Nuthatches, butterfly and mushrooms


Pholiota squarrosaToday, to the cemetery.

A nuthatch climbing up a big tree, singing and looking for food.

A bit later, another (?) nuthatch, going down on another tree.

On the pebbles, a butterfly resting. It is a comma.

Groups of Pholiota squarrosa mushrooms near tombstones.

Yesterday, a jay here in a tree top.

A few days earlier here, another (?) jay, flying from tombstone top to tombstone top.

And robin, magpie, and nuthatch sounds.

The smallest of North American nuthatches, the unique pygmy nuthatch, uses nest helpers and roosts communally in winter: here.

Oldest dinosaur ancestor discovered


This video is called Walking With Dinosaurs Ep1 – New Blood (part1 of 3).

From New Scientist:

Meet the oldest dino ancestor yet

* 09 October 2010

SKULKING around an ancient floodplain 250 million years ago, the earliest known dinosaur ancestors left footprints just 1 to 2 centimetres long.

The prints, recently discovered in the Holy Cross mountains of central Poland by Steve Brusatte of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, show distinctive toe marks only seen in the dinosaur family. They were made by a four-footed animal no bigger than a domestic cat, that was likely to have been prey to local 8-metre-long crocodiles.

The tracks are 5 million years older than any other dino fossils. They push back the origins of the lineage and show that it evolved immediately after the end of the Permian extinction – the biggest clear-out of life the world has ever seen, when 95 per cent of animal species went extinct (Proceedings of the Royal Society B, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.1746).

T. rex was a cannibal: here.

The Triassic archosaur Postosuchus: here.

A fresh analysis of a fossil found in the 1970s suggests that the family trees for crocodiles, birds and dinosaurs diverged earlier than some may have thought: here.

Forest news


This video is called Rhett Butler from mongabay.com reports on this week’s forest news.

Britain: October 2010: Poachers are being identified and targeted in the New Forest in a new initiative by Forest Watch police officers. Sergeant Louise Hubble heads up the Forest Watch partnership project to tackle rural community issues including wildlife and environmental crime in the New Forest: here.

Cornwall birds today


This video from Hayle Estuary in Cornwall is called Snow Goose flocking with Canada Geese.

From Cornwall Bird Reports of today:

Little Stint (3), Curlew Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit (2), Med Gull (2), Grey Plover (2), Lapwing (6), Knot, Kingfisher (2) and Ruff (4) at Hayle estuary RSPB on Ryan’s field at high tide this morning (PJF).

Hungarian sludge disaster continues


This video is called Hungary spill recovery may take years.

Hungarian village evacuated amid fresh spill fears.

Toxic mud threatens Hungarian town: Kolontar, a village hit by the sludge spill, is being evacuated: here.

This is a Dutch TV video about the evacuation.

See also here.

Photos here.

Lax laws led to Hungary’s caustic flood: here.

Hungary toxic spill plant to reopen, ninth death confirmed: here.

The horror story of the Hungarian toxic sludge: here.

Toxic Mud Spill Latest Insult to Polluted Danube River: here.

October 2010. As the mixture of red sludge and alkaline water from the breach of a waste dam at a Hungarian alumina plant reached the Danube, Canadian campaigners have pointed out that tar sands operations inside Canada’s Boreal Forest threaten to destroy or fragment vast lakes, rivers, forests and wetlands that provide nesting grounds for millions of birds: here.

December 2010. New plans to ease navigation bottlenecks on the Danube could threaten some of the river’s most scenic and natural values, said WWF after the release of plans of the European Commission to increase navigation on the river as part of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region: here.

US neo-colonialism in Pakistan


Another video says about itself:

The US has boasted recent success in killing terrorist leaders in drone attacks, but some argue this policy leaves the country open to attack.

Nearly every day brings the news of the death of yet another militant leader at the hands of US military or CIA operatives – but there may be an unexplored downside to these successes. In a recent article in Foreign Policy magazine, Marc Thiessen suggests that the Obama Administration’s decision to increase drone attacks in areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan makes the White House look tough on terror, but actually puts the United States at risk. By killing terrorists without questioning them, Thiessen argues, the US misses out on a valuable source of intelligence.

Britain’s Guardian newspaper published comments Friday from a high-ranking Pakistani government official and European intelligence officials stating that the recent US terror alert was politically motivated: here.

Amid rising popular discontent over lack of assistance to tens of millions of people displaced by massive flooding in Pakistan, the Pakistani military and Washington are increasing pressure on the Zardari government: here.

And yet another deadly attack on a NATO fuel convoy: here.

Pakistan Opens Khyber Crossing to NATO Supply Trucks but issues Threats over Hot Pursuit: here.

Tariq Ali, in new book, deconstructs Obama, the “messenger-servant president”: here.

This robot slaughter drags us into a terrible feedback loop, where the US launches more drone attacks to deal with jihadism, which makes jihadism worse, which prompts more drone attacks, which makes jihadism worse — and on and on: here.

US unmanned aircraft launched two missile strikes in a Pakistani tribal region along the Afghan border on Friday which killed nine people: here.

Strong evidence that climate change caused devastating floods in Pakistan: here.