European bird news update


This video says about itself:

Adriatic Flyway – The Central European Route for Migratory Birds

15 December 2015

On their flight from North and Central Europe to Africa migrating birds mainly take three routes: the Western route via Gibraltar is certainly the best known. This is the route taken by most birds flying from breeding grounds in Great Britain, many from mud flats of the Dutch and German Wattenmeer and also from Scandinavia. The Eastern route leads across Eastern Europe (the Baltic, Belorussia, the Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria) into Turkey, over the Bosphorus and on over the Middle East to reach Africa.

The third route is often forgotten. It is known as the Central European migration route or the Adriatic Flyway. This route runs parallel to the Eastern route in Siberia and Northern Europe but later bears westward from Poland and Hungary over the Balkans and on over the Adriatic Sea, Southern Italy, Sicily and Malta to Africa. Many water birds from Central Europe, but also from North and East Europe and even Asia take this migration route to reach the Sahel region.

The movie introduces several important wetland areas in the Balkans and shows the threatened situation of migratory birds in this region.

For more information: here.

From BirdLife:

21 Apr 2017

The Bird Bulletin – Vol. 4

By Gui-Xi Young

Welcome to the latest edition of ‘The Bird Bulletin’ – our new weekly news brief. Every Friday morning, we’ll bring you bite-sized updates from across Europe & Central Asia – now you can kick start every weekend with ‘what a little bird told me!’

ONE WEEK to save farmland birds! The European Commission’s Public Consultation on the Common Agricultural Policy is open for only 1 more week. Join our E-Action and show your support for sustainable, nature-friendly farms with one click. #LivingLand.

SEAL OF APPROVAL – on the eve of France’s Presidential elections, our French partner LPO has asked voters to consider who is #LeCandidatDeLaNature?

Certainly not Macron, with his plan of an environmentally destructive gold mine in French Guiana, and his pro-Big Oil record when he was minister. Certainly not Marine Le Pen, with her climate change denialism and links to polluting Big Business. Certainly not Fillon with his links to Total Big Oil.

There is no Green Party candidate. Leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon has proposed many pro-environment measures.

And they posed the question in style – a giant 50m2 chalk mural of a white seal suddenly appeared overnight on the square of La Défence in Paris. As the seal faded under the footsteps of passersby throughout the day, man’s destructive impact on nature was brought into stark relief. Check it out!

Spring into action! Spring Alive’ is a BirdLife initiative to get kids interested in nature. Their big ‘Bird Quiz’ kicks off next Monday (24th April) so follow on Facebook for 5 days filled with facts and fun!

And last, but certainly not least….

WALK WITH THE PENGUINS on a sub-Antarctic island and enter their magical, yet threatened, world. Seeing is believing – watch our breathtaking new 3D 360-degree film now and #ProtectAPenguin today!

Well that’s all for today’s ‘Bird Bulletin’ – tune in next week for more cheeps, chirps and chatter.

Bye Bye Birdies!

BirdLife unveils its latest publication, ‘European Birds of Conservation Concern’, in Parma Italy. This essential handbook will help every country in Europe to identify their bird conservation responsibilities: here.

March for Science, worldwide, tomorrow


March for Science

By Laurie Garrett in the USA:

Why I Will March for Science on Saturday

Apr 20, 2017

On Saturday, scientists and their supporters will leave the sanitized comfort of their labs and academic environs to march in Washington, D.C., and more than 400 other cities and 100 countries around the world.

It all started with a tweeted picture of a child holding a pro-science sign at the Jan. 22 March for Women, followed by health educator Caroline Weinberg’s tweet, “Hell hath no fury like a scientist silenced,” and swiftly grew into the largest protest since the women’s event.

It’s a very big, twofold gamble on their part. First, reckoning that the typically apolitical and highly government-dependent scientific community will break with their tradition of political silence in large-enough numbers to create a serious presence, rather than a pathetic disappointment. And second, wagering that the vision of tens of thousands of angry nerds and geeks will have the desired positive impact on policymakers and the public at large. That’s a tough one. While “The Big Bang Theory” may have enjoyed top TV ratings for the past decade, average Americans are leery of real-life Leonards and Sheldons and their discoveries.

Most of the leading scientific institutions in the United States are backing both propositions and urging their members to hit the streets on Saturday. From the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS, the publisher of Science) to the editorial board of Nature and the New York Academy of Sciences and its counterparts across the country, the admonishment is clear: Get out and march!

The 157,000-strong American Chemical Society has asked its members to conduct marches that will constitute “a nonpartisan celebration of science,” and a long list of professional societies echoed that sentiment. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists is backing the march, saying, “The truth needs an advocate.”

The London-based Nature Cell Biology, a journal noted for controversies regarding the relative contributions of various cell receptors to triggered enzyme activity, told its readers that it’s time for scientists to “become political,” citing the potentially devastating double impact of Brexit’s limits on freedom of movement affecting immigrations for scientists and President Donald Trump’s anti-science stances.

A similarly staid American publication, The Chronicle of Higher Education, called upon universities to back the protest as a form of mass education, telling the world about the wonders of science.

“Scientists have to be reminded that the response to a challenge to science is not to retreat to the microscope, to the laboratory, to the ivory tower,” Rush Holt, CEO of the AAAS, said recently. “This requires vigorous defense.”

March for Science will take scientists’ activism to a new level. People rally not around a single issue but around science with a capital S, by Rachel Ehrenberg. 4:03pm, April 19, 2017: here.

March for Science in the Netherlands: here.

22 April 2017. Hundreds of thousands of scientists, researchers, workers and youth are poised to participate in today’s “March for Science.” The main rally will take place in Washington, DC, with sister demonstrations and marches taking place in more than 600 locations across the world, involving people in at least 130 countries and encompassing six continents. It is slated to be the world’s largest pro-science demonstration to date: here.

Sedge warbler, butterflies and flowers


Sedge warbler, 20 April 2017

After 17 April 2017 in the Westbroekse Zodden, these photos from that nature reserve are from 20 April. Like this singing sedge warbler.

This time, no yellow wagtails, only white ones.

This time, not a red kite like on 17 April; but there was a kestrel.

Green-veined white butterfly, 20 April 2017

Another animal not seen on 17 April was this butterfly: a green-veined white butterfly.

Also, a male orange tip butterfly flying around.

Slender cottongrass, 20 April 2017

Of course, the lots of slender cottongrass were still there.

Slender cottongrass, on 20 April 2017

Slender cottongrass, Westbroekse Zodden, on 20 April 2017

Lady's smock, 20 April 2017

So were lady’s smock flowers.

Marsh marigold, 20 April 2017

And marsh marigold.

Osprey couple on nest, video


This video from the USA says about itself:

20 April 2017

Get an up close look at a fish exchange between the Hellgate Ospreys before Iris, the female, departs from the nest to eat on a power pole.

Watch live with updates, tweets, and highlights at http://AllAboutBirds.org/ospreys.

Watch the cam and learn about the Montana Osprey Project at http://hs.umt.edu/osprey/.

This Osprey nest is at the mouth of the spectacular Hellgate Canyon at the edge of Missoula, Montana. It’s in a very busy location, right outside the Riverside Health Care Center and next to busy parking lots, a construction site, a busy highway, and a railroad. However, it’s also an ideal location in many ways, since these Ospreys have riverfront property only about 50 feet from the Clark Fork River. Being so close to people does not bother them, and hundreds of people enjoy watching them every day.

The female Osprey at this nest is called Iris because she has very distinctive spots on her iris, especially in her left eye. These iris patterns serve as individual barcodes and allow us to identify her. She has nested at this site for many years.

Frenchman murders policeman, Le Pen wants to punish refugees for it


Marine Le Pen's Islamophobia, cartoon

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

French [extreme right] presidential candidate Marine Le Pen demands that the government of President Hollande immediately reinstates border controls. “The government needs to restore our national borders,” she said in a reaction to the Paris attack last night. That was committed by a French-born man who had previously been convicted of murder attempts on policemen.

The culprit was born in a Paris suburb. After killing a policeman, he was himself shot dead by police.

The leader of the right-populist

racist, not ‘populist’.

So Ms Le Pen wants to punish refugees and other people outside France, for a crime inside France with which they have nothing to do, committed by a Frenchman.

Front National also wants to expel all foreigners who are monitored by the security services from the country.

Both measures are also included in her electoral program, but Le Pen wants Hollande to take action now. She also wants the police force to be expanded immediately with 15,000 officers.

Conservative François Fillon also wants more security forces.

Red kite, grey heron, yellow wagtails


Sedge warbler, 17 April 2017

On 17 April 2017 we were still in the Westbroekse Zodden nature reserve. Where we saw this sedge warbler.

Red kite, 17 April 2017

Then, a red kite flying overhead. A rare species in the Netherlands.

A grey heron flying.

Great crested grebe, 17 April 2017

Two great crested grebes swim.

Great crested grebe, on 17 April 2017

A lesser black-backed gull flies. One would expect this species closer to the North Sea.

Grey lag geese, 17 April 2017

Grey lag geese flying.

Yellow wagtail, 17 April 2017

Five yellow wagtails, and a white wagtail, on and around the footpath.

Female gadwall, 17 April 2017

Male and female gadwall ducks flying.

Finally, two stock doves.