Waxwings in the Netherlands

This video says about itself:

A flock of Waxwings drink from a hole in the ice. The flock was filmed on the canal at Crossflatts, near Keighley, West Yorkshire, UK in the winter of 2010 and 2011 when there was a significant influx of this species.

Today, a group of about twenty Bohemian waxwings, near the fire brigade building in the north-west of Leiden, the Netherlands. They were eating berries, and attracted wildlife photographers.

Photos are here.

And here.

A sound recording is here.


Wildlife photos, good for health

This video, recorded in Australia, is called Bird sounds from the lyrebird – David Attenborough – BBC wildlife.

The sources which I quote here mention only photographs, not videos. But maybe this video is good for mental health as well?

Translated from Dutch regional TV RTV Noord:

‘Photo of nature works miracles for health’

Posted: 22:09 pm, Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A good mood, better concentration, and less stress – nature can work wonders for our health. But we even we do not have to go outside for that. According to research by future Professor Agnes van den Berg.

According to Van den Berg, just people looking at nature through a window or seeing an image already has a positive effect on health. …

Van den Berg this Tuesday will have her inaugural lecture at the University of Groningen.

From the University of Groningen site:

Agnes van den Berg professor of Experiencing and Valuing Nature and Landscape

Date: January 11, 2012

On 1 January 2012, Dr A.E. van den Berg became professor by special appointment in Experiencing and Valuing Nature and Landscape at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences (FRW) of the University of Groningen. The founding of a chair in Experiencing and Valuing Nature and Landscape comes at a time when there is wide general concern about the violation of nature and landscape values. With Van den Berg as the holder of the chair, the Netherlands has gained an active advocate for more academic research into the consequences of these developments for the health and wellbeing of people.

Agnes van den Berg (Apeldoorn, 1967) studied experimental psychology at the University of Groningen and gained a PhD in 1999 from the same university with research on how nature development areas are experienced. In 1997 she moved to Wageningen to work as an environmental psychologist at the Alterra knowledge institute.

With the publication of the essay ‘Van buiten word je beter’ [Fresh air makes you healthy] in 2001, she moved the importance of nature for the health of the public high up the social and scientific agenda. Since 2003, Van den Berg has been combining her applied research at Alterra with an academic appointment at Wageningen University. Within the NWO project ‘Vitamin G’ (where G stands for green), she is working on the scientific basis of the relationship between green in the living environment and health.

She also plays an active role in the translation of academic knowledge of the experience of nature and health into practical advice and guidelines. She regularly gives presentations and interviews on themes including the importance of nature for the development of children, the contribution paid by gardening to healthy ageing, and designing with how it will be experienced in mind.

Van den Berg’s research and Rottum island: here.

Rare bee-eater in England

This video is called European Bee-eaterMerops apiaster.

From the BBC:

8 November 2012 Last updated at 16:24 GMT

Bee-eater is second ‘rare’ bird spotted in Sunderland

A second bird rarely seen in the north-east of England has appeared in Sunderland.

The bee-eater, commonly found in North Africa and southern Europe, has taken up residence at a house in Fulwell.

Bird watcher Paul Cook said seeing the bird in the area in November was “incredible”.

This week a Little Bunting was also spotted in Elba Park on the outskirts of the city, believed to have been blown off course during migration.

The bee-eater appears to be feeding on a wasps’ nest in the eaves of a house belonging to Kirk Adamson.

“I did see it about two weeks ago and I thought it was a kingfisher,” he said.

‘Very, very lost’

“All these people arrived one morning. I asked one of them what it was and they told me it was a very rare bird and they’ve been multiplying ever since, the people coming round.”

John Taylor, from Consett, is among enthusiasts who have come with cameras after word spread the bird was on Wearside.

Describing himself as a photographer not a twitcher, he said: “We’re looking for good quality photographs to enter competitions. We’re not really looking just to see the bird.”

Mr Cook said it was “remarkable” to see the bee-eater in Sunderland.

“That’s why there are so many people from round the country who will have seen bee-eaters before but certainly not in November.”

He believes the bird might have been blown off course by recent strong winds in the same way as the Little Bunting.

They were “very, very lost”, he said.

Origin of the scientific name Merops for bee-eaters: here.