ship SS Medea, sunk in 1942 by a German submarine.

The research will start in 2018.

Cuban kestrels and blackbirds


This video is called Birding in the San Diego, Cuba area. Delaware Nature Society Bird Survey Trip, 2010.

After 7 March 2017, on 8 March 2017, we went from Viñales to Santa Clara in Cuba.

As we woke up, four Cuban martins sitting on a TV antenna.

After our journey began, an eastern meadowlark, a North American migrant bird, on a meadow.

Two American kestrels drove a much bigger turkey vulture away.

A cattle egret. A peregrine falcon flying.

We went to the La Güira National Park, near San Diego.

La Güira National Park, 8 March 2017

At the entrance, trees with orange flowers, attracting several blackish bird species.

Tawny-shouldered blackbird, 8 March 2017

Greater Antillean grackles; tawny-shouldered blackbirds (see photos); and shiny cowbirds.

Tawny-shouldered blackbirds, 8 March 2017

We continue to the Cuevas de los Portales; caves near a river valley. A Cuban solitaire sings. In 1962, Che Guevara lived in these caves. The Cuban government feared that after the 1961 Playa Giron invasion, there would come another United States military incursion: not this time of a relatively small force of CIA mercenaries as in 1961, but of ten thousands of regular United States soldiers in that Cuban missile crisis year. If that would happen, Che intended to wage guerilla against the invasion forces from the Cuevas de los Portales.

Two great lizard cuckoos in a tree.

Cuban trogon, 8 March 2017

In another tree, the Cuban national bird: a Cuban trogon.

A Cuban emerald hummingbird.

At 14:40 we leave Pinar del Rio province for Artemisa province to its east.

Cattle egrets near cattle.

At 15:46, the lake where we had also been on the first day. Brown pelicans. Great egrets.

16:23: we are in Havana province; then, Mayabeque province. 17:30: Matanzas province.

Finally, we arrive in Santa Clara city.

United States Auschwitz survivor lambasts Trump administration xenophobia


This video from California in the USA says about itself:

15 November 2014

Holocaust survivor Bernard Marks was a guest on “Out Here in The Redwoods” and gave a talk in Eureka California on his survival in two World War II Nazi concentration camps.

Marks, Bernard. The Extermination and the Resistance of the Polish Jews During the Period 1939–1944. Warsaw: Jewish Historical Institute, 1955.

“[Bernard Marks] was 7 years old when the Germans invaded Poland. He and his family would end up confined in the Jewish ghetto of Lodz, before being sent to the concentration camps at Auschwitz and later Dachau. Of the 200 extended family members he had in his early years, only five — his father, two cousins and an aunt — would survive the war. Marks’ mother and brother were both killed in Dachau.” (Davis-Enterprise 2013)

By Ed Mazza in the USA:

03/29/2017 05:27 am ET

Auschwitz Survivor Confronts ICE Director: ‘History Is Not On Your Side’

“For no other reason but for being Jewish, I was hauled off by the Nazis.”

A Holocaust survivor who was imprisoned in both the Auschwitz and Dachau concentration camps warned President Donald Trump’s top immigration enforcer that history was not on the administration’s side.

In a dramatic moment at a public forum on immigration Tuesday, 87-year-old Bernard Marks confronted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Thomas Homan.

“When I was a little boy in Poland, for no other reason but for being Jewish, I was hauled off by the Nazis,” Marks said. “And for no other reason I was picked up and separated from my family, who was exterminated in Auschwitz. And I am a survivor of Auschwitz and Dachau.”

Marks then proceeded to warn Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, who hosted the event, against working closely with Homan to carry out the Trump Administration’s strict deportation policies, which include stalking immigrants at courthouses.

In comments posted online by CBS Sacramento, he said:

“I spent five and a half years in concentration camps, for one reason and one reason only: Because we picked on people. And you, as the sheriff, who we elected as sheriff of this county, we did not elect you for sheriff of Washington, D.C. It’s about time you side with the people here.

And when this gentleman (Homan) stands up there and says he doesn’t go after people, he should read today’s (Sacramento) Bee. Because in today’s Bee, the Supreme Court Justice of the State of California objected to ICE coming in and taking people away from the courts.

Don’t tell me that this is a lie. We stand up here, Mr Jones, don’t forget. History is not on your side.”

Homan said his agency would continue to make arrests at courthouses, but claimed they would not go after victims and witnesses.

Anti-Semitic ‘Alt-Right’ Slogan Flies At Pro-Trump Rally: here.

Great tit gathers nesting material


This 28 March 2017 video shows a great tit gathering hair as nesting material.

Ciska van Geer in the Netherlands made this video.