Good fulmar news from Scotland


This video says about itself:

PuffinsIsle of May, Scotland

27 July 2016

The Isle of May is located in the north of the outer Firth of Forth, approximately 8 km (5.0 mi) off the coast of mainland Scotland. It is a renowned bird wildlife sanctuary and while there are a range of interesting birds to observe there is no doubt that the main attraction are the puffins.

From the Isle of May nature reserve in Scotland:

Fantastic Fulmars

Posted on August 4, 201 by Bex Outram, Assistant Reserve Manager

The number of our serene tube-nose Fulmar has risen, with an increase of 10% on sitting birds. The overall population is 341 pairs, the sixth highest count; the highest population count being 381 pairs in 2010.

Our Fulmars are still very much present on the island at the moment feeding chicks. Both adults are now able to go on fishing trips bringing food back for their young, which are now large enough to fend for themselves. The defence strategy of Fulmars is to squirt an oily substance from their beak towards any unsuspecting intruder that gets too close; something a seabird doesn’t want is to have oiled feathers as they won’t be able to fly. The chicks are now at that stage where they are able to project this far enough to keep them out of any harm. It is an amazingly effective defence strategy and there are few predators that are brave (or stupid) enough to try and predate a Fulmar.

These superb seabirds are also more prone to ingesting plastics than many other seabirds due to their foraging strategy. They will often feed on carrion and pick bits of food off the surface in feeding frenzies. With such an abundance and variety of plastics in the ocean it can be very hard to differentiate between what is food and what is potentially harmful.

They seem to be having a good season and we hope that this success continues for one of our under-appreciated but quietly brilliant seabirds.

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Donald Trump’s transphobia, Frank Sinatra parody song


This satiric song from Britain is called Frank Sinatrump – “The Lady is a Trans“.

It is a parody of ‘The Lady is a Tramp‘ by Frank Sinatra.

It says about itself:

27 July 2017

More from Donald Trump’s Frank Sinatra tribute act, live from Mar-a-Lago.

LYRICS:

She was a lady, but now she’s a dude
For military spending, I think it would be shrewd
If this kind of person we were to exclude
Because the lady is a trans

Zero point zero zero zero zero zero zero seven per cent
Of our annual military budget is spent
On trans medical costs, and this I resent
Because the lady is a trans

She likes to not be referred to as ‘she’
She’s gender-fluid or non-binary (or some shit like that)
But if I could, I still would grab her by the pussy
But alas, the lady is a trans

This could play well with voters in the Rust Belt
They don’t want progressives like Teddy Roosevelt
We’ve all got to go with the cards we were dealt
Don’t change what’s underneath your belt

Raven couple loving each other


This February 2012 video from Sweden shows a raven flock; in which a couple loves each other.

Donald Trump continuing bloody wars


This video from the USA says about itself:

Trump Sending More Troops To Afghanistan

14 May 2017

Before the election, Trump called the Afghanistan war a mess. Now he’s sending more troops to make a bigger mess. Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, breaks it down.

“The Trump administration is looking to change America’s strategy in Afghanistan from waging peace to waging war.

In an effort to turn around the faltering Afghan war, Trump’s top foreign policy and defense advisers, led by National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, are recommending that the president send around 3,000 to 5,000 US troops into the country, reports the Washington Post.

They would primarily serve as trainers to Afghan forces who are currently fighting the Taliban …

But the country’s top intelligence official isn’t sure it’s such a good idea. “The intelligence community assesses that the political and security situation in Afghanistan will almost certainly deteriorate through 2018, even with a modest increase in (the) military assistance by the United States and its partners,” Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, told the Senate Intelligence Committee today.”

Read more here.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Western wars fuel the cycle of bloodshed

Saturday 5th July 2017

“I WANT to find out why we’ve been there for 17 years,” US President Donald Trump reportedly raged following news of more murder and mayhem in Afghanistan. “We aren’t winning. We are losing.”

The trigger-happy president in the White House imagines that his armies are in difficulty because he can’t get the staff: US officials say he has pressed for the top US commander in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, to be fired.

Nicholson is the 17th Nato commander in Afghanistan since the US-led invasion took place in 2001, so singling him out might seem unfair.

Admittedly his job is harder than his predecessors’ because the war he’s tasked with was declared over by Barack Obama at the end of 2014, which makes the continuing deaths of soldiers and civilians in the central Asian country more embarrassing for Washington.

The killing of a Georgian soldier and two Afghan civilians on Thursday, following that of two US troops on Wednesday, show the Taliban remains a lethal adversary.

But the Islamist group — which itself grew out of the mojahedin insurgents armed and funded by the US and its allies in their successful bid to destroy the socialist and secular Afghanistan of the 1970s and 1980s — is no longer the country’s last word in Wahhabi extremism, since Islamic State (Isis), a child of the US and British invasion of Iraq, is now also busy murdering police officers and Red Crescent workers.

(This provided the rationale for Trump to drop the “mother of all bombs” on Nangarhar province in April, killing around 100 supposed Isis fighters

including prisoners of ISIS

and shattering windows and damaging homes within a two-mile radius).

Those who naively hoped Trump would cut a less warlike figure on the world stage than his rival Hillary Clinton, whose hysterical pre-election threats against Russia and Iran raised terrifying prospects of a new world war, have been disappointed: the US continues to play with fire in Ukraine, Korea and Syria while the conflict in Afghanistan, the first battlefield of the endless “war on terror,” is still claiming lives.

But Trump’s assumption that a “win” could have been racked up in Afghanistan given a different commander or alternative tactics is common in this country too, and enables politicians to beat the drum for further conflicts even when the disastrous consequences of the previous war have become clear.

We were told that Libya was different from Iraq and that Syria was different from Libya.

But the experience in all three countries and over 16 years of bloodshed in Afghanistan demonstrates that Western intervention has been a godsend for extremist groups and has created a more violent and unstable planet.

The left has made serious advances in Britain over the past two years. Labour’s huge gains in the June election on an anti-austerity manifesto have silenced — for now — those elements of the party’s right who promote privatisation under the guise of “reforming” public services.

But the attachment to a US-led global order where the richest nations reserve the right to impose their will by force is as strong as ever — hence the current crop of liberal interventionists attacking Jeremy Corbyn for declining to cheer on the US-led bullying of Venezuela.

This weekend as we mark 72 years since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima we must remember that the peace movement is as vital as ever, and recognise that the fight against militarism and imperialism is an urgent priority for the whole of Britain’s left.

What will cure the U.S. addiction to war? Here.

The mask is off: Trump is seeking war with Iran: here.

21,000 sanderlings on Griend island


This video shows a sanderling feeding at the carcass of a beached porpoise, on the beach of Terschelling island, 15 December 2012.

From the Global Flyway Ecology blog in the Netherlands:

Record numbers of Sanderlings on remote Wadden Sea island

Posted on August 2, 2017 by Team Piersma

Emma Penning reports that currently (1 August 2017) over 21,000 Sanderlings roost on the Wadden Sea islet Griend, on sand banks actively created to allow Griend to “wander” again. This is twice the Dutch wintering population (ca. 9,000), and as high as the British wintering population of 20,500 birds (Reneerkens et al. 2009). As much as 10.5% of the flyway population is now on Griend (van Roomen et al. 2015). A record number of Sanderling on a single roost!

Emma Penning from the Royal NIOZ, and a team of researchers of the University of Groningen and NIOZ, are currently working on the island to document the ecological and geomorphological consequences of the ‘Griend Repair project’ by the owner and manager Natuurmonumenten.

Griend is a small uninhabited island in the middle of the Dutch Wadden Sea. Natural erosion processes would make this type of islet “wander” through the Wadden Sea, but the protecting sand dyke created decades ago had washed away. In the summer of 2016, sand and shells have been resupplied so that natural processes can take their course again. At the same time vegetation cover on the island has been removed to ensure breeding habitat for terns and gulls. The new very low and 400 m wide sand bank protects against erosion from the west, and “feeds” the island with sand to stimulate growth at the north and south sides. This sand bar apparently is an attractive feature for Sanderling.

To investigate the effects of the recovery project, and to find out more about the natural functioning of this Wadden Sea island, an intensive four-year research project has started that will run until 2020. Tracking and tracing the movements of Sanderlings and documenting their diet is part of the program.

Already before the restoration, Griend was a central hub for Sanderlings foraging on the mudflats of the western Dutch Wadden Sea. We expected that they would continue to roost on Griend after the restoration, because the barren and open character of the new sand bank Griend would offer a safe place for Sanderlings. But this turn-out of >21,000 birds is more than we dared to hope for! Our brand new tracking data shows that indeed they use a variety of feeding locations throughout western Wadden Sea. More on that later.

Information about the restoration of Griend (in Dutch) at: Griend.org and National Geographic Nederland·België.

Associated team members: Emma Penning with Allert Bijleveld, Laura Govers, Jeroen Reneerkens and Job ten Horn.