Botanical garden flowers and bees


Honeybees on flat sea holly flower, 1 August 2015

On 1 August 2015, to the botanical garden. First, the part closest to the entrance: a reconstruction of the garden as it was in the early seventeenth century, the time of botanist Clusius, founder of the garden. Flat sea holly flowers attract bees and hoverflies.

Honeybees still on flat sea holly flower, 1 August 2015

So do Centaurea alpina flowers next to it. They attract both male and female red-tailed bumblebees.

Rosebay willowherb, 1 August 2015

Also in the same patch: rosebay willowherb.

The rosebay willowherb flowers attract red-tailed bumblebees; and also large earth bumblebees.

Brown knapweed with red-tailed bumblebee female, 1 August 2015

Finally, in this Clusius garden patch: the purple flowers of brown knapweed, with also their red-tailed bumblebees.

Further in the botanical garden, near the hothouse, a peacock butterfly on butterfly-bush flowers. Too far away for a macro lens.

Bladder campion, 1 August 2015

Bladder campion flowers near the old astronomical observatory.

Artichoke flower with honeybee, 1 August 2015

Then, big artichoke flowers. They attract honeybees. And red-tailed bumblebees; including young queens, recently flown away from the nest. They are about twice the size of worker females and males.

Behind the beehive of the botanical garden, a young dunnock on the path.

Saw-wort flower with honeybee, 1 August 2015

Saw-wort flowers attract honeybees.

Saw-wort flower with honeybees, 1 August 2015

In the pond, carp swimming. A small red-eyed damselfly couple in tandem.

Stay tuned, as next we went to the Victoria amazonica hothouse.

Wadden Sea breeding birds, new research


This video says about itself:

Wadden Sea Flyway” phenomenon of migration and threats for birds

6 February 2014

Great video showing importance of migration routes and what we can do to make sure they are protected in the future.

BirdLife Partner Vogelbescherming Nederland (Netherlands Society for the Protection of Birds) helped to produce this video along with many other organizations showing the importance of the Wadden Sea Flyway.

A new report has been published about breeding birds in the Wadden Sea area in the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, from 1991 to 2013.

A few species increased then, like great cormorants, spoonbills and lesser black-backed gulls. Other species, like shelduck and Sandwich tern, were stable. Unfortunately, there was a decline in many other species, like hen harrier, avocet and black-tailed godwit. Herring gulls are down in the Dutch and German parts of the Wadden Sea, but up in the Danish part.

Great tit chicks in England


This video from ITV TV in England says about itself:

Great Tit chicks – Nature Nuts with Julian Clary starts Sunday 2nd August at 7pm

31 July 2015

Julian holds tiny Great Tit chicks in Nature Nut Kate MacRae’s garden and he can’t resist naming one of them.

Since moving to the countryside, Britain’s most beloved camp comedian Julian Clary has become passionate about nature. In this brand new series, he goes in search of Britain’s most fanatical wildlife lovers, affectionately referred to as his ‘Nature Nuts’.

Boy watches owls on TV, real owl joins him


Western screech-owl and Marlo Sarmiento, photo credit: Marlo Sarmiento

By Arin Greenwood, Animal Welfare Editor, The Huffington Post in the USA:

Boy Watches Owls On TV, Real Owl Shows Up To Join Him

“What a hoot!”

07/31/2015 04:50 PM EDT

Marlo Sarmiento was a few minutes into watching an animated TV show about owls with his 5-year-old son Ollie the other night when he got distracted by a blur in his peripheral vision, “which then thumped into a large window.”

“I took a look and was surprised to see a tiny owl, stunned and just sitting there on the windowsill,” Sarmiento told The Huffington Post. He immediately named the bird Elfis, inspired by the name of the cartoon owl on the TV.

Sarmiento, who lives in a woodsy part of Northern California that abuts a nature preserve, pieced together that the owl had flown in through an open front door and then banged into the closed window trying to get out again.

Birds have paid the family visits before, Sarmiento says, but usually more common blue jays and robins, and usually they fly right out of the house of their own accord.

Sarmiento speculates that Elfis decided to stick around for a bit, possibly “attracted by the owl screeches coming from the TV.”

“My sister quipped that it was a good thing we weren’t watching an episode about elephants,” he says.

Sarmiento fetched a towel to carry Elfis in and help him back outside, worried the bird was shaken up and unable to find his way out. He paused briefly during the rescue to take a couple of photos so folks would believe him when he told them about his nocturnal visitor.

“Probably 4-5 minutes total visiting time,” Sarmiento says. “Didn’t even finish the show or stay for a drink/snacks!”

This was a lucky encounter in more ways than one.

“Most birds that crash into a window or wall are suffering head trauma and could be in shock. Stress from being handled could kill them,” says Damen Hurd, a wildlife rehabilitator with Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation Center in southwest Florida, who believes that Elfis is a Western screech-owl.

Hurd adds that if someone comes across an owl or other bird of prey that might be hurt, they should put the creature in a towel-lined box or dog carrier, and then get it to a wildlife rehabilitator for a checkup and any necessary treatment.

“Sometimes a bird is only stunned shortly and can be released soon after, but many die after an accident like this,” he says.

Rehabber Paula Goldberg, with City Wildlife in Washington, D.C., says that the Sarmientos are fortunate not to have gotten hurt.

“Although the little guy is as cute as a Steiff stuffed animal, it has talons, and when they latch, they don’t let go,” Goldberg says. “What an incredible moment and it is so nice to see someone else’s kids zoned out while watching TV seated next to an owl.  What a hoot!”

Sarmiento says his son has been demanding that the owl cartoon be played over and over again in the days since Elfis first dropped by.

As yet, Elfis has not flown back into their lives. Given all the risks, it’s probably for the the best that their feathered friend seems to have turned out to be more of a feathered acquaintance. But, still, if the family’s learned anything by now, it’s that you never know whoooo-whoooo might drop by.

“I am leaving the sliding back doors open just in case,” says Sarmiento.

Rare green snaketail dragonfly news


This is a 2009 video, showing a green snaketail dragonfly along the Roer river in Limburg province in the Netherlands.

Translated from the Dutch Vlinderstichting entomologists:

Friday, July 31, 2015

It’s a good year for the green snaketail dragonfly. This rare species has been absent for decades in the Netherlands, but since 1996 it’s back in Limburg [province]. Three years ago, the green snaketail dragonfly was seen along the Dommel [river in North Brabant province] and it has been seen there once again.