Grey partridge calls, video


This 23 May 2017 is about a grey partridge calling (with a chiffchaff in the background).

Robert-Jan Asselbergs in the Netherlands made this video.

Pro-peace anti-NATO demonstrators arrested in Brussels


This Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty video says about itself:

24 May 2017

Crowds gathered in Brussels to protest against U.S. President Donald Trump, as he arrived to attend meetings with NATO and European Union leaders. Last year Trump referred to the city as a “hellhole,” citing a lack of “assimilation” by Muslims living there.

See also report and photos here.

Before I continue with my blog posts on the big 24 March 2017 demonstration in Brussels, Belgium against Donald Trump and NATO militarism, first now to a day later, 25 May.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Pacifist protests in Brussels because of NATO summit

Today, 15:23

Hundreds of protesters blocked a crossroads in Brussels near the NATO headquarters. With a human chain, they demonstrated against NATO, which has a summit today, with US American President Trump also present.

The Flemish broadcaster VRT reports that all protesters who blocked the road were detained and led away by police.

The protesters of the pacifist movement Agir pour la paix had been near the NATO building since the beginning of the afternoon. According to a spokesperson, NATO is an “unnecessary war machine”.

The movement also demonstrated against the storage of nuclear weapons on Belgian territory.

This morning, Greenpeace activists raised a banner on a construction crane opposite the US embassy, ​​where Trump spent the night.

On the banner was ‘#Resist’.

Greenpeace resist banner in Brussels

Trump … believes that the European member states [oF NATO] must increase their financial contribution to NATO significantly.

Pacific parrotlets’ and ancestral birds’ flight


This 24 May 2017 video says about itself:

From Science News:

Petite parrots provide insight into early flight

by Helen Thompson

9:00am, May 24, 2017

When it comes to hopping between branches, tiny parrots try only as hard as they need to. The finding comes from high-speed video taken to measure how Pacific parrotlets (Forpus coelestis) shift momentum from takeoff to landing.

Bird flight is though to have started with jumping and gliding. When traveling short distances, parrotlets get most of their oomph from their legs, probably because it’s a more efficient way to accelerate than pushing against air with their wings. Still, small wingbeats do help support some of the birds‘ bodyweight. The farther the trip, the more that wings contribute to keeping the birds in the air. The birds also optimize their takeoff angles to apply as little mechanical energy as possible, Diana Chin and David Lentink of Stanford University report May 17 in Science Advances.

The researchers also found that one partial wingbeat can support 15 to 30 percent of a parrotlet’s weight — on par with feathered, flightless dinosaurs like Archaeopteryx. With a bit of mathematical modeling, they determined that one such flap in flight could have extended Archaeopteryx’s jumping range by 20 percent, perhaps giving the dinos an edge in foraging for food.

Chin says the simulation provides a potential explanation for how feathered dinosaurs and early birds refined their tree hopping skills, ultimately giving rise to foraging flights of modern parrotlets and other birds.

Against nuclear weapons, on our way to Trump in Brussels


This video says about itself:

Thousands protest Trump’s Brussels visit

24 May 2017

Thousands of demonstrators holding marches in Brussels, Belgium under the slogan ‘Trump not Welcome‘ held anti-NATO and antiwar signs to protest the US president attending a NATO summit on Thursday. RT’s Anastasia Churkina reports from the protest.

That video is one of various videos on that big demonstration in Brussels. There will be more videos, and photos in my blog posts to come on the Brussels demonstration.

However, before arriving there, we had to travel by bus on that 24 May.

In the bus to the anti-Trump demonstration were people from various parts of the Netherlands, from, eg, the peace movement Oorlog is geen Oplossing (war is not a solution), who have a report and photos on their blog, and the Socialist Party. There was Socialist Party MP Ms Sadet Karabulut, the daughter of Kurdish Turkish immigrant workers. There was a refugee from Somalia, now chairman of the Deventer branch of the Socialist Party. He said this demonstration was important, as wars don’t bring solutions. Eg, in his native Somalia, where the United States armed forces invaded in 1993, proclaiming good intentions; but the results were a chain reaction of bloodbaths in Somalia. He said Bernie Sanders should have won the presidential elections in the USA.

There was a member of the Socialist Party’s young people’s organisation from Zeist town. There was a Socialist Party man from Oldeberkoop village in Friesland province. And two women from Sneek town, also in Friesland. There was someone with a T shirt, saying ‘Stop arming Saudi Arabia‘.

The bus crossed the Lek river bridge. At 12:35, it crossed the Maas river bridge.

We picked up some fellow demonstrators in Den Bosch city. We passed a fountain with dragon sculptures in the city center; and a <a href=”https://dearkitty1.wordpress.com/2016/06/10/giraffes-on-video/”>giraffe statue, modeled on the way famous local painter Hieronymus Bosch depicted that animal, in a city park.

Then, we arrived at the gate of United States nuclear weapons are there; many times there have been protests against them.

These weapons have always been dangerous. Now that Trump is president, they have become even more dangerous.

Our protest that day involved wool (a bit like similar anti-nuclear weapons protests in Britain).

We made a a woolly colourful ‘spider’s web‘ across the access road to the base, blocking the gate.

Volkel, 24 May 2017

This photo shows the woolly spider’s web, with a sign saying ‘Make peace! No war!’, and banners saying ‘Take these nuclear weapons away’ and ‘War is no solution’.

Volkel spider's web, 24 May 2017

Police was present, but did not arrest anyone.

We also hung the banner saying ‘Take these nuclear weapons away’ and other pro-peace banners on the base’s fences.

A women with a Trump face mask on held a spoof ‘Trump‘ speech.

Our bus rode on. Near Eindhoven city there was graffiti about local football club PSV on viaducts. Near Antwerp in Belgium was graffiti depicting ladybugs on viaducts. And also a big traffic jam.

Finally south of Antwerp, we passed Breendonk, during World War II a nazi concentration camp.

We arrived at Brussel Noord railway station, where the demonstration would start. Stay tuned!

Save turtle doves now


This is a turtle dove video from France.

From BirdLife:

24 May 2017

Flying Start – new hope for the Turtle-dove

Joscelyne Ashpole from RSPB (BirdLife UK) explains why there is new hope for the Turtle-dove across its migratory flyways.

In ancient Greek mythology, the European Turtle-dove Streptopelia turtur was purported to be sacred to Demeter, goddess of the harvest and agriculture. As a species of cultivated areas and woodland, the Turtle-dove would have been a familiar farmland sight – as it would continue to be for a great many centuries to come. Today, however, the Turtle-dove – like all too many of Europe’s once common farmland birds – is declining at an alarming rate in numerous countries across our continent and is now listed as ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List.

“The sharpest declines that we know about are found along the western flyway”

A long-distance flyer, the Turtle-dove migrates from its European breeding grounds to winter in Africa. All three main migratory flyways – western via France and Spain, central via Italy and eastern via Greece – present perilous hurdles including lack of food and water, hunting and illegal killing as well as sea and desert crossings to reach sub-Saharan Africa. But the sharpest declines that we know about are found along the western flyway: from the UK, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands down through France, Spain and Portugal. Overall, the European population is estimated to be declining at a rate of 30-49% over a 16 year period. But in the UK, the situation is even worse with numbers plummeting by almost 95% in the last twenty years.

To reverse this downward spiral, the Turtle-dove was chosen to be one of the 16 iconic bird species targeted by the EU-funded LIFE EuroSAP project, launched in 2015. The project studies the entire life-cycles and migratory routes of some of the most charismatic and threatened birds in Europe with a view to developing specific Species Action Plans (SAPs) to conserve populations on a continental scale.

The first draft of the European Turtle-dove Action Plan – coordinated by BirdLife International and the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK)[1] – was published this April. It details an initial set of proposed conservation actions to tackle habitat loss, lack of food availability and the impact of hunting over a ten year period.

This draft is now out for consultation: governments, conservation organisations, scientists, hunting organisations and other groups from across the Turtle-dove’s European, Central Asian and African range, now have the chance to comment on and shape the Action Plan before it is launched in early 2018. So far, the process has involved more than 130 experts from across countries and disciplines; it’s truly great to see the Turtle-dove – a fabled symbol of fidelity – bringing together such a diverse array of people. We’ve gotten off to a flying start and it feels like there could be new hope for the future of the Turtle-dove in Europe.

Joscelyne Ashpole is a Species & Habitats Assistant Officer at RSPB (BirdLife UK).

You can view the draft Turtle-dove Action Plan online via the Species Action Plan Tracking Tool.