Booted eagle and architecture in Extremadura, Spain


This video is about flowers and birds in Parque Nacional Monfragüe in Extremadura, Spain.

After 23 April 2016, on 24 April 2016 we left Extremadura.

Before we left, for the last time the cuckoo, hoopoe, blackbird and collared dove sounds.

Jaraicejo, gates next to church, 24 April 2016

We went to Jaraicejo village. Next to the church, two gates.

Around the church, as usually, domestic pigeons flying. Suddenly, a bit of a panic as a booted eagle tries to catch one.

Swifts flying.

A white wagtail on a street.

Two inhabited white stork nests on the church.

Jaraicejo, street, 24 April 2016

We walk around, looking at Jaraicejo buildings.

Jaraicejo, another street, 24 April 2016

Jaraicejo, yet another street, 24 April 2016

We walk around some more.

Jaraicejo, Extremadura, street, 24 April 2016

Jaraicejo, center, 24 April 2016

We walk back to the village center.

Jaraicejo, on a street, 24 April 2016

Not far from there, we meet an elderly widow.

Jaraicejo, inside a house, 24 April 2016

She shows us her home. Judging from the antlers on the walls, there were deer hunters in her family.

We leave, as we have to catch the bus to Madrid airport.

Extremadura, bye-bye!

Kenyan woman saved from under collapsed building


This video says about itself:

5 May 2016

A woman has been extracted alive from the rubble of a poorly constructed six-storey building that collapsed in the capital of Kenya six days ago.

Lesser kestrels, nesting storks, old buildings in Trujillo, Spain


Trujillo main square

Still 11 April 2016. After the bullring of Trujillo in Spain, to the town center. The main square is called Plaza Mayor. Rain. The statue in the photo is of Francisco Pizarro, the best-known person born in Trujillo. His conquest of the Inca empire brought much bloodshed to South America.

Cuesta de la Sangre, Trujillo

While it kept raining, we went to the higher parts of the town. The photo shows the Cuesta de la Sangre; literally, ‘hill of the blood’. The ‘blood’ does not refer to the blood shed by Pizarro, or in the medieval wars in and around Trujillo between Christian and Muslim princes. It refers to the seventeenth century Holy Blood Church here.

Trujillo, on 11 April 2016

As we went still more uphill, the rain stopped for a while.

Trujillo, 11 April 2016

White stork, 11 April 2016

On church towers and roofs were several white stork nests.

White storks, 11 April 2016

The birds looked muddy on this rainy day. They greeted each other with bill-clattering, when a shift on the nest ended. In at least one nest there were at least two baby storks.

Collared dove, Trujillo, 11 April 2016

There were other birds as well, like this collared dove on a roof.

And a goldfinch in a tree. And a serin in another tree.

Lesser kestrel, Trujillo, Plaza Mayor, 11 April 2016

We went back to the Plaza Mayor square. Lesser kestrels flying around.

Lesser kestrels, swallows, bullfighting in Trujillo, Spain


This video is called Lesser Kestrel, Trujillo, Extremadura, Spain, 8 March 2011. It shows a male: with even more blueish-grey on its head than a common kestrel male. Females of both species have brownish heads.

After 10 April 2016, on 11 April, to the lesser kestrel nesting colony in Trujillo.

Trujillo, bullring, 11 April 2016

That nesting colony is in the bullring of Trujillo town. Special roof tiles enable the lesser kestrels to nest.

Trujillo, lesser kestrels sign, 11 April 2016

In front of the bullring is this information sign about the birds, and about the insects and other food which they eat.

There is less bloody bullfighting in Spain nowadays than there used to be. In Catalonia and the Canary Islands, it has been banned.

In Trujillo it is much less frequent now: about once a year. However, that infrequent bullfight would be soon. Male and female maintenance workers went in and out through the gate. That meant we could pass as well through the normally closed gate. A man rode around in the central, low part of the arena, leveling the ground. One could see that bullfighting is not only always dangerous for bulls, but sometimes for humans as well: there was a special infirmary room for injured matadores, picadores and banderilleros.

Mock bull, Trujillo, 11 April 2016

In another room, there was this mock bull for rehearsing toreros.

Barn swallow, 11 April 2016

Barn swallows used the catacombs of the bullring for less bloody activities: they nested there.

Barn swallow nest, 11 April 2016

Trujillo, inside the arena, 11 April 2016

We had unusual access to the center of the arena.

Spotless starlings, 11 April 2016

Spotless starlings, a south European and north African species, on the roof.

Spotless starlings, Trujillo, 11 April 2016

Lesser kestrels flying around, sometimes landing briefly on the bullring.

Lesser kestrel, 11 April 2016

They had not started nesting yet. As this was an unusually cold, rainy day in an unusually cold, rainy spring.

After the bullring, we went to the town center of Trujillo. Stay tuned!

Dutch Kinderdijk, windmills and nature


This video says about itself:

HOLLAND: Kinderdijkwindmills and nature

6 April 2016

Meet Kinderdijk, its 19 fantastic windmills and beautiful nature.

Dutch windmill video


This video is about working windmill De Verwachting in Tholen town in Zeeland province in the Netherlands.

From that mill, one can see another working windmill and the old town center.

ISIS destruction of Palmyra, Syria not total


This Associated Press video says about itself:

Raw: Drone Footage Captures Palmyra Ruins, City

27 March 2016

Russian state television footage from Palmyra on Sunday, as well as drone video obtained from the Syrian Military Media Centre, showed aerials of what remained of the ancient city after the Islamic State group (IS) was forced from the area.

From Associated Press:

By Albert Aji and Philip Issa

DAMASCUS, Syria — Mar 28, 2016, 1:25 AM ET

The recapture of the ancient city of Palmyra by Syrian government forces scores an important victory over Islamic State fighters who waged a 10-month reign of terror there and marks the first major defeat for the extremist group since an international agreement to battle terrorism in the fractured nation took effect last year.

The city known to Syrians as the “Bride of the Desert” is famous for its 2,000-year-old ruins that once drew tens of thousands of visitors each year before the Islamic State group destroyed many of the monuments.

The extent of the destruction remained unclear after government troops took the town in central Syria on Sunday. Initial footage on Syrian state TV showed widespread rubble and shattered statues. But Palmyra’s grand colonnades appeared to be in relatively good condition. …

International airstrikes have pounded IS territory, killing two top leaders in recent weeks, according to the Pentagon. Those strikes have also inflicted dozens of civilian casualties. …

IS drove government forces from Palmyra in a matter of days last May and later demolished some of its best-known monuments, including two large temples dating back more than 1,800 years and a Roman triumphal archway.

State TV showed the rubble left over from the destruction of the Temple of Bel as well as the damaged archway, the supports of which were still standing. It said a statue of Zenobia, the third century queen who ruled an independent state from Palmyra and figures strongly in Syrian lore, was missing.

Artifacts inside the city’s museum also appeared heavily damaged on state TV. A sculpture of the Greek goddess Athena was decapitated, and the museum’s basement appeared to have been dynamited, the hall littered with broken statues.

Still, state media reported that a lion statue dating back to the second century, previously thought to have been destroyed by IS militants, was found in a damaged but recoverable condition.

Extremists beheaded the archaeological site’s 81-year-old director, Riad al-Asaad, in August after he reportedly refused to divulge where authorities had hidden some of the treasures before the group swept in. IS militants view the ruins as monuments to idolatry. …

Maamoun Abdulkarim, director of the museums and antiquities department in Damascus, said Palmyra’s Great Colonnade had suffered only minor damage. “We will rebuild what you have destroyed,” he said, addressing IS.

USA: Kerry sought to ‘send a message’ to Assad via cruise missile strikes against Syrian government positions but Obama refused proposal: here.

Russia is withdrawing from Syria – and the U.S. should follow suit: here.